Melanie Williams, a member of the Praxis Community Near East House in Columbus, was awarded a $2500 United Thank Offering Grant for development of the Woodland Park Community Garden.

United Thank Offering grants were awarded to 10 young adults and five seminarians by the Episcopal Church Executive Council at its February meeting in Fort Worth, TX following the recommendation by the United Thank Offering Board.

The United Thank Offering is a ministry to promote thankfulness and mission in The Episcopal Church. Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering grants are awarded for projects that address human needs and help alleviate poverty, both domestically and internationally in The Episcopal Church.

Funding for the 15 grants was derived from the Ingathering from General Convention 2015. The one-year grants are $2500 each and are based on the Five Anglican Marks of Mission.

“We were overwhelmed by the amazing work these young adults and seminarians are doing in the church and grateful for the opportunity to hear their stories and continue to journey with them in their ministry,” noted Sandra Squires, President of the United Thank Offering Board.

The Woodland Park Community Garden will be created on an abandoned lot at the Near East House property and maintained by members of the neighborhood, with an emphasis on the youth, which will create bonds between residents. This is a collaborative project between the residents of Near East House and St. Philip’s, Columbus. The harvested produce will be distributed to those who work in the garden, providing individuals with fresh vegetables which otherwise would not be affordable. Any excess items will be given to the St. Philip’s food pantry. The grant will fund materials needed to build raised beds and eco-friendly rain barrels and irrigation equipment.