A community in many ways is like a garden, or a well groomed yard.
We need to work together to make sure that the ground is perfect for growing – just as it is important to provide an environment with opportunities and tools for community members to experiment, socialize and grow.
It is important to remember that gardeners don’t grow the plants though, they merely provide the right circumstances for the growth to take place.
One key factor in any garden, is that it’s all the elements coming together to create a vibrant and active garden – just as it is in a community. It is not just one person who builds the community, it’s the cumulative effort of everyone that builds it.
This week, we had the chance to sit down with a member of the community who is helping HOPE House with “growing their garden,”- Manor Landscaping.
Sitting down with Carlo, the owner of Manor Landscaping, we got to hear his story about how he got involved with HOPE House and what HOPE House means for the community.
“I originally got involved with HOPE House through Dave Ralph – the pastor at Lakeside. One of those involved in the start of HOPE House. They asked me to help out a little bit, donating some food, and eventually I started to donate the fuel…this has been going on for 5-6 years now? I’m not keeping track.”
If you have ever seen our HOPE in Motion van driving around, you may have noticed the sticker on the back that says “fueled by Manor Landscaping,” this is because Manor donates all the fuel needed to keep these vans running.
This is such a vital service to HOPE House, as our HOPE in Motion vans distribute food, clothing, hygiene products and other essential supplies to other service providers in and around Guelph.
Through the HOPE in Motion program, HOPE House helps to distribute farm-fresh produce from our Harvest of HOPE garden, non-perishable food items from the HOPE House Food Market, as well as new and gently-used clothing from the HOPE Stylin’ clothing market.
HOPE in Motion is one of many powerful programs at HOPE House that runs on the support of the community – and we thank Manor Landscaping for helping us to keep “moving.”
Another part of the conversation with Carlo was that of the current situation in Guelph. As a long-term resident, and business-owner here in the city (Manor Landscaping was established in 1986), Carlo has seen how the city has grown, and changed over the years.
One of the biggest “crises” we see in the city right now is the amount of homeless on the streets,
“The homeless is beginning to be a big part of our society unfortunately…I do get a little discouraged by the amount of homeless that are out there today, and I know it’s a huge problem…”
Knowing that HOPE House provides meals, clothing etc. for those afflicted by homeless, Carlo expressed that he would continue to support HOPE House in any way he could.
However, it’s multiple demographics, income levels and family situations that HOPE House services.
It doesn’t matter if you are single, partnered, have children, own or rent a home – if you are in need, we want to help.
When discussing this with Carlo, and talking about the impact of any donation that comes through to HOPE House, he commented that he “loves that it’s going direct.”
Meaning that when you donate to HOPE House, you are donating directly to the community.
“I do like helping out people who help families who are trying to make it work, so they don’t eat Macaroni and Cheese every night, maybe tonight we could have a roast pork dinner or something.”
We want to thank Carlo and the team at Manor Landscaping for all they do for HOPE House and for the community.
In your own way you are helping to grow the garden that is the city of Guelph and helping the “plants” to bloom.
“HOPE House is a great organization in the city, and I am happy to help out in any way that I can.”