Capt. Gord Taylor of The Salvation Army

Planting the seeds of success in Campbell River

The Salvation Army’s Evergreen House shelter now has a new herb garden to be used by kitchen staff

Thanks to the hard work of Andrew Caulfield, a student with North Island College’s Employment Transition program, The Salvation Army’s Evergreen House shelter now has a new herb garden to be used by kitchen staff.

The project came together when Ann Gibbs, the manager at The Salvation Army’s Evergreen House, placed an ad through the Volunteer Centre looking for volunteers to prepare a herb garden.

Cathy Patrucco, a work study assistant with NIC’s Employment Transition program, saw the ad and contacted Gibbs about having a student work on the project as part of his experience component.

The partnership seemed like a good fit.

“We worked Tuesdays and Thursdays from March 5 to April 18 for two hours,” said Patrucco. “A few shifts were spent doing research on how to build the spiral herb garden and the rest were spent at Evergreen House.”

NIC’s Employment Transition program has been assisting adults with cognitive disabilities for 20 years. Work experience is a student-driven program component.

Patrucco does her best to accommodate students in their field of interest considering their abilities and availability in Campbell River. The result couldn’t have been better for all parties involved.

“I liked working outside building the garden because the herbs we planted will make their dinners yummy,” said Caulfield.

The Salvation Army’s Evergreen House operates in partnership with BC Housing, providing up to 22 warm beds per night, showers, laundry facilities, clothing and approximately 5,000 home cooked meals per year.

“Andrew is a charming and joyful person who is focused on success and not deterred by rain or hail from pursuing his purpose,” said Gibbs.

Sue Moen, Carol Ann Caulfield, Karen Sale, Gary Patrucco, Pat Bolton and Leslyann Komljenovic who all donated resources towards this project.

“We appreciate the partnership that takes place with host employers and North Island College,” said Patrucco. “Placements such as this help the student gain valuable work skills and realistic work place expectations.”