Lots of Compassion

From Vacant Lots to Gardens for Community Growth

Enter Lots of Compassion, our national initiative to celebrate and empower those using the goodness of the garden to grow compassion in their own backyard. By offering financial support and educational resources, we’re helping people across the country turn vacant lots into gardens for community growth.

Why is this so important? Well, about 15% of land in U.S. cities is vacant or abandoned. This vacant space can lead to negative outcomes for communities, including decreased mental and physical health, feelings of lacking community trust, and more.(AO Bowman, MA Pagano Terra Incognita: Vacant Land and Urban Strategies, Georgetown Univ Press, Washington, DC, 2010).

We transformed our first lot in Chicago, where we partnered with Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative — an organization dedicated to building community wealth on Chicago's South Side.

In 2023 we gave out ten grants to communities in Michigan, Tennessee, California, Louisiana, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. In 2024, we expect to connect more than 23,000 people to engaging garden-based learning opportunities and create 70,000 square feet of gardening space.

For every Compassion Flower hand soap sold on mrsmeyers.com, Walmart.com and Walmart in-store from April 1st to July 31st , $1 will go towards the Lots of Compassion program. With your help, we hope to fund $1 million in grant programs over a five-year span (up to $200k annually until 2027, for a total of $1 million) so that local gardens and their surrounding communities can thrive.

Meet Our Project Partners

Let’s grow a more compassionate world. What good will the garden inspire in you?

See where it all began shop compassion flower MEET OUR GARDEN GRANT RECIPIENTS

The Power of the Community Garden

We’re partnering with KidsGardening to create a grant program that will help transform vacant lots across the country into thriving community gardens. The grants will help ordinary people—well, extraordinary, if you ask us—grow their community through gardening.

Meet three inspiring Chicago-area community gardeners: