Volunteers, students gather to help build garden for disabled ve - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Volunteers, students gather to help build garden for disabled veterans

(Source: WISTV) (Source: WISTV)
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

Veterans will have a new place to go for healing thanks to dozens of volunteers and anonymous donations.

Students, community members, and volunteers worked around the clock on Saturday to help rebuild a garden that was destroyed in the October 2015 flood.

The Big Red Barn Retreat in Blythewood donated land to rebuild the garden and soon veterans like Michael Steward will have a new place to go for healing.

“We recognized we were kind of short when it came to dealing with paralyzed veterans,” Sutton Shaw, the owner of the Red Barn said.

Shaw says Steward was the inspiration behind the growing “Dancing Tomato” garden. At one point in his life he was considering taking his own life. He changed his mind after seeing a growing tomato that was being rained on but still seemed to dance. He said seeing how the tomato responded to the rain is what made him reconsider his decision of suicide.

"I am just honored to be able to build it for him,” she said. “He’s a very optimistic guy."

The garden, which is in its early stages of being built, will be a gathering spot and a way of life.

“To see people be able to come out here and get their hands in the dirt and have those conversations over planting, it just makes me feel great,” Shaw said. “I think everything that comes out here feels great about it."

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