Master Gardener Totes Travel to Honduras

Villagers with their Master Gardener tote bags.
Photo: Ardell ONeil.

Sometimes it takes a village to help a village. One Master Gardener volunteer wanted to share his appreciation for the people who helped him with a mission.

In addition to being a Master Gardener, Ardell ONeil is also part of a construction and health care mission team from the Presbytery of Tampa Bay that goes to Honduras each July.

At the last Florida Master Gardener conference in St. Augustine, Ardell noticed there were unclaimed conference tote bags. He asked statewide program coordinator Wendy Wilber if it was possible to have any of the unclaimed bags donated for his trip to Honduras. Not only did Wendy say yes, she mentioned there were other bags in storage in Gainesville, and Ardell could have them as well.

Luckily, Hillsborough Master Gardener Coordinator Nicole Pinson was making a visit to the UF campus in Gainesville. She collected all of the bags and brought them to back to Ardell in Tampa.

Ardell packed up as many as he could take and took off for Honduras. With the help of mission coordinator Alex Rodas, they were able to distribute the bags to the residents of two villages, Candalaria and Las Marias. He couldn't bring them all this year, so he plans to bring more bags with him on the next mission trip. "The kindness and assistance of Wendy and Nicole is greatly appreciated," Ardell says.

Thanks to Ardell for sharing his story and photos with us. If you have a Master Gardener story to share, let us know!

Villagers with their Master Gardener tote bags.
Photo: Ardell ONeil.