A gift inspired by the March 2022 AAN story of an in-memory donation for MANS Gardening program has covered the cost of the new rototiller as the donors intended. But the extra bit Robert and Gigi Obradovic threw in for good measure when told the rototiller cost yielded a whole lot more: it enabled the purchase of a much-needed new tractor as well.
The Obradovics recently moved to Lacombe from Nanaimo, where Gigi taught for 27 years at the Departure Bay Eco School, which incorporates gardening into its curriculum to great effect. Both Gigi, who grew up in Brazil, and Robert, who was expelled from school in Yugoslavia over Sabbath absences, struggled to get their educations and saw an opportunity to make a difference through MANS.
The same day that Gigi delivered their donation to the Conference office, MANS’ much-used old tractor died. With a little work, Principal Mike Willing was able to sell the old tractor and with the additional donation, money was able to purchase a new tractor as well as a rototiller. Besides helping the garden program, the new tractor will also be put to use in the construction program and grounds upkeep, to name some of its uses.
In the card Gigi enclosed with their donation were inspirational quotes for the MANS staff.
"Gardens and children need the same things — patience, love and someone who will never give up on them." - N. Sowder
"Life hurts, nature heals." - Unknown
"Why try to explain miracles to your children when you can have them plant a garden?" - Janet Kilburn Phillips