Community Garden Offers Hope for West Side Residents

Local News

A community garden on Charleston’s west-side is providing a safe place for folks on the down and out. 85-year-old Tom Toliver is the care take of the community garden on Rebecca St. 

“I’m so thankful for this place,” Toliver told 13 News. “My mouth has carried me all over the world but without a doubt I can say, we’ve got the best.” 

Toliver says his motto is “Sow, grow, and eat” — how fitting for a man whose life mission is to help others through a community garden. 

The community garden on Rebecca St. sits behind the Shining Light Celebration Church on Charleston’s West Side. The garden is home to corn, tomatoes, peppers, melons… all fair game for local community members on the down and out. But Toliver is more proud of his garden for another reason. 

“Its a garden of hope,” the 85-year-old said. “We can help people in this community to grow food and then by growing there food they got a job and they begin to have a self worth.” 

Toliver added, “If everybody would give back then everybody would have something to share.” 

What started as a tiny community garden, now has blooming plans for the future. it brings me a lot of peace.

“It brings me joy to see that people who need the food we can bring it to them. 
and a place for others to learn and grow,” said volunteer Mary Fitzgerald. 

Toliver says the problem moving forward will be volunteers. 

“Anyone who wants to volunteer, who wants to lend a hand. Our garden would love it and appreciate it. The people of Charleston will appreciate it.” 

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