Summertime at our two shelters, Haven House and Anselma House, include a lot of planning for out door activities. The summer sunshine and fresh air often uplift our residents and fill them with energy during a very trying time for them.

At both shelters we are fortunate to have a gathering space for adults and even a play area for children. One special feature we also enjoy are our gardens.

The on site garden at Anselma House is cared for by residents and volunteers, and supported by Toyota Motor Manufacturing.

The on site garden at Anselma House is cared for by residents and volunteers, and supported by Toyota Motor Manufacturing.

Spending time in the garden has long been proven a very therapeutic activity. It calms your mind, gives you purpose, and instils a sense of accomplishment. Working in a garden not only is great exercise for the body,

but it can quiet a very stressful mind.

We are thankful to our partners at Toyota Motor Manufacturing who recognize how important this can be not only for our residents but for their employees.

For the last few years, Toyota has provided a plot of land at their Cambridge manufacturing plant that is designated an employee community garden. They encourage their employees to participate in the planning, planting, caring and harvesting of this garden on their breaks, lunches and after work hours. The “Healing Harvest” committee is so successful that they are able to reach out to Women’s Crisis Services and offer a portion of their harvest to our shelters.

Committee member Beke consults with our Food and Nutrition coordinators to learn what is needed at the shelters before planting starts. Every two weeks, a plentiful harvest is ready for residents to enjoy.

Not only do they provide delicious fresh produce, they also help us with our ON SITE gardens at our shelters. Providing seeds, plants and funding for maintenance, we are able to teach residents about the importance and benefits of growing your own garden.

With their Healing Harvest, Toyota is not only nurturing their own employees, they are nourishing hundreds in our Region. Thank you Toyota!