WASHINGTON (WJLA) — At the Armed Forces Retirement home in D.C., you’ll find retired Air Force Tech Sergeant Santo Dibella sneaking a tomato that he just picked from the home’s rooftop garden.
Carol Mitchell is a recreational therapist at the retirement home where the veterans grow not only tomatoes, but fresh food like watermelon and corn.
Caring for the garden is not only a great physical activity for the vets, but it also works their memory.
It brings retired Navy Petty Officer First Class Patricia Moore right back to the days she helped on her family’s farm.
Another favorite activity among the veterans is bingo but the current set-up is old.
Recreation Specialist Linda Bailey says the bingo machine needs to be replaced, but it costs a lot.
That’s where Sarah Nordlinger, a rising 11th grader at Washington Lee High School, comes in.
She is the District of Columbia president of Children of the American Revolution. Each year the president does a service project and Nordlinger is focusing on serving those who have served us.
Her grandpa and uncle were in the military and she admires the sacrifice they made.
"Veterans they go and they’re serving and risking their lives to save us and protect us and ensure our liberties and freedoms," Nordlinger said. "So this is just my way of serving back."
When Nordlinger found out the Armed Forces retirement home was in need of a new bingo system and some new gardening equipment she started a GoFundMe page.
She says all money raised until August 31 will go towards buying a new bingo machine. Everything after that will help improve the garden.
"It keeps their mind moving, it keeps them working, and it keeps them active," Norlinger said.
And it keeps hundreds of retired veterans, like Santo and Patricia, happy.
The GoFundMe page is currently at $1,000 and has a goal of $8,000.
Not only can you donate to that– but you can send a check right to the Children of the American Revolution.
Please make the check out to D.C.C.A.R and put State President's Project in the memo line and mail it to:
Miss Sarah Nordlinger
State President, D.C.C.A.R.
C/O National Society Children of the American Revolution
1776 D St NW, Room 224
Washington, DC 20006