102920_grant

Lea King-Badyna, from left, Margaret Jacobs of Golden Isles Veterans Village, Preston Kirkendall, chairman of the Manna House, and Starling Sutton, program director of the Veterans Village, stand with a replica check among the old concrete benches in a dusty area at the Manna House that will be upgraded.

Living up to its name, Keep Golden Isles Beautiful announced it plans to use a $10,000 grant to pay for landscaping and buy outdoor furniture for Manna House and the future Golden Isles Veterans’ Village.

The grant from Lowe’s and Keep America Beautiful must be used on the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard corridor, said Lea King-Badyna, KGIB executive director.

Most of the money is destined to revamp the landscaping and seating at Manna House and the planned veterans’ village, both at the intersection of MLK Boulevard and G Street.

For Manna House, a soup kitchen that offers free meals to the hungry, the grant will buy four new outside benches, new plants for the existing flower bed and a custom-built tiny library.

King-Badyna said the grant will also cover the cost of three new picnic tables, five benches, a custom-built blessing box and landscaping plants to go with the tiny houses in the veterans’ village.

Starling Sutton, program manager with the Golden Isles Veterans’ Village Initiative, said a collection of tiny homes will eventually adorn the vacant lot. The little buildings range from 128 to 144 square feet of living space and serve as transitional dwellings for homeless veterans.

Any money remaining after the purchase of outdoor furniture and landscaping will go toward additional landscaping on the veterans’ village property.

One of the end goals of the village project is to beautify and rehabilitate the surrounding neighborhood, so Sutton was happy with the arrangement.

“The grant fit right in properly with our plan,” Sutton said.

KGIB and St. Simons Presbyterian Church plan to place the new benches and landscaping at Manna House on Nov. 21, while the equipment for the veterans’ village will sit in storage until construction begins, King- Badyna said.

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