Thanks to our volunteers, Girls at Work, Inc.’s new Elm Street location blossoms just in time for first summer camp

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Thanks to some dedicated volunteers from Timberland and the UNH Master Gardeners club, when our first set of summer builders arrive for our first camps in our new Elm Street shop, they’ll be welcomed by a lush garden landscape in the middle of downtown Manchester.

Every year for one day in May, Timberland shuts down to allow every employee of the Streatham-Based company to volunteer for a non-profit that benefits the community.

This year, 35 Timberland employees chose to work with our founder Elaine Hamel to build a maze of raised garden beds outside our shop.

The day before the installation of the raised beds, volunteers from the Master Gardeners tilled and prepared the area.

What had been a trampled city lawn was made ready to blossom — just like the transformation our builders undergo after working with power tools.

Girls At Work Inc provides after-school and summer camp opportunities for girls from low-income or other disadvantaged families to build wood furniture and other crafts with power tools, unlocking the power within themselves.

This year, our first in at a new shop at 4 Elm Street, the girls from our after school programs in Manchester will be able to attend a one-week summer camp at no cost.

The gardens will allow Girls At Work, Inc., to incorporate an additional layer to our summer camp curriculum: talking about gardening and healthy foods.

The eventual yield from the garden will be sent to the nearby Local Moose Cafe, whose staff will be part of the lessons about healthy food.

“It’s really important to have well rounded girls,” Hamel said. “Some of these kids, growing up in the city, they don’t know where vegetables come from.”

But, not every inch of every garden bed is given over to veggies. Hamel planted a few beautiful flowers, just because.

“When they arrive, I wanted to them to see the plants, the flowers, to feel good, to know this is a space that is all about them, and that it’s a beautiful space,” Hamel said. “From the time they walk into the parking lot, I want everything to say, ‘we care about you.’”

It costs $450 per girl to run our summer camps, but the effect on our girls is priceless. Some of the cost is offset by support from the local school district, but the rest comes from our supporters. Click here to make a gift to Girls at Work and send a girl to camp! Help our girls unlock the power within.