North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center has a great team, all of whom are dedicated to going above and beyond for each and every client. Ricardo Castillo, one of our social workers, was determined that the organic garden in our Roslyn Heights office would not be a victim of pandemic neglect.
He explains: “We use the garden to help kids learn lessons about responsibility, self-confidence, teamwork and growth. But since the pandemic hit, we have been seeing most of our clients through telehealth, so they weren’t able to be onsite to tend to the garden, and they really missed the experience. I decided to use an iPad and Zoom with them when I planted and harvested from the garden, so they could feel like they were a part of the process.”
Castillo worked on the garden through the summer and early fall, and it was a beautiful sight. “In 2020 and this year, we had a great crop of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, strawberries and even watermelons,” says Castillo, who often dropped by on Sundays to volunteer his time.“We’re truly proud of our organic garden program, and especially grateful to Ricardo for all his work to keep the garden growing and to engage our clients in the process,” says Kathy Rivera, Guidance Center Executive Director. “Our staff always puts the needs of kids first.”