MOAA Chapter Donates Tools for a VA Gardening Program for Blind Veterans

MOAA Chapter Donates Tools for a VA Gardening Program for Blind Veterans
Green Valley (Ariz.) Chapter board members, from left, Lt. Col. Darren Venters, USAF (Ret); Col. Peggy McGee, USAR (Ret); and CW3 Jack Bundy, USA (Ret), present gardening tools to Diana Kellermeyer, chief of the Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation Center. (Photo by Brenda Stockton, VA Staff)

Submitted by the Green Valley (Ariz.) Chapter


Members of the Green Valley (Ariz.) Chapter are supporting a new local program to assist blind veterans.


The Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation Center at Tucson VA Medical Center is teaching blind veterans gardening skills. Recreation therapist Shelley Marsh said she chose gardening because it is a hobby that so many find relaxing.


The medical center built a concrete walking path leading up to the garden and provided the land for raised beds and some fencing to protect the plants. However, tools were not in the budget. The chapter stepped in the help.


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“Within two weeks of learning of the need and with the monetary help of one of our community sponsors, we delivered trowels, garden trays, hand hoes specially designed for raised beds, dribbles, pruners, seed starting trays, and gardening gloves,” said Col. Peggy McGee, USAR (Ret).


“Thanks to the long growing season for the Tucson area, these veterans now have vegetables and flowers growing in what was had been an empty space just a short time ago,” she added.


This effort is just one of many ways the chapter gives back to the local military and veterans’ community. The chapter also gives scholarships to area students; supports troops at Thanksgiving; contributes to the food locker at the 162nd Fighter Wing, Air National Guard; supports veterans and deployed troops with special items; and sponsors Honor Flights for its members.


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