LAS VEGAS - Seven years ago, Rhonda Killough made it her mission to help the youth, elderly and developmentally disabled population of Las Vegas. She shows them how to grow and share fresh fruits and vegetables. She started Project Angel Faces, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating her mission, one garden at a time.
"The children love it," she said. "They come back to Garden Club again and again. Even when they age out of the program, they come back. 'Ms. Rhonda K., I know I'm 13 now, but can I please come back to Garden Club?' And, they start to teach the younger generation."
Garden Club is just one of the four projects she is running through Project Angel Faces.
She also enlists local homeowners who have fruit trees and gardens. Their excess harvest is shared throughout the community through local social services and food banks. There are also community-specific gardens she helps cultivate, and that harvest goes directly back into the community.
"Rhonda is tireless. She is always going somewhere, working with the children, working with the elders," said Rhonda's colleague Kathleen Ackroyd. "We were just at the Whitney Center for the Garden Club with the kids. It was so much fun. She said ‘riboflavinoid', and the kids all said ‘riboflavinoid', and could tell you what it did. I mean that is just so empowering."
Rhonda accomplishes small feats and produces little miracles such as getting a local elderly man who had become ill and stopped eating to eat.
"His friends made sure he got some of the apricots, and for the first time in two and a half weeks, he ate," Rhonda said. "He told his friends that if we could get him apricots like that everyday, he would eat, and that's changing someone's life."
Since Rhonda has selflessly volunteered countless hours of service to the Las Vegas community, 8 News NOW decided it was time to pay it forward – awarding her $800 as part of its new weekly series Acts of Kindness.
"We will stretch every penny of this dollar and put it to great work serving the community," she said.