Project Grow Brings the Holiday Spirit to Allies’ Day Programs and the Local Community

Allies’ horticultural therapy program, Project Grow, and participants at two of our day habilitation programs, teamed together this December to bring the holiday spirit to their local communities.

Participants at our Mercer and Flemington Day Programs used dried flowers and herbs from Project Grow’s gardens to create beautiful potpourri sachets and Christmas cards. The lovely gifts were delivered to the Hamilton Continuing Care Center in Trenton, NJ and more of these special presents will be dropped off at a nursing center in Flemington before Christmas Day.

MaryAnne McMillan, HTR, a registered horticultural therapist with Allies, remarked, “Participants in our day programs were so excited to make these gifts. They really enjoy using herbs and flowers from the gardens to make presents for their families and staff; and were thrilled to make the potpourri sachets and cards for elderly community members. It adds to their enjoyment of the season, and they love to share and give back to others. They are very special people in my eyes.”

Project Grow’s gardens are located throughout New Jersey at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) in West Windsor and Duke Farms Community Garden in Hillsborough. We also have accessible raised garden beds outside Allies Day Programs including Mercer Day Program in Hamilton, Flemington Day Program in Flemington, and Mt. Holly Day Program in Mt. Holly. These raised beds allow individuals of various abilities, including those using wheelchairs, to participate in the program and experience the joys of gardening. Zoom sessions expand the reach of the program even wider, allowing those who cannot physically visit the gardens to participate in the comfort of their own home.

In addition to providing therapy and education through horticulture, Project Grow aims to give back to local communities by donating their harvests to food banks during the year. This year we donated over 1,500 pounds of fresh produce to local food banks!

Project Grow would like to thank Mercer County Community College and Duke Farms Community Garden for their continued support of the program, and express sincere appreciation to Bristol Myers Squibb, Janssen and the National Garden Bureau for their grants that help make the program possible.

Project Grow, Allies’ horticultural therapists and interns, and all of our day program gardeners wish everyone a wonderful holiday. Remember, “anywhere there is light and love is a place a garden can grow.” We can’t wait to see what grows in our gardens next year!

To view more photos from this special initiative, visit “Allies NJ” on Facebook.
For more information about Project Grow, or helping to sponsor the program, please email MaryAnne McMillan, HTR at
Day program participants making potpourri sachets

Woman holding up handmade card


Nicole and Joy work to create potpourri sachets as gifts.

Potpourri sachets delivered to nursing homes

Allies, Inc. is a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing housing, healthcare, meaningful employment and recreational activities to people with special needs in the communities of their choice. To learn more, visit

Contact: Nicole Zamerovsky, Director of Communications, Allies, Inc.
Cell: 609-508-6181