Condon girls’ ‘Giving Garden’ shares love

Submitted to Dorchester Banner From left, Jaden and Cailey Condon provide meals and fresh produce for those in need, through their project, “Wish for a Dish.”

Submitted to Dorchester Banner
From left, Jaden and Cailey Condon provide meals and fresh produce for those in need, through their project, “Wish for a Dish.”

RHODESDALE – Jaden and Cailey Condon are just 12 and 11, but that hasn’t stopped them from reaching out to neighbors with food from their garden.

And from their hearts.

“We want them to know they are loved,” Cailey said on Friday.

The daughters of Jodie and Billy Condon, the girls live on the family farm between Vienna and Rhodesdale. When they met Leslie Bishop of MidShore Meals til Monday (MtM), they saw an opportunity for reaching out to the less fortunate, by supplying fresh produce from their own veggie patch.

“We started our garden and grew corn, tomatoes and watermelon,” as well as other fruits and vegetables, Cailey said.

That fits right in with what MtM is doing, as that volunteer organization is “going gangbusters with sending home food for 175 children in six summer programs,” Ms. Bishop said in a prepared statement. The group got its start packing food for children to take home from school over the weekends, and has extended its efforts through the summer.

But as in most charity pantry operations, most of the food available is canned, dried or otherwise packaged. That makes sense, but children need more.

“One of the critical needs for our kids is fresh produce,” Ms. Bishop said. “A piece of fresh fruit is a key component of what we send home.”

The Condons are doing something about it, by sharing their harvest. A couple of weeks ago, “They donated about 50 cucumbers and fresh tomatoes,” Ms. Bishop said. “The cucumbers went home in our MtM bags and the tomatoes provided a fresh addition to lunch for the children at the Empowerment Center Summer Camp.”

Ms. Condon said the Giving Garden got its start when some surplus seeds and plants from the main farm were available. So they went into the girls’ project, and now, “We have about 30 tomato plants,” Ms. Condon said, as well as the other crops.

So, let’s pause a moment to consider: Working in the fields, packing and delivering food, and last but certainly not least, navigating the middle school years – that’s enough for two young girls, right?

Not quite.

“We love to cook, and we love to make people happy,” Cailey said.

So she and her sister create dishes for people recovering from illnesses or who have other critical needs.

“These girls do this out of their desire to help,” Ms. Bishop said. “I am humbled to know this family and feel they are very special.”

Maybe part of the solution for what ails the world is just finding a talent or opportunity that can be used to help others. The Condon girls seem to know that already.

Jaden said, “Everybody has a way to make other people happy.”

To learn more about Wish for a Dish, visit the project’s Facebook page. To learn about MidShore Meals til Monday visit www.midshoremealstilmonday.org.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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