Botanical Joy

A Creative Way to Spread Joy in the Senior Community

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Key Club Sponsor Amy Durden shows off some avocado pits that have been donated to her as a part of Harvest for Healing. Durden and the club’s goal for Harvest for Healing is to spread positivity throughout the senior community. “[Our goal] is to try and bring joy and hope in watching the seeds grow into seedlings and then plants,” Durden said. “With so much depression, despair, isolation and sickness, [we figured that] it’s a way to have a small [amount of positivity].”

Ruchi Sankolli, Reporter

The Key Club has begun a new event known as Harvest for Healing, in which they collect gardening supplies and vegetable/fruit scraps such as avocado pits in order to plant them. 

“We’re collecting avocado pits and Mrs. Durden [is going] to plant them in soil properly, so that they will grow,” junior member Asha Fisher said. “Then, we’re going to pass them along to a nursing home for its residents to take over [in] caring for [the plants].” 

The club began this event in the spring and they will be collecting supplies until the end of the year. This way, they can keep the flow of the supplies constant, and get as many donations as possible for the nursing home residents. With this event, club sponsor Amy Durden said the club hopes to spread positivity to the nursing home residents.

“[Our goal] is to try and bring joy and hope in watching the seeds grow into seedlings and then plants,” Durden said. “With so much depression, despair, isolation and sickness, [we figured that ] it’s a way to have a small [amount of positivity].”

Without the ability to do major events due to social distancing, the creation of this event was to provide a safe and enjoyable activity for the members, according to President Jackson Streit. This way, everyone will be safe and still be able to contribute to the community. 

“Our club has been focusing on socially distanced ways to volunteer while still having a positive impact on our community,” Streit said. “[For this reason], we decided that Harvest for Healing would be a safe, but enjoyable way for [the] Key Club to do service and help our community.”  

Streit encourages students to participate and contribute to the many donations and drives the club offers. Collecting items and donating is a good option for students at this time, according to Streit.

“If [students] are not comfortable with doing service in person, we offer many drives and collections for people to donate to,” Streit said. “If you wish to participate in an upcoming event, please collect plant seeds and avocado pits for Harvest for Healing or diapers and wipes for Gear for Kids, which can be dropped off at the front office. Please label these items with ‘Key Club’ or ‘Mrs. Durden.’”

Aside from Harvest for Healing, the Key Club has already begun participating in other service events, most of which adhere with social distancing guidelines, which is what the club is aiming for this year. 

“One service organization we are involved with is Bowwow Therapy Reading Dogs, where people can submit videos of themselves reading children’s books to their dogs for kids to enjoy,” Streit said. “Another service organization we work with is Cardz for Kidz, where we create cards with positive messages for children who are hospitalized.”

Many of the members express joy about making a change in someone’s life by partaking in a small activity. For them, giving back in small ways emphasizes the importance of the smaller details in life. 

“What brings me the most joy about being a part of this is the fact that I can make somebody’s life markedly by doing something that I would consider simple and negligible,” Fisher said. “I typically don’t think twice about avocados and potted plants, but it can and does bring so much joy to the nursing homes residents’ lives, and I find that amazing.” 

Other students express happiness and pride toward the good cause of this. For junior member Barbara Sylvester, Harvest for Healing reflects the genuine desire to do good for others. 

“I think it feels absolutely great [to make a difference in someone else’s life],” Sylvester said. “Even though to us it feels like such a small deed, but to the folks in the nursing home, it is a big kind gesture. It really shows that people care and constantly think about [others]. I think it’s just so great what Harvest for Healing is doing.”