Phoenix Arizona Giving Garden Gets Grant from AAM, a Community Management Company

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Growing Together....A Giving Garden helps nourish the hungry and create community connections. The all-volunteer effort can rest a little easier with AAM providing a financial gift that will pay for the garden's irrigation for an entire year.

Susan Williams is AAM's VP of Business Development is a Master Gardener and lends a hand planting garlic at the community garden.

Feeding the hungry is such a basic need. This community garden connects the people in this neighborhood and galvanizes them to create something for the greater good.

Smack in the middle of an urban neighborhood in central Phoenix, stands a flourishing community herb and vegetable garden where an older home and a four-plex apartment complex once stood. Those apartments were the source of suspicious criminal activity which prompted an area family to purchase the site and raze the structures.

Today, beans, squash, herbs and more are taking root for the winter growing period and will soon be someone’s meal. The volunteers with “Growing Together….a Giving Garden” labor to nourish the hungry and provide a chance to grow a strong neighborhood through gardening and connecting at the half-acre site at 2nd Street and Glendale Avenue.

“Volunteers come from all around. We have had Boy Scouts participate, families, and some who are driving by and stop to help,” said Annie Mittelstaedt, one of the garden founders and whose family owns the lot. The garden operates on a very modest budget and the volunteers worry about the overhead of providing this garden, but miracles always seem to happen.

Enter AAM, a Tempe-Arizona based community management company which manages hundreds of community associations in Arizona, New Mexico and Florida. The company selected the garden as the first recipient in a new grants program called “Creating a Better America.”    The vice president of business development, Susan Williams, is a master gardener in her spare time and this project resonated with her. “Feeding the hungry is such a basic need. This community garden connects the people in this neighborhood and galvanizes them to create something for the greater good. AAM is proud to provide a $1000 grant that will be dedicated to pay the garden’s water bill for one year,” said Susan Williams.

AAM has a company mission of “Creating a Better America One Neighborhood at a Time” and puts its resources to work. In the last year, AAM has improved a food pantry in Orlando, Florida, raised $12,000 for the Arizona Humane Society, collected 1225 boxes of cereal and over $1200 in cash for a Mesa, Arizona long term residential home for children in need, and conducted day of service at the St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix. “We are a community management company and connecting to the communities where we conduct our business is an important part of our company value system,” said Amanda Shaw, AAM president.

In addition to the $1,000 Creating a Better America Grant, AAM honored the three garden founders – Annie Mittelstaedt, Ronda Cronin and Judy Walden with the company’s Neighborhood Hero recognition, in appreciation for their tireless commitment to making a difference in their community.

Food from the garden is given to The Lighthouse and to the Living Streams Food Pantry, both non-profit organizations. Families and organizations can adopt a plot within the garden, but 90 percent of the food grown must be given to the needy. The garden relies on the generosity of the community, and members of the nearby Living Streams church.

AAM works with many of the largest home building and community development companies in the United States such as Del Webb/Pulte, Shea Homes and Meritage Homes. Founded in 1990, AAM employs 350 people and manages more than 350 homeowners associations in the United States. AAM is dedicated to delivering total peace of mind to the boards of directors and homeowners in the communities it manages.

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Martha Moyer Wagoner
Master Planned Communications
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