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She fed over 1,600 people in need with food from her garden. Then vandals covered it in salt

After vandals destroyed Carly Burd's harvest, TikTokers stepped up to offer her money and support.
/ Source: TODAY

A British woman is “absolutely heartbroken” after she says vandals destroyed the garden she created to feed people in need.

Carly Burd, who lives in Harlow, England, revealed on April 12 in an emotional TikTok video that someone apparently broke into her garden overnight and dumped salt — which is deadly for plants — all over it.

“That means everything I’ve planted won’t grow, and I can’t replant on it because it won’t grow,” Burd says through tears, as she showed footage of her soil covered in salt.

“All the hours and hours and hours of work that we’ve put in is now dead,” she says “And they’ve done it everywhere. How could you do that, literally?” has reached out to Burd for comment.

Burd transformed her own garden into an allotment to launch her charity initiative, A Meal on Me With Love, according to a GoFundMe page for the project.

She provides free organic fruits and vegetables to low-income and vulnerable people in her community who are struggling to put food on the table. She also rescues food destined for the landfill and donates it to people in need, according to her charity’s Facebook page.

A message on Burd’s TikTok video says she has “fed 1613 people” so far through her gardening initiative.

Burd’s own challenges inspired her to help others. She says she has multiple sclerosis and lupus, and has struggled herself in the past to make ends meet.

“I can’t sit back & watch people struggle; not being able to feed their kids or go without food so they can have the heating on,” she wrote on the charity’s GoFundMe page. “Last year I went without heating, having MS with no heating is horrific.”

In a follow-up TikTok, Burd says that while she doesn’t know who destroyed her garden, she thinks it “had to be a grower” who had knowledge of how salt affects plants.

Given the amount of salt dumped on the soil, Burd believes it was a premeditated act, not a casual prank.

“It was over five kilograms worth of salt,” she says. “It wasn’t a child going to his mum’s kitchen cupboard and doing it just for fun. It was a lot of salt.”

Support has been pouring in for Burd since she posted her original video about the vandalism.

Donations skyrocketed on the charity’s GoFundMe page, surpassing £194,000 (about $243,000) as of Tuesday morning.

Burd launched the GoFundMe page in September with an original fundraising goal of £4,000 (about $5,000).

“You are a wonderful human doing an amazing thing and I sincerely hope this setback doesn’t break your wonderful spirit,” one GoFundMe donor wrote. “Come back stronger and keep doing what you do — your community thanks you.”

“You’re a beautiful soul doing such good work, and I hope this terrible thing happened only to propel you and your mission forward tenfold!!” another person wrote.

An outraged Twitter thread about Burd’s plight has also been going viral.

“Do you know how evil you have to be to sneak out at night, not to even steal to benefit yourself, but to destroy the possibility of people in need getting help?” Twitter user @THISisLULE wrote.

In her latest TikTok video, Burd thanked her supporters, saying she was “absolutely overwhelmed” by everyone’s comments and donations.

She said she and her fellow volunteers have managed to dig up a lot of the garden, and are hoping to neutralize the salty earth by covering it with top soil.

As for the land’s future, Burd said she is also considering turning the area into a “seating area where elders can come down and we can have tea and coffee and cakes and chats.”

She said she might also create “cook stations” on the land to give local people from different ethnic groups a space to cook and share meals.

While Burd is still reeling from the vandalism, she says she won’t let it keep her down.

“You won’t stop me ‘cause I’ll just pick it all up and I’ll carry on,” she says. “OK, I can’t plant in this section, but I’ll carry on. It won’t stop me whatsoever.”