Volunteers Planting Connections at GEF Communities

Photos from left to right: Amre Supply at Buchanan Manor Apartments, Virginia Park School students at Virginia Park Lodge and Apartments, cadet volunteer at Pleasantview Place Lodge and Apartments.

Planting Days 2024 saw our biggest turnout yet, and along with some generous donations, will be remembered for the heartwarming connections that blossomed amidst the soil and sunshine. Nearly 70 volunteers came out for the three-week event (May 15 to June 7), including our corporate partners, school groups, and volunteers from the community. As volunteers worked alongside staff, apartment tenants, and lodge residents to revitalize our outdoor spaces, conversations were sparked, memories were shared, and relationships took root that will last long after the summer blooms fade into fall.


Our corporate partners made a strong showing at this years Planting Days, with new businesses such as Amre Supply, Arkuda Restoration, Bell Mobility, Budget Printing, Ford Credit, Old Navy, Royal Caretaking, Schindler Elevator, Serta Simmons, Supreme Landscaping, and Sysco, joining perennial favourites Ecopest, Source Office Furniture, Telus, and Telsco to plant happiness in our communities. Teams varied in size, ranging from one person to groups of 14, each donating a couple of hours of their time away from work commitments to spend quality time with seniors and engage in gardening activities. 

Given the physical limitations of our seniors, the hands-on help of volunteers and staff means the groundwork like digging and weeding gets done while seniors enjoy their gardening experience without any barriers. Another way our business partners contributed to the campaign is through donations. Businesses provided everything from refreshments to keep volunteers nourished and hydrated, to raised planter boxes, and donations to our Quality of Life Fund.

Cultivating Connections

Planting Days is an opportunity for our corporate partners to give back to the community. It’s also an opportunity to cultivate connections with the seniors we serve to enrich their quality of life.

Heartfelt Contributions

Our community volunteers have always been a part of our GEF family, along with our staff, actively engaging with our seniors, enjoying each other’s company and positively influencing their quality of life. Our gardens and planting beds, now full of life and color, are a daily reminder of what we can achieve when we come together.

As GEF celebrates its 65th year of providing safe, welcoming, and affordable social housing for seniors, your support plays a crucial role in enabling us to create natural spaces that enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of seniors, providing a source of pride for those who call them home!

Our gardens will be the location for the summer fairs and barbeques to mark the 65th Anniversary celebrations. We need volunteers to help us maintain our gardens throughout the summer. Click here to sign up and become a Gardening Volunteer! It is not too late to donate – Our GEF communities need more planter boxes to encourage our senior’s gardening efforts.

Click here to see a video of all our communities in full bloom.

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