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This holiday season, DIG invites you to plant seeds that reap life

Wanting to spread a little cheer this holiday season? Why not DIG?

Development In Gardening (DIG) is a non-profit organization with a mission to improve the health, well-being and earning potential of HIV-positive and other at-risk individuals in developing nations, such as Senegal, Uganda, Namibia and the Dominican Republic. They teach the necessary farming skills and provide the infrastructure to create sustainable and successful community gardens.

Staff, patients and volunteers at hospitals, community clinics and orphanages are taught ways of recycling garbage objects, like tires, rice sacks and PVC pipes into integral parts of their gardens. They are also taught methods that improve fruit and vegetable beds and are provided with knowledge on plant care, crop rotation, and how to coordinate vegetable production with nutritional needs.

By implementing these objectives DIG volunteers establish local gardeners as the future source of information and instruction. They also teach economical ways for out-patients and staff to duplicate the process at home; they provide technical assistance with the marketing and selling of surplus produce and assist in reducing the overall costs of caring for HIV patients, thereby empowering people to improve both their nutrition and earning potential.

With the holiday season now in full swing, many of us are still in the process of purchasing gifts or searching for a way to help those less fortunate, and DIG offers great gift ideas at various fiscal tiers.

There are three options that cost $25 or less, which provide the current community gardens and outpatients with either 10 packs of vegetable seeds, 10 fruit tree seedlings or 3 durable watering cans. At the $30 tier you can spice up someone’s life with essential seeds for an herb garden or for $50 you can help provide gardening tools such as shovels, rakes and hoes.

Larger monetary gifts, ranging from $100 to $2,000, enable DIG to provide those in need with a home-urban garden, fencing for a facility garden, start-up materials for one small business, an 800-gallon water storage tank or entire community garden.

DIG Co-Founders Steve Bolinger and Sarah Koch invite you to consider the power of a transaction.

"For DIG, the transaction is one of transformation. It is about connection and re-connecting. It is about bringing a harvest into a barren space, finding life in the seemingly lifeless, and seeing the world in a single seed.

"This transaction is not charity, rather it is an exchange. To ‘DIG’ is to be on a journey, together revealing that when we sow seeds of hope, we all reap life abundant.”

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