Our hero: Austen Pearce, 14
Where he lives: Maricopa, Arizona
How he helps: Grows food for needy families
Austen Pearce learned to garden on a small patch of ground in his backyard. At age ten, he started volunteering an a food bank and was savvy enough to notice that the produce being sold was often past its prime. Wouldn’t it make more sense, he thought, to grow fruits and vegetables locally? Now, four years later, he’s supplying 200 needy families with fresh produce.
Pearce lobbied his city for a community garden, and within months, a farmer had donated an acre of land and valuable irrigation. A master gardener helped Pearce plan his plots. From March to July, Pearce and other volunteers tend tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, and other crops; they harvested more than 7,000 pounds of donated produce within the first year alone. “I would love to see such gardens in more cities,” says Pearce. “Why stop in Arizona?”
Know a local hero? Visit American Towns to submit your nomination: americantowns.com/powerofone.
More About Inspiring Stories
What You’re Sharing
- Gallatin, Tennessee: The Town That Rose Above Tragedy to Become the Nicest Place in America
- This Dad Makes Halloween Costumes For Kids in Wheelchairs–and You NEED to See Them
- This Heartbreaking Story Will Remind You Just How Much Kindness Really Matters
- At This Library, You Can “Borrow” People Instead of Books
- 10 Photos That Will Remind You There’s Still Good in the World