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Volunteers sought for potting parties and plant sale

Supporting students in Olympia’s Nicaraguan sister community

For 11 years, Thurston Santo Tomás Sister Community Association volunteers have donated time and energy to fundraisers that support young people in Olympia’s sister community in Nicaragua, who are pursuing education in the face of challenges from political unrest and ongoing economic crises.

Their annual plant sale, to be held April 28–May 1, will help students pay for costs associated with tuition and graduation. Scholars will receive $50 per month for a total of $600 annually for the five years of their undergraduate programs. TSTSCA’s 2021 sale was so successful that they’ve expanded their goal to assist a total of 23 recipients.

Last year over 60 volunteers contributed to the effort by digging and repotting native and non-native flowering plants, tomato and vegetable starts, annuals, grasses, and hybrid and heirloom bearded irises from their own yards, helping to publicize the community event, or boxing orders. Buyers will view photos of the plants and make their purchases online. Orders will be ready for pick up in west Olympia that same weekend.

TSTSCA says its volunteer base, as well as donors and buyers who “round up” their purchase prices, are largely responsible for their ability to help Nicaraguan students. This year the Yip Harburg Lyrics Foundation, which funds projects aimed at eliminating economic and social discrimination and social injustice, will join TSTSCA’s annual endeavor.

Potting parties will begin outside in mid-February at physically-distanced work tables and lots of plants are needed to make the sale a success. New volunteers are welcome for supplying plants, packaging them for sale, and organizational assistance. For more information, email or text (360) 259-2974.

To learn more about the circumstances contributing to their need, as well as stories and letters from individual students that describe how financial support has benefited them, visit Thurston Santo Tomas Sister County Association.

Donations can also be made by mail to TSTSCA, PO Box 561 Olympia WA 98507.

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