NEW BREMEN — New Bremen High School senior Taylor Paul was looking for a Girl Scout project when she approached St. Paul United Church of Christ for ideas. The church suggested two options: help expand its community cupboard — a wooden cabinet filled with basic necessities, open to families in need — or help plant an orchard for families to pick fresh fruit and vegetables.
Paul, 17, was feeling ambitious. She took on both projects.
The church’s Blessing Cabinet is now the Blessing Cupboard — an entire room dedicated to food and basic supplies for needy families. And the Golden Harvest Community Orchard will one day be brimming with fruit trees and vegetable gardens, open to anyone in the community.
“I knew nothing about how to plant,” Paul said. She sought advice from friends and others who gardened regularly, with keen interest in making sure the orchard’s raised beds were accessible to seniors.
Her work with the pantry and orchard is ongoing.
While Paul undertook the projects with a purpose, her passion for community service was inspired years ago.
As a child, Paul often volunteered as a Mass server at church. She would volunteer at the recycling center with her family and collect box tops for her school, at the urging of her parents.
“We were always doing something that would help the community in some way,” Paul recalled in an interview with The Lima News on Monday. “When this project was getting started, those ideas were something I wanted to put into my projects — something to do with helping the community and making it a better place.”
Paul is active with her church, Holy Redeemer Church in New Bremen. She played volleyball and competitive swimming through high school and plans to continue playing volleyball when she attends Indiana Tech in the fall.
Paul will soon be pursuing an undergraduate biology degree in the hopes of becoming an orthodontist.