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November 9, 2023

Reflections on Reciprocity for Veteran's Day

Reflections on Reciprocity for Veteran's Day
Transformation starts with a connection, when two different beings or entities come together in a way that change each other.

—Kim Pham

GRuB volunteers support GRuB's work, and in return, nourish deeper connection—to community, to food, and to the land. Although our volunteer programs shifted with COVID-19, dozens of individuals built gardens, helped behind the scenes, or grew food for the community. Families, students, veterans, and retirees all brought their gifts to GRuB's programs and places.

We're grateful to share the perspective of GRuB Board member, Navy Veteran, and super-volunteer Kim Pham who broke her personal garden-building record this year, and will likely do more before year's end! In her own words, she describes what volunteering at GRuB has meant to her:

Transformation starts with a connection, when two different beings or entities come together in a way that change each other. That’s how I’d describe my experience with GRuB. I connected with GRuB for the first time in 2016 shortly after I moved to Olympia when I hadn’t yet found a job and wasn’t sure what the future held for me. I love being outside and I love good food, so I figured what better way to learn about my new community than to build gardens for the folks who might need it most. Well good thing GRuB was around and gave me the opportunity to do just that. It was a natural fit because coming from the military, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life serving in one capacity or another. GRuB has offered, through its amazing mission and its many programs that support our communities, a place for me to grow in service over the past few years, from garden building, to partnering with GRuB through my own Veterans Conservation Corps program, back to gardening building (my fave!), and more recently as a GRuB board member. I believe only an organization that is willing and capable of transforming itself with purpose and meaning to meet the needs of those it serves can cultivate impactful and enduring connections with those it serves.

Kim Pham

Kim doing one of her favorite things: shoveling dirt!

Learn more about our volunteers, and ways to volunteer with GRuB here. Consider a donation this Veteran's Day in honor of our many volunteers and veterans through Give Local.

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