It all started with a solicitation letter to Lowe’s for garden supplies. Sustainable Renton was requesting help with things such as garden hoses, hand tools, weed trimmers and seeds. The next thing that happened was we received a call from Patrick Miskelly, the store Manager at the Lowe’s Renton branch. He asked if Sustainable Renton might want to be considered for their annual in-store Local Heroes Project. We obviously jumped at the opportunity.
Next, Lisa Williams, the Human Resource Manager called and asked us about our mission and what services we provide for our community. We spoke about our history, about the plans and ideas that we are working towards. She asked about our obstacles and what we thought Lowe’s could do to help. After five years of gardening at our site located behind Celebration Church in the East Renton Highlands neighborhood, we had become frustrated with the amount of food the deer were helping themselves to, so a deer fence was at the top of our priority list. Also, we knew with a greenhouse that we could save ourselves a lot of money every season as well as create a stream of revenue by growing and selling our own starts in the Spring and in the Fall. Lisa made note of these things and asked us to come in for a face-to-face meeting.
At this meeting we met the appointed project lead, Adam Drummond, who served as the contact between Sustainable Renton and Lowe’s.
Adam made a site visit and saw what kind of tools and situation we had for gardening. Admittedly we were working with hand me down tools, either donated by gardeners over the years or purchased used at garage sales. Adam asked us if we had a wish list of things we may want if they had any extra money to throw at this project. So we told him about all of our hopes and dreams, not dreaming in a hundred years that we would get what we asked for.
Sustainable Renton has been asking for help through grant writing and donation solicitation for 7 years with limited results. When Lowe’s showed up on September 27th with a crew of about 15 people, a greenhouse, a
locking tool shed, the means to install a deer fence, complete with 6′ gates, a variety of tools, 400′ of 3/4″ hose, hose reels, weed trimmers, wheelbarrows and approximately 300 packets of seeds, we felt as though we had won the lottery!
These folks were great that day! They arrived around 7 am and made a whole day of it at our garden working to improve our ability to bring organically grown produce to Renton!!
Sustainable Renton is truly grateful to Lowe’s for their generosity. Not just generosity of things, but of time, which is perhaps the most valuable commodity in these times of extreme business.
The lesson for us here at Sustainable Renton is to keep asking for what we need and to remain humble and grateful for all that we have been given.