Rebuilding Together Twin Cities partnered with Cambric Senior Living residents and other volunteers to create a garden for Cambric’s residents. The project was initiated by Milan Mockovak, an avid gardener for over 60 years and resident of Cambric Senior Living.

Meet Milan below, in his own words:

What made you want to volunteer?

“I was a recipient of RTTC’s service. Somebody recommended Rebuilding Together to me.  After you did such a wonderful job, I said ‘hey, I’d be very glad to help.’ When you guys did what you did, it was a revelation to me. The fact you did as much as you did, and so well.”

How has the community changed since the garden was installed?

“The real purpose of the garden is to foster community. How it has affected some of the residents, for example, one resident said, ‘now I have something to get up in the morning for.’ People who are handicapped are now able to garden in a wheelchair. We are so pleased they can garden again. The residents who gardened interacted with each other in different ways. People from the surrounding community came by and remarked how wonderful it was. It also fostered a sense of community. The woman next door allowed us to use her water. We were able to hire, at low cost, a local youth to maintain the boulevard and to keep the sidewalk clean in the winter. I might add that the garden you constructed was nominated for Blooming St. Paul, a contest by the Pioneer Press. The Pioneer Press picks three gardens and we were nominated.”

What do you get out of volunteering?

“I am getting involved in something worthwhile. One of the things I admire about RTTC is the prevention of homelessness. That really stands out to me, that you come into a home of someone in need, be it the veteran, the mom, etc., and rebuild the house so it’s accessible to someone in a wheelchair, widening doors, lowering shelves, etc. This is very important to someone who might not be able to afford it, and otherwise would have to move out. That’s important to me, just everything you do.”