After graduating from Bridgewater College with a B.S. in business administration, Taryn Nida Lloyd ’95 married Richard Lloyd ’94 and opened a women’s clothing boutique in Richmond, Va. She eventually sold it to be at home with their three daughters and began volunteering her time in schools as well as other organizations, such as the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation and the VCU Massey Cancer Center.
In 2017, Lloyd learned about tower gardens, small aeroponic container gardens that often yield more than traditional gardens, while using only 10% of the water and space. Ideal for classrooms, the gardens can grow inside all year long and come with lesson plans related to literacy, math and science, so the teachers can integrate the gardens into instruction.
Over the next two years, Lloyd raised funds to purchase tower gardens for more than 30 schools in the greater Richmond area and elsewhere in Virginia, working closely with administrators, teachers, parent-teacher associations (PTAs) and nonprofits to place them in classrooms.
The Caring Carver Holiday Gift Drive, started in 2019, provides items such as hats, gloves, socks, art supplies and more to more than 400 children at George Washington Carver Elementary School, in Richmond. Lloyd coordinated the efforts with the school’s principal and the Embrace Carver Elementary School Foundation, which advocates and fundraises to meet the needs of the school.
“I couldn’t have done it alone,” Lloyd says. “This was a community-based effort, with help from my kids, family, friends and community.”
One of her goals for the drive was to inspire children from one community to help children in another. Everyone joined in collecting contributions, packing bags and distributing them to students during the holiday season.
Lloyd says, “Doing something meaningful is important to me.” She hopes the values she lives by—integrity, kindness, compassion and humility—teach her daughters the importance of giving back. “If they see me getting involved, I hope it inspires them to do even more.”
— By Olivia Shifflett