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Pride MMA & Lovato's BJJ Volunteer at the TLC Donation Garden

This weekend I had the pleasure of  volunteering time at the TLC Donation Garden along with our Leadership students ( the “Lion’s Den” )  and some of the students and coaches from our affiliate school - Lovato’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  

The TLC Donation Garden is a community garden with more than 60 raised beds that provide thousands of pounds of fresh produce for charity.  They began donating crops to the BritVil Food Pantry last year, and as the garden has grown, the increased yield allowed them to offer food to the the Homeless Alliance as well. This year, garden workers have delivered 2,100 pounds of food to their charities. 

Volunteering at the garden was an awesome experience on many levels.  First of all, one of my favorite things about this job, is getting to take what we teach on the mat and connect it with something bigger off the mat.  It is one thing to talk about compassion, cooperation, diligence and generosity (just a few of our “words of the week” ) in classes.  Its another all together to put it to practice.  Getting to see them put those character qualities (and others) in action was very rewarding.  

Secondly, Its Important that our kids understand the importance of giving.  Saturday, these kids gave their time and their hearts (and also a little sweat) for the benefit of others, and they enjoyed every minute of it. 

This adventure also gave us the ability to meet, and interact with our affiliate school.  In past leadership projects, I’ve seen how doing something for others as a team, brings the students closer together.  The more they do, the tighter knit they become.  I was excited to see this same process begin with our Lovato BJJ brothers and sisters.  

Finally, the staff at the TLC Donation Garden, Jenn Mabry and her assistant Josh Cash, were amazing.  They made this an educational experience for all.  They explained each step of the work, from the basics of weeding, pruning and seeding, to planting for the purpose of bringing nutrients into the soil, and harvesting their crops for the food pantry and the Homeless Alliance.   It was an awesome day!  I look forward to doing it again soon!