Try and say that three times fast!   Blue Star Families and Booz Allen Hamilton teamed up last November to build a garden for the children at the Lackland AFB Youth Center. The end result was more than just a fun garden for the kids; it was a worthwhile activity for the whole family.

In 2015, Booz Allen Hamilton employees volunteered their time to plant flowers in front of the Youth Center. The Youth Center Director wanted to do something similar in 2016. Volunteer leaders worked together to define the “Pizza Garden” project, bringing in flowers and plants to transform a round patch of dirt in the center of the facility into a fun pizza-themed garden.

Booz Allen Hamilton employees and their families went to work on a Saturday morning in November, planting vegetables and herbs to fit the theme. The colors of the garden resemble those on a pizza, and the herbs chosen will create the smell of pizza. 

Volunteers proudly wore bold-colored t-shirts displaying the words “People Purpose Passion”. The “people” laughed, smiled, shared stories, and worked all morning to plant the garden.  The “purpose” offered a connection with Blue Star Families, our volunteer workers, and the Youth Center Staff.  The “passion” turned a desolate circle into a sustainable garden for all children and visitors to the Youth Center.

“I really enjoyed seeing the children out there. The kids didn’t have phones in their hands, they were talking and getting their hands dirty. It was a great family experience,” commented Robin Johnson, BSF Chapter Director in San Antonio. An employee from Booz Allen Hamilton said “I enjoyed this because I could bring my daughter; it got her outside away from technology.”

Blue Star Families really enjoyed working with Booz Allen Hamilton on this project. “I enjoyed learning about Booz Allen Hamilton and their community service ventures in San Antonio. And I loved meeting new Blue Star Families Neighbors. One person had never been on base before. No one in his family has ever served, but he said he appreciates what military families do. I liked introducing him to the youth center and talking about other military family programs. He wants to volunteer with BSF again.”

Robin said there will be more opportunities to volunteer with the San Antonio Chapter in the future. “We want to focus on more family volunteer opportunities. “

Thank you Booz Allen Hamilton volunteers for making a difference in our San Antonio community! To join the fun in San Antonio or in a community near you, be sure to join our network here

Authored by: Kate Oyer, Blue Star Families Volunteer Recognition Coordinator