We are excited to introduce you to Kelly - an amazing partner, Village Gardens Advisory Committee member and friend of Village Gardens. On her recent 50th birthday she decided to jump in for justice and set up a fundraiser that supports our work. Here are her thoughts.
When I was hired to open the University Park New Seasons Market as the Community Coordinator, Chenoa Philabaum, the Senior Community Relations Manager for New Seasons said Kris Soebroto, the Program Director at Village Gardens, was someone I HAD to meet. She was right! It was love at first sight. It was the beginning of a fruitful partnership (pun intended!).
Village Gardens is creating equity in an area traditionally underserved, known as a “food desert.” And that equity is not being bestowed upon the neighborhood, it is being created by those who call New Columbia home. It is truly creating community through food.
A community member once told a story about how she hardly ever left her apartment and never talked to anyone in the neighborhood until she started gardening at the Seeds of Harmony community garden. She choked back tears as she talked about how she looks forward to seeing her friends and fellow gardeners there. Many of the children come help her or just offer a supportive pat on her arm when she comes to the garden on her scooter to the raised beds that she tends with lots of love. And now she is helping to coordinate the garden.
I experienced first hand how well resources are utilized, a little bit of support grows into big results. A donation of seeds last year have grown into food sold at Village Market then purchased by those looking for fresh choices.
For my fiftieth birthday this year, I'm asking for donations to Village Market throughout August because “everyone has a right to live in safe and thriving neighborhoods with access to good food.” If 50 people are generous enough to give $50 in honor of my 50th birthday, it would raise $2,500 for this amazing work. And YES! Every donation is tax-deductible. I love the idea of using a personal celebration to bring resources to a worthy cause and social media makes it SO easy.
There is absolutely no reason for anyone, anywhere, to go hungry. The work of Village Gardens is a small piece of the larger infrastructure that gets food to those who need it. The seeds of solving a global problem have been planted right here in North Portland.