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Community Foundation of White County

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  • Leslie Goss

Gifts from the Garden

Summer is a special time for families – family reunions, new adventures, creating new memories and recalling precious older ones.

This is a story about two of my nieces, now in their 20’s, and a fun-filled day we spent together.

The girls were six and eight years old, full of energy and excitement, and enjoying all the experiences of the new house and big yard my sister and husband had just purchased.

They had been busy plotting a new play area in the shed, and they enlisted dear Aunt Leslie to join the adventure. After a lot of dust, dirt, and sweat, their hard work yielded their own little studio, complete with two outcast chairs and a table created by overturned wastebaskets and a small leftover piece of countertop. Viola!

One project accomplished, we started weeding a very overgrown garden. All of a sudden, one of the girls said, “this isn’t a weed – it’s a tomato!” Around the corner, one of those “weeds” was an onion. And then there were more onions, two different types. Watching the girls pull the remaining gifts from the earth was a gift in itself.

The onions were unexpected gifts that grew from seeds that remained in the ground after last year’s season was complete, waiting until this year to delight the senses. Their taste was just as sweet, if not sweeter, because they were a surprise.

Monies distributed through your Community Foundation of White County are sometimes like those unexpected gifts. The Foundation’s garden isn’t made of soil, but our donors have lovingly and devotedly planted seeds to help grow a better community. When those seeds are watered, and even more seeds are planted, the harvest is increased, and more people are fed: more community grant and scholarship money is distributed; donor-designated nonprofit agencies are assured of annual disbursements to support the invaluable community services they provide; and season after season, our community becomes an even better place to live.

As I thought about my afternoon of discovery with the girls, I wondered what their world will be like in another 20 or 40 or 60 years? Maybe they will be fortunate enough to live in a community that is supported by a community foundation and visionary, community-minded citizens committed to creating a better tomorrow -- and hopefully they’ll plant a few seeds of their own.

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