Fourteen-year-old Molly Helgeson had spent several hours working in a community garden for Tyler’s Kingdom Life Academy when she sensed the work day coming to a close.
After she and her peers pulled weeds and hauled compost in wheelbarrows from mid-morning until mid-afternoon, she wanted to give a proper goodbye to her new friends.
“It was lovely to get to know you,” she told Tyler resident Nancy Kirkpatrick while giving her a side hug.
Molly, who is from St. Paul, Minnesota, was among about 40 people with the Labor of Love USA group who were in East Texas from Friday to Sunday serving the community through several projects.
One of the largest groups was at the Kingdom Life Academy garden on Garden Valley Road. The garden serves as part of the educational program at the small, nonprofit, Christian school.
Students cultivate it and uses the produce grown there for the meals they prepare at school.
“It’s such an encouragement for us,” Nancy Kirkpatrick, Kingdom Life Academy board president and volunteer teacher said of the group’s assistance. “They have worked like crazy.”
Started in 2011, Labor of Love USA began after a group of strangers met while sharing a tour bus on a trip to Israel as part of Glenn Beck’s Restoring Courage event.