As part of SouthEast Bank’s Thankful Thursday blog series, each week, we recognize an organization that’s making positive changes in our communities. Today, we have the privilege of highlighting FrontLine Gardens, a nonprofit that supports injured U.S. military veterans and law enforcement officers during their recoveries.
The nonprofit team builds gardens designed to be easily accessible to injured individuals so they can find solace and therapeutic comfort in gardening. FrontLine Gardens’ board is entirely made up of volunteers, so 100% of their funds go toward furthering the mission.
Stephanie and Michael Trost, the Founders of FrontLine Gardens, have a personal connection to their mission. Michael Trost was a member of the U.S. military for 32 years, and in 2012, he was wounded while serving overseas. Michael spent a full year at Walter Reed National Military Medical Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, and he had 35 different surgeries during that time. In the coming years, he spent time in and out of the hospital and had one leg amputated in 2016.
Upon returning home after surgery and recovery in 2017, Michael had an itch to start farming. He and Stephanie bought some farmland in Monroe County, Tennessee.
Stephanie watched as Michael worked on their farm and witnessed both his physical and mental improvement during that time. In 2020, in celebration of how far Michael had come, the pair decided to launch FrontLine Gardens. They got to work right away, establishing a board and developing policies and procedures.
Today, FrontLine Gardens works closely with each individual’s therapist to promote gardening as a therapeutic way of coping with post-traumatic stress. The team builds raised garden beds and taller elevated beds to make it easier for veterans to work on the gardens themselves. The organization has also partnered with Jack Daniel’s Distillery, which donates the half-sized barrels they use for container planters.
In addition to helping veterans from East Tennessee, the volunteers regularly travel to West Tennessee and Southern Virginia, North Georgia and Alabama, and the western area of the Carolinas.
Note: Links to other websites or references to services or applications are provided as a convenience only. A link does not imply SouthEast Bank’s sponsorship or approval of any other site, service or application. SouthEast Bank does not control the content of these sites, services or applications.
Information contained in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing contained in this blog should be construed as legal or tax advice. An attorney or tax advisor should be consulted for advice on specific issues.