1010 WINS– For over 30 years, Debbra Arndt has been growing her own vegetables and delivering them to her elderly neighborhood friends, making sure no one goes to bed hungry. The 56-year-old retired geriatric nurse even has some plants in her garden that have spanned her three decades of giving.
Arndt understands all too well what it feels like to want.
She was abandoned by her mother at a St. Louis orphanage at the age of four. This prompted her to begin her philanthropic mission 30 years ago, while working at an assisted living facility in her native Missouri. She started out by feeding and providing necessary clothing for the elderly, a project which has since morphed into her non-profit “Our Giving Hands Garden” which has been able to provide those in need with fresh vegetables, fruits, and much-needed love.
Arndt certainly has the greenest of thumbs after spending most of her adult life with her husband on a 24-acre farm in Illinois, where the couple also provided for those in need. After his passing five years ago, Arndt moved back to O’Fallon, Missouri and continued to sow her land — albeit a much smaller plot. Arndt offsets the costs of her project by selling jams, pickles, butter, salsa, and pieces of her own original artwork.
Arndt told 1010 WINS that her garden has around 500 plants to date and she loves “trying to get other people to do the same thing in their own neighborhoods.”
Arndt also has a GoFundMe page where all of the proceeds go to helping continue her garden and her mission to help those in need.