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Volunteers help Busy Bee children plant gardens, beautify nature area

Thanks to more than 40 volunteers from Illinois Tool Works (ITW) and the United Way, children at Busy Bee Children’s Center in Waukegan, Ill., are enjoying a newly planted vegetable garden and revamped nature area.

On June 14, the volunteers assisted the children at the Waukegan day care center in planting tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins and yellow squash plants that were donated by ITW. Busy Bee now has eight gardens, one for each class. When the vegetables are harvested they will be donated to a local food pantry.

The volunteers and children also beautified the campus nature area, where the Busy Bee ducks reside, by planting deer- and duck-resistant perennials. The perennials, donated by ITW, are around the pond and throughout the area. Further, the group made the grounds a more welcoming place to learn by clearing brush and removing low-hanging limbs. Outdoor play equipment also was power washed.

At the end of the day, the children presented the volunteers with thank-you cards that each classroom had made.

The children are thrilled with their new gardens and part of each class period is spent watering, weeding, and learning how plants grow.

This “Day of Caring” event will be part of a video created by ITW to promote a new volunteer program for the company’s employees. Volunteer hours will be tracked by the company and an equivalent monetary donation will be made to the participating agency at the end of each year.

Pictured: Andy Kroll of Illinois Tool Works got a hug from one of the children from Busy Bee Children’s Center after he and other volunteers helped beautify the center’s grounds.