LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, also the National Day of Service, many groups across the country and in Lubbock served others, including a group at the Booker T. Washington Garden in East Lubbock.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said in a 1968 speech, “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.” Jessica Tullar Caroom, a volunteer at the garden today, said this quote inspires her to get out every year.
“We’re trying to get this area growing, trying to have this garden be thought of as a place for food.”
Jessica is starting a new non-profit called “Growing Together Texas” and in preparation for this, she goes to the Booker T. Washington Garden three times a week and some weekends to plant seeds and harvest and distribute food.
On Monday, around three dozen volunteers revamped flower beds, adding tarp and cardboard to prevent grasses from growing and keep a nutritious soil in the bed. Some volunteers assembled a new green house while others picked up trash nearby.
“And so one of our volunteers took vegetables to her church. It’s here in the neighborhood. And then I took a load of vegetables over to Catholic Charities to the food pantry.”
The garden is also kept alive by community partners such as Voice of Hope- a rape crisis center, The Lubbock Roots Arts Historical Council, 100 Black Men of West Texas, and more.
“I see hope and I see our future and I see a community coming together for the betterment of their community,” said Kenneth Castillo, a primary prevention specialist with Voice of Hope
“I also want folks to understand the history and the struggle that Dr. King went through to get folks to where they are today. It’s a fight that we are still fighting 50-60 years later and it’s a fight that has not gone away. It’s just evolved and it’s the same fight that we have been fighting for years and we have taken up this fight and we are going to keep on going.”
“But essentially, if you can get yourself in service, that is all you need to do. And so that’s why I always came here on MLK Day. It was a thing that we could do. More than anything, sharing a picture, whatever else, that’s all fine and good. But putting your hands in the soil and helping our neighbors and friends, that’s what we are trying to do,” said Jessica.
Now, both Jessica and Kenneth are hoping this garden can help feed others, bring groups together to serve, and become a setting for new friendships.
If you want to volunteer at the garden, head to the Lubbock Roots Historical Arts Council’s Facebook page for more information.