Giving Your Best: Shirley Christie - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Giving Your Best: Shirley Christie

By Jennie Montgomery

Time to recognize our third Giving Your Best winner of the year:  Shirley Christie.

Shirley began volunteering at the Bethlehem Community Center when she moved to Augusta in 2004.

She helps with the after school program and with adult literacy, but she's in the spotlight tonight for her time in the dirt!

Back in November of 2010, Shirley started a community vegetable garden. She has been teaching children about the hard work and rewards of growing fresh produce. She has also provided hearty vegetables to more than 150 low-income families, impacting their health and wellness.

Shirley Christie: "We've put in peas, we've put in turnips, we've put in carrots, we've put in lettuce and spinach- that's gonna last out through the cool weather."

Shirley's an avid gardener, and having lived in other cities, she knew the value of community gardens.

"I'm also a 'from scratch' kind of person so I like everything fresh. I said to myself, 'this neighborhood really needs a garden!"

She was already spendind a lot of time at the Bethlehem Community center as a volunteer and decided it was time to sow some seeds.

"I thought, uh, that's gonna be a lot of work but it was something I needed to do and so I asked the board of New Bethlehem and they said 'Sure!' and it got started."

Millicent West nominated Shirley for the Giving Your Best award because she knows her efforts come from the heart. She says many people would not give as unselfishly as Shirley has.

"She has been out there on hot days tilling soil by herself and she gets resources for the garden, she finds manure and all of the stuff that helps make that garden what it is. It's just such a blessing to us to have her just give of herself in that way."

Shirley allows herself to enjoy the award for about two minutes... then her mind is right back in the garden!

"Hopefully get a really good summer crop of tomatoes, melons, that sort of thing!"

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