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Tulsa Teens Continue Working Despite Theft Of Equipment

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

A group of teenage gardeners has to resort back to digging in the dirt with their hands after thieves managed to get away with all of their gardening equipment.

The group of youngsters spend afternoons at Langston Academy through the non-profit Black Flower Society's summer program.

The community has helped them get this far, and they are asking for help again. 

The vegetables on the vine haven't quite matured, but they are getting there. Much like the group of kids who planted them.

"They are growing a whole gamut of stuff over here," said Heather Nash with the Black Flower Society. 

When you have a garden, you often have to combat vermin and insects. This time, Black Flower Society participants have been out-done by thieves.

"I saw the window off the bus add the door propped open my heart just sunk," said Carol Ainsworth with the Black Flower Society.

Ainsworth and Nash started the program with a shovel and a hoe, and to get water the garden, they had to carry buckets back and forth.

That changed when the community stepped up with donations.

"We had all of the tools and the hoses that we had just gotten."

The equipment once stashed in an old bus is now gone.

"Of the theft part I really want to know who did it because that's heartbreaking for kids," Nash said. 

Ainsworth and Nash started this program to educate students but give them tangible life skills. Many of the students who participate live in what's considered a "food desert." 

"We thought it was really important that this particular demographic be exposed to fresh fruits and vegetables," Ainsworth said. 

The students are starting back from scratch, digging with their hands and carrying buckets.

Despite their equipment being plucked, the roots are strong.

"I was like, 'I'm not gonna let this beat us,'" Nash said. 

Many of the students attend Langston Academy and the school is enrolling 10 graders next year. So the plan is to expand the program even more.

To help the Black Flower Society, visit the GoFundMe page or donations can be made at the Bank of Oklahoma to the Black Flower Society. 

For more information about the Black Flower Society, visit their Facebook page.

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