2024 Volunteer Challenge – Salvation Army Garden Project

Isett team members returned to the Salvation Army this year for the 2024 Volunteer Challenge, organized by the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley. This annual service event is the largest coordinated effort of corporate support to benefit local nonprofits in the Lehigh Valley, helping to mobilize talent and resources to make a difference in our community.

The team at Isett returns to The Salvation Army each year to refresh and renew the exterior garden at the Hospitality House, a space the team designed and created for them nearly a decade ago. Salvation Army’s Hospitality House provides food and emergency housing to women and children in need, offering hope and refuge when they need it most. Many organizations are struggling with hiring challenges and our local non-profits are getting hit the hardest. Between staff changes, budgetary issues, and economic conditions, organizations like The Salvation Army appreciate all the help they can get, and that’s where we come in.

This year’s project involved clearing old growth and debris from last year’s garden, followed by planting new vegetables, fruits, and flowers that will be used and appreciated in the newly refreshed space. Isett team members also added a series of stepping stones to create walkways within the garden, allowing for easy and convenient transport between the raised beds that Isett designed nearly ten years ago.

Tomatoes, peppers, herbs, strawberries, and raspberries are the primary plants that will supplement the kitchen at The Salvation Army and create an opportunity for the women and children to enjoy fresh, local produce in the most convenient location possible – their backyard. The raspberry bushes were planted along the garden fence to allow for easy snacking by children on their travels, connecting the natural environment to sustainable nourishment in a fun and engaging way. The courtyard space under the pergola also creates a welcome and relaxing atmosphere to visit and reflect during the busy days.

The Isett team tackled this project in two phases: Initial weeding and planting, and a follow up stepping stone layout and placement. Team members who contributed their time and talents for the multi-phased project included Andrea Martin, Gina Bongiovanni, and Layla Denissen (Municipal Engineering Services); Chad Tyrell, Mollie Miller, and Josh Dillman (Accounting); Kim Kyra (Human Resources); James Kugel (Geotechnical Engineering); Rebecca Schleicher (Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing); Chuck Wolf (Code Inspection & Plan Review); and Brandon Trate and Mike Keller (Marketing & Client Development). A great deal of appreciation is extended to all the team members for embodying our core values in our service to clients and the community.

To find out how you or your organization can help The Salvation Army in their mission to help the community, visit here.