Associates Help Build Childrens’ Garden for Head Start Program

Some children at a Head Start program in Georgia have a better understanding of where their food comes from now, thanks to the efforts of a volunteer crew from Honda Precision Parts of Georgia (HPPG).

Seven volunteers from the HPPG built a new raised bed for gardening and a walkway to provide safe access to the children’s garden. The team also repaired some recent storm damage at the school and replenished the soil at three previously-constructed community gardens in the area.

This “Day of Service” is a partnership, now in its third year, between Honda and Healthy Haralson, a part of Tanner Health System’s “Get Healthy, Live Well” initiative. Healthy Haralson is leading the charge to address challenges that rural communities like Haralson County face in providing and accessing quality health services.

Geographic isolation, limited employment opportunities, lack of transportation and fewer healthcare providers are just some of the barriers faced by residents in rural areas such as Haralson County.

Honda, which manufactures automatic transmissions at the Tallapoosa location, sponsors service days for its associates to give back to the communities in which it operates in honor of the founding of American Honda Motor. It’s largest event, known as Team Honda Week of Service, traditionally takes place across North America each June and involves thousands of Honda associates, including Honda and Acura dealerships and Honda’s suppliers fanning out into their communities and volunteering.

During previous service days in Haralson County, volunteers have built other community gardens and a pavilion for senior citizens.

“Our Healthy Haralson and Honda partnership has already made such a difference in the community,” said Sandie Shackleford, Healthy Haralson rural health outreach coordinator. “Their volunteers show up with great energy and enthusiasm for their volunteer projects. You can tell it’s a part of the Honda culture that they embrace and they are truly committed to giving back.”

“This has been a great partnership. Honda likes to give back, and we have associates who joyfully assist in these community projects,” said Nattsu Ullom, human resources representative at Honda. “We had to reimagine our volunteer efforts this year due to COVID-19, but the community garden was a chance for us to help while social distancing outside and keeping everyone safe.”

Ullom added, “Our volunteers are great about responding to the chance to give back. We have some associates who volunteer at every event, saying that it gives them joy. You can tell by looking at their faces when the projects are done – but especially so this time – because they got to see the children come out and crowd around the raised bed. They were so excited. It really is rewarding.”

Volunteer Jon Furgerson said, “Giving back to the community is what we at Honda are all about, especially when it comes to helping children’s programs. Look what we accomplished in four hours today. It only takes a small effort to make a big difference.”

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