Volunteering with Heart

Edgewood is so fortunate to have generous volunteers like Edith Jones (She/Her) who came to Edgewood through a recommendation from a neighbor in the local community. Edith, a Bay Area local, returned to San Francisco in December 2019 after enjoying retirement life in Oceanside, San Diego where she lived with her dear late husband. 

Here in San Francisco, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and seven-year-old grandson, volunteering for a local Food Bank and in the garden at Edgewood. Originally, she sought the opportunity to contribute to the landscaping and beautification efforts here at Edgewood. Her gentle manner and appreciation for our work with children and families grew quickly to her working directly with the youth in the garden and in partnership with our staff and counselors. 

Edgewood Center for Children and Families sources an assortment of seeds and starter plants from Sloat Garden Center in San Francisco. From strawberries, carrots, radishes, lettuce, artichokes, herbs and flowers, our garden hosts a variety of healthy plants often harvested and shared with our kitchen. With growth throughout the seasons, students witness their efforts directly and enjoy products that contribute to the nourishment of themselves and others. 

Edith enjoys leading discussions with youth circling around transformation and climate while creating opportunities for our youth to learn about science through outdoor exploration. Edith is proud to have this chance to transmute these experiences into stories shared with youth while participating in youth development and care for the garden.  

For those students less enthusiastic about dirt, Edith offers the chance to maintain birdfeeders and supports their mindfulness practice. She hopes youth take away confidence from witnessing something as small and seemingly insignificant as a little seed that grows and changes because of their efforts just like the growth of her favorite flowers – roses. Through the experience of caring for something vulnerable such as a seedling, Edith wants to ultimately instill hope. 

Mondays at Edgewood sure are brighter because of her garden lessons. If you would like to volunteer with Edgewood to impact our youth and families just like Edith, please visit our Volunteer page to find out about more open opportunities to help others grow!