Benevilla, the West Valley’s premier human services nonprofit has over 400 amazing volunteers helping throughout their programs but the work that Linda Cabrera, as the Volunteer Garden Coordinator, does for their Surprise Community garden is (pun intended) hard to “beet.”
Since day one, Linda has been working, hand in hand, with Benevilla administration, marketing and the garden volunteers making sure everything runs smoothly in the almost ½ acre oasis. On a daily basis, she makes sure the garden is open and accessible to the community gardeners and everyone has all of the tools and supplies and watering they need for their gardens.
“We are so thankful for the many great supporters like Linda that choose to spend their time helping Benevilla work toward our mission of strengthening the community,” says Joanne Thomson, Benevilla President and CEO. “Linda’s commitment and service to Benevilla is truly appreciated.”
She was involved in re-designing a new gardener sign-in format and information center. For the past 2 years she directed a volunteer “spring cleaning” of the garden grounds with Councilman Ken Remley and has hosted a free Fall “Harvest Festival” for families in the community. Linda has also established new garden usage protocols, placed informational signage throughout the garden and procured several donations of garden soil and fertilizers.
With all of this on her plate, Linda has found time to insure all the 32 plus raised organic beds are rented for the year. And if that’s not enough, she also teaches organic gardening techniques and tips to local community groups. On any given day you can find Linda demonstrating to young students or neighborhood seniors how various fruits and vegetables grow in the desert southwest.
Linda came to Benevilla after retiring from a 23-year career in Informational Technology. “My main goal, as a volunteer with Benevilla is grow the exposure of the garden in the community and to leave the nonprofit in a better position than when I arrived,” says Linda. “I feel great I am achieving that goal and I know I am a better person because of the experiences I have had and the wonderful people I have met at Benevilla.”