Tami Hendrix, owner of Meg’s Gift Shop in High Point, does more than offer the perfect present; she literally nourishes our community. Her family started a small garden and realized that it was producing more food than they would be able to eat. She knew that Open Door Shelter accepted donations of canned and boxed food, but fresh produce would be very beneficial to the 400 or more people they serve each day. Tami realized that this could become a larger scale effort and others in the community would be interested in helping out, so she began collecting donated produce in her shop, contacting local media and encouraging other businesses to participate.
5 years later, Tami is still collecting donated food with help from others in the community. She has realized that you don’t have to do it all yourself and that people will step up and volunteer in areas where they have skill sets and feel comfortable. We were very interested in Tami’s work and she was kind enough to answer a few of our questions.
ma Cares: Are you able to donate produce year-round or mainly during harvesting season?
Tami: We accept canned goods year-round, so we are able to donate food even outside of harvesting season, which is June, July and August. In the winter we make breads, catch sales at the store, etc…
Tami: It is so rewarding to have a retail shop that can be a useful platform for giving. If every business did a little something it would make a big difference. I encounter individuals who want to help but just don’t know how and we can show them how to put their ideas to work. We encourage people to realize that giving is more than just an item; volunteering your time is so important.
I recently spoke to a group of seniors at Southside Community Association who have a garden as well as an area set aside specifically to teach the area youth about planting and harvesting vegetables in order to share them. It is not just about the individuals at work, but a connection that is created between people.
ma Cares: What if someone doesn’t know how to garden, but would still like to help?
Tami: We have asked volunteers to use zucchini to make zucchini bread. You can cook and still help out without growing the vegetables. We also accept plants that could be planted in a garden, canned and boxed food donations too.
ma Cares: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Tami: Just like ma Cares is connected with the community, if we all look in our own backyard as to what we can do to help the whole, even a little will make a huge difference.
To learn more about Meg’s Community Garden and find out how you can get involved visit http://megsgiftshop.com/megs-community-garden.cfm. We encourage everyone to seek out opportunities to give back to their local communities because true giving isn’t just about something you buy; it is about what comes from your heart that is given to another.
This article was written by Andrew Bonner
I grew up in Greensboro, NC, and like most southern guys I'm pretty laid back - except when it comes to Sports. My father and grandfather both attended the University of Tennessee, so as a youth I was thoroughly brainwashed to be a Big Orange fan. I ended up going to school there myself, and was fortunate enough to witness a National Championship during my sophomore year. Well, my first sophomore year anyway. :-) Apart from sports, my other interests include History, Politics, Astronomy, Video Games, and anything related to Technology. To be perfectly honest I'm a total nerd. I took apart my first computer when I was 9 years old (my uncle never really forgave me), and have been hooked ever since. This fascination with technology translated into a love of the sciences in college, but my inability to do Math beyond a 2nd grade level really put a damper on my career in Astrophysics. Aside from that, I'm the proud owner of three of the world's dumbest dogs - a claim that has been proven time and again by their utterly absurd eating habits. Let's just say I've come home from work only to find they've eaten part of a metal chair. I suspect they are part Billy goat. Nevertheless, I love Emmy, Jack, and Reggie with all my heart.