Gardening for homeless
Boy Scout helps Mission of Hope
By Scott Bellile
Homeless individuals often have little to take ownership of in their lives. But at the future Mission of Hope House shelter, Boy Scout Adam Reimer is helping to change that.
When Waupaca County’s homeless families begin moving into the MOHH next year, there will be a backyard garden to tend courtesy of Reimer, a 17-year-old Hortonville High School senior and a Hortonville Boy Scouts Troop 36 member.
“That way they have the opportunity to be able to take care of something,” Adam Reimer said.
The son of Ken and Patty Reimer, Adam Reimer built three 12-inch raised garden beds for the MOHH as part of his Eagle Scout Service Project.
Shelter residents will grow vegetables such as lettuce, onions, tomatoes and peppers in the beds. The crops will lower the shelter’s grocery costs and stock the kitchen.
The responsibility will be one of many ways the nonprofit MOHH aims to transform its homeless from struggling to self-sustaining.
Shelter co-founder Lori Prahl and retired Fox Valley Technical College professor Jim Beard signed off on the project. Adam Reimer expects to achieve his Eagle ranking in the coming months after he earns a few last Merit Badges.
The purpose of the Eagle Project is for the Scout to improve a nonprofit entity while proving he possesses the skills of a leader, Adam Reimer said.
To demonstrate leadership, Adam Reimer planned, organized and carried out the construction of the raised garden beds with his fellow Scouts, Patty Reimer said.
Four scouts assisted him in construction of the beds in his garage on July 29. Eight helped install the beds behind the MOHH on Aug. 22.
Besides the boys’ help, Adam Reimer received donated funds, supplies and dirt from supporters of his project.
“Ultimately I’m really pleased with how everything ended up turning out in the end,” Adam Reimer said.
MOHH co-founder Lori Prahl said the beds look like simple square boxes filled with dirt, but much work and thought went into creating them.
For starters, Adam Reimer said he used rough cut cedar because it is long-lasting wood. Plus, unlike treated wood, cedar does not contain the chemicals that could harm the plants’ lives.
Prahl appreciates youth like Adam Reimer using MOHH as an outlet to “spread their wings and fly.”
“Mission of Hope House is full of gratitude for Adam stepping forward and for his efforts and hard work in this project,” Prahl said.
Now MOHH seeks gardening or canning experts who can volunteer time to teach everyone proper techniques, Prahl said. Anyone interested can call 920-249-4705.
“We’re looking for people that that is their passion, they love to garden,” Prahl said. “So come and teach us, mentor us, both Mission of Hope House and others on both how to garden and how to utilize the food that’s grown.”