Kansas City Young Matrons Assist with Preparations for Upcoming Plant Sale

The 2024 Thyme for Kids Plant Sale will be held at the Ozanam Campus greenhouse on Friday, April 26 from 9:00-6:00 and Saturday, April 27 from 9:00-4:00 p.m. 

It’s a sunny Tuesday at the Cornerstones of Care Ozanam Campus greenhouse, and several members of the Kansas City Young Matrons (KCYM) are elbow-deep in the soil, transplanting dark red geraniums into large round pots. For over a decade, this group of women has helped with the Thyme for Kids Plant Sale by volunteering for two hours on Tuesdays leading up to the big event. They also help during the sale by running checkout, directing shoppers, and assisting with other tasks.

Throughout the year, members of KCYM volunteer all over the city with more than 30 different organizations to “encourage social, educational, and personal relationships and to identify needed services to provide a positive impact within the community.”

So why do they choose to volunteer for the Thyme for Kids Plant Sale?

“I like getting my hands dirty,” said one.

“I like giving back to the community,” said another. 

“I do it because I love Ozanam, and I think Megan’s horticulture therapy program is amazing,” said Mary Holland, in her 10th year of volunteering with the event.

Expressive Therapist, Megan Sperry, has been part of the Cornerstones of Care team for 22 years and leads the horticulture therapy program. The program is part of the Ozanam Campus Day Treatment School and is offered as an elective course during the school year.

“Horticulture therapy is about using plants to help people,” explained Megan. The practice teaches kids to work together, regulate emotions, and care for something in a safe, comfortable environment.

“I’ve had many kids who won’t open up to their therapists and come down here and start to share something,” she said.

Megan is currently working with 17 high-school students to plant, water, weed, and care for the plants that will be sold at the Plant Sale in late April. Students in the Build Trybe program also tend to the plants and will help run the sale alongside their peers.

“It’s so important for these kids to see people come in and buy their plants,” said Megan. “It’s a lot of work, and they are excited to share what they’ve grown with the community.”

The students will be selling a wide variety of perennial and annual flowers, as well as herbs, vegetables, and non-flowering plants. 

Proceeds from the Plant Sale will help support our horticultural therapy and Build Trybe programs by helping to provide seeds, supplies, stipends, and more. Later this summer, funds generously donated by community members will be used to build an outdoor shade structure next to the greenhouse for the kids to do therapy, hang out, and enjoy time outdoors. 

Projects like the new outdoor shade structure support the important work that the instructors do with the youth every day and are just one important reason to attend the Thyme for Kids Plant Sale this spring.

“Because not only are they great quality plants, but it’s a way to give back to the community,” said Mary. “The quality and uniqueness of these plants are really amazing. Plus, it helps support a great cause.”