Community Impact

SHIM builds community through its Community Garden and CheckMates programs, as well as through its robust volunteer program.

Community Gardens

SHIM Community Gardens bring neighbors together to help build a community where everyone can thrive.

Through SHIM’s Community Garden program, congregations and community groups come together to grow healthy fruits and vegetables for SHIM’s three food pantries. Thanks to local congregations and volunteers, SHIM’s 13 community gardens harvest over 15,000 pounds of fresh produce each season!

Harvested peppers

SHIM’s Community Gardens directly impact children and families in the South Hills. Not only do gardens harvest thousands of pounds of healthy produce to share with pantry participants, 35 percent of whom are children, but they create opportunities for learning and engagement. Children from SHIM’s Youth Programs are welcomed into the garden to plant seeds, learn about good soil and find out about conserving water. They also pick vegetables and make their own salads and snacks, nurturing an appreciation for fresh, healthy foods.

We’re thankful for our community garden partners, who help us feed South Hills families!

Abraham Lincoln Elementary School
Bower Hill Community Church
Hamilton Presbyterian Church
John McMillan Presbyterian Church
SHIM Center
St Clair Hospital
St David’s Episcopal Church

St Joan of Arc Church
St Louise DeMarillac Church
St Thomas More Church
Temple Emanuel of the South Hills
Westminster Presbyterian Church/USC High School
SHIM Peace & Community Garden

Check out how widespread SHIM’s community reaches!
Each pin on the map is a community garden.

Want to get involved?

Learn more about the volunteers who power SHIM’s community gardens and the benefits they provide to South Hills neighbors!


Stock photo senior

SHIM’s 15-20 volunteers spend over 400 hours each month talking to almost 100 seniors.

CheckMates is powered by friendly volunteers. Would you like to brighten a senior’s day with a call?

CheckMates is designed to connect caring volunteers with local seniors who might live alone and sometimes feel isolated for a weekly, confidential phone call.

One senior call recipient is a man named Tom (name changed to respect his privacy). Tom is an 84-year-old retired veteran, with a son, daughter-in-law and 3 grandchildren, that all live in California. Unfortunately, neither Tom nor his son can afford a plane ticket to see each other. Tom has seen pictures of his grandchildren, though he has never met the younger two in person. He was not very computer literate, so he had settled for weekly phone calls. That all changed when his CheckMates volunteer was introduced to him. Tom’s volunteer helped him navigate his way online! Facebook has become a daily activity, where he is finding old friends from the army and even tracking down an old girlfriend. While his list of friends is not extensive, his online connection to his son’s Facebook account has given him access to many more family pictures. Tom’s volunteer also taught him how to play words with friends on his cell phone, an activity he now shares with his eldest grand-daughter. Having something to do other than watch reruns of westerns has given Tom new energy. Tom is thrilled and has told his volunteer that she made all the difference in him feeling connected again. He is enjoying the phone calls from his volunteer and loving his online interactions with his family.

Interfaith Programs

Originally founded by a priest, a rabbi, and a minister, SHIM continues to bring people of all faiths together through Thanksgiving services and Holocaust Remembrance programs.

Candle in hands

Check out our virtual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service to learn more about how SHIM brings together diverse South Hills congregations to build community.

Learn more about the impact of SHIM programs in our 2023 Impact Report.

See how neighbors helped SHIM respond to the pandemic.