Orange County Branch Newsletter

September 2016

Younger Member Forum

YMF - Mercy House Community Service

By: Izzy Loh and Gibson Phan

This was a great community service opportunity for those who wanted to get their hands dirty...literally. ASCE YMF OC volunteered to construct a garden at one of Mercy House’s resident home located in Anaheim, CA on June 12, 2016.

Mercy House is a non-profit organization that ASCE YMF OC has partnered up with. They provide housing and comprehensive supportive services for a variety of homeless populations, which include families, adult men and women, mothers and their children, persons living with HIV/AIDS, individuals overcoming substance addictions, and some who are physically and mentally disabled.

The volunteer group constructed two garden boxes for the residents. The construction of the garden boxes took two days to complete. Materials and assorted vegetables were purchased in advance before the day of the build. We all worked together as a team and applied our various construction skills in order to build two large boxes (5’ x 3’). Once the boxes were constructed, we had to reconfigure the landscape in order to have the boxes in the appropriate area of the backyard. We remove partial area of grass and laid out wire mesh to prevent rodents from entering the boxes from the bottom. Also, we wanted the garden boxes to be located in an ideal area for all members including those with walkers or wheelchairs to have access to. With extensive planning and coordination, the project turned out to be a small design build project. Overall, we were successful and the residents were happy and excited about having a garden where they can grow their own food. Overall, it was a rewarding experience for all involved and especially to give back to the residents knowing that our project will last for future years.