Putting a smile on the face of someone who is down on their luck is always a great thing.
When you can provide that smile with a taste of honey, that is even better.
Paul and Brenda Dinn, owner/operators of Adelaide’s Honey Bee, Pollinator and Wildflower Reserve in Goulds are aiming to do just this by donating a hive to the Gathering Place for the next year and 24-bottles of their product.
The presentation to Joanne Thompson of the Gathering Place and stocking of the hive was completed on Monday.
“For Adelaide’s to acknowledge us and want to do something to help, we are grateful,’’ Thompson said.
“To get this honey, something that is healthy and we can incorporate it into our meal programs creates a great link to the community,’’ she added.
Thompson said over the past two years, the number of people who seek help, shelter, a hot meal, medical attention and many other services has grown exponentially.
She said they are expecting more than 2,000 people to use their services in September alone and there were 600 people came through their doors in one day last week just for a meal.
“People come to the Gathering Place when they have no other options in life,’’ Thompson said.
“They are underhoused, under-supported and come to us from all over the province. They have come to St. John’s for supports and when those run out, they wind up at the Gathering Place.”
She said this overture today will be a big help as the honey can be used in the centre’s kitchen as they try to expand the meal program.
In addition, the Gathering Place is seeking, through the co-ordinated help from Eastern Health to expand health staff for its clients and a large donation from a community-minded citizen has allowed Gathering Place to expand its bike program, making it a means for clients to gain a mode of transportation, but also teach them skills that could lead to a social enterprise as they learn how to fix bikes.
A host of people were on hand for the presentation, including St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen, Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary, Leah B. Lewis of MUN Art Hive St John’s and Thompson. They assisted Dinn in installing honey bees into the newly painted beehive for the benefit of the Gathering Place.
“Over the past year we have been making beekeeping presentations throughout the community to girl guides, elementary schools, the Marjorie Mews library, Savour Food and Wine show and so on,” Dinn said.
“We have been carrying a beehive around with us, a very special beehive. This hive has become known as the ‘community hive’ and it was recently painted at Art Hive St John’s by the community for the community,’’ he added.
“Members of our group painted the hive, participants of our art therapy program,’’ Lewis said.
Fetting this project off the ground was a year in the making, according to Dinn. He said he and Brenda chatted about it and then talked to the Gathering Place about possibly bringing a bee hive to them, for use in their community garden.She said the group works in partnership with the Friendship Centre, Cochrane Street United Church, and The Hearthstone.
After some discussion with Thompson, it was decided the hive should be hosted at Adelaide’s due to safety concerns in the area for residents and the plan was launched.
So for the next year, the Gathering Place will have the Art Hive community beehive and all the honey it produces, in addition to the product donated to them.