Many non-profit agencies are experiencing funding cuts that affect services to their clients, including United Cerebral Palsy of Central California (UCPCC), an agency geared toward providing assistance and enrichment activities to people with a wide range of disabilities. UCPCC leadership was interested in starting a gardening project at the Fresno center, but was lacking the funds for supplies to set the project in motion.
How has 4-H helped?
The Fresno County All-Stars met with UCPCC administration to learn how Fresno County 4-H could assist the agency and the idea for a summer garden party came about. Not only would the garden project beautify the center’s patio and give the students a new experience, it would also provide fresh vegetables that could be used in the on-site kitchen. All-Stars volunteered at a UCP holiday party during their vacation to get to know some of the students and planned a county-wide 4-H yard sale to involve 4-Hers of all ages in the project. The response was outstanding as the high school parking lot was swarming with customers. A workshop on transplanting was hosted by Fowler High ornamental horticulture teacher Paul Magill, and the All-Stars received help from Sierra 4-H/Sierra High Rotary Interact Club with an Activity-a-Thon fundraiser, which paid for a variety of gardening tools and potting soil for the project.
On June 11, 2012, beautiful hand-made redwood planters specially designed for wheel-chair-bound students, filled with flowers and vegetable plants were featured at the garden party. A variety of arts and crafts and performing arts sessions were organized by the All Stars, and hosted with the help of 4-H clubs from throughout Fresno County. The story about the All Star Garden Party aired on Channel 30 Action News, which reaches all of Central California.
Not only would the garden project beautify the center’s patio and give the students a new experience, it would also provide fresh vegetables that could be used in the on-site kitchen.
-The Fresno County 4-H Allstars
This project impacted many of the 4-H clubs in Fresno County, as they teamed with the All Stars to assist with donations for the yard sale and turned out to help with activities the day of the Garden Party. The clients at the center were also impacted through the hands-on art and gardening projects held that day. Best of all, the specially handcrafted redwood planters will be enjoyed for many years to come, as will the remainder of the grant provided supplies for future projects at the United Cerebral Palsy of Central California