I would like to take a moment and share an email I received from one of our stores. Although much of the focus this time of year is on the commercial aspects of the season, Natalie and her family are looking forward to a family tradition that will take her husband Michael and stepson Marcus to Haiti, working with Extollo International.  The project will be to build an orphanage for 150 children, comprised of 10 to 20 individual homes that each house 8 children and a care person. The plan also includes a multi-use facility, vocational facility, farming and a play area on the grounds. Here is a link to a slideshow in the Contra Costa Times that I found showcasing the work done last January.    We would like to encourage you to visit Natalie and Michael if you are shopping for garden products in the East Bay Area.  7071 Village Pkwy, Dublin · (925) 828-4769

From Natalie:

My husband, Michael and I own The Lucky Garden, Dublin Hydroponics located in Dublin, California. We are a Hydro store that has been open since September 2011.

Michael and my stepson, Marcus Elola who is 14 years old are leaving for Haiti on January 2 and will be returning on January 14th.

This will be Michaels 4th trip to Haiti and Marcus’s 1st trip to Haiti. They are working with an organization called: Extollo International and Kids Against Hunger Pleasanton. See their websites below to learn more about both organizations:



The total cost of the trip is $3300 for both Michael and Marcus. Over $2200 of this cost is just the cost of the plane ticket! Sanctuary Soil & Feed has been extremely generous and has donated 1 full pallet of Big City Hydromix Indoor Blend Coco for us to sell and put that money towards the cost of their trip.

Michaels first 3 trips to Haiti were spent in Leogane where they built an orphanage from the ground up.  We were able to raise the funds for his trips by hosting garage sales,  poker tournaments, and support from our friends and family.  Click on the link below to learn more about this specific project that he worked on. http://www.extollointernational.org/our-projects

This upcoming trip Michael and Marcus will be working on a new orphanage and garden on a small island off of Haiti called La Gonave Island.

Click on the link below to learn about what this project is all about:


Two trips ago a reporter from Bay area newspaper traveled with Michael and did a full story on Michael and Extollo International.  Michael was on the cover of 5 Bay area newspapers the day after Christmas 2 years ago and they did a few follow up stories and he again was on the cover a few months after.

Below are some videos of Michael in Haiti that the reporter did.




Natalie Elola
The Lucky Garden
Dublin Garden Supply & Hydroponics