Krystian's Kolumn: The positive power of gardening and catching up with friends

By Local News | July 29, 2017
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” ~ Audrey Hepburn

My list of things I want to do include growing a garden. I come from a family with green thumbs on both sides and had some success this summer with lavender and a cactus from Texas, which I named Pancho.
My grandmother’s home in Texas is covered in plants big and small. Her pots are like those you find in a resort with lush leaves and plants she has nurtured for years. My grandfather in Mount Clare has routinely kept a garden, and one year he helped me plant strawberries for FFA. So I hope to have a small box garden next year, and I want to continue this tradition of growing beautiful things.

All of this came to my mind as I traveled to spend time at the healing urban farm with Gro Huntington’s Executive Director, Jeannie Harrison. As a Channel Kindness Reporter I was drawn to the incredible program started by Jeannie, which incorporates a community farm, teaching important life skills, and yoga free of charge for recovering addicts.
It’s no secret that West Virginia is leading the country in the number of opioid drug addictions and overdoses. Gro Huntington combats this with a holistic and hands-on approach.
I worked hours editing my footage this week and hope to have my story released in mid to late August. You can find out how to help Gro Huntington by following them on Facebook and at

My online community has brought me yet another friend and change maker from Canada, Deanne Vincent. I accepted an invitation to sign on as a My Empowered Body Ambassador and joined the movement to help women love and accept themselves from the inside out. We are a growing number of empowered ladies, and it is open for anyone to join.  Check it out on Instagram and Facebook and join up to encourage or be encouraged.
I like to remember the quote from the a popular movie I used to watch in grade school, High School Musical, “We are all in this together”. Kick off for the campaign is in a few days and we would love to have you.

My week wouldn’t be complete without a meeting with a great friend and fellow published author, Shirley, who is a retired educator from Pennsylvania and author of the powerful book, Queens of Mean. We discussed our plans to collaborate for school visits teaching powerful lessons which will help thousands of children who are struggling with bullying issues and self-acceptance. Shirley is an amazing mentor and I am proud to call her friend. 
Shining Scars continues to grow and recently received a powerful letter from a group of caring mothers in the Philippines, who have requested books for their children healing with Cleft Palate surgery and scars. I am over the moon excited every time I pack up books to send out to children everywhere. If you would like to sponsor a book or books, feel free to use my link at or send me an email at

Keep shining bright and thank you for following my journey to make our world a little brighter.

Krystian Leonard is a pubished author, motivational speaker and president of Shining S.C.A.R.S.  She is a resident of Clarksburg and a graduate of WVU and Robert C. Byrd High School.

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