Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Weekly Tithe: Growing Community, and my charity:water birthday

Oy ve, so much for weekly. I've had a whole lot of life happening lately and haven't been grounded for long enough to keep up on regular writing. This week we return to The Weekly Tithe with a profile on Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project.

Deeds Not Words
My amazing friend Kelly started Acta Non Verba (ANV) in response to the gaping inequalities present in East Oakland in the areas of access to nutritious food, health education and extra-curricular activities for children and teens in the area. ANV uses the garden as a classroom to not only teach kids about where their food comes from, how to grow it and prepare it healthfully, but also leadership skills and community building. My favorite part of the program, though, is the seed fund. The garden sells fresh produce to the community, which is considered a "food desert," and puts the proceeds into college funds for the kids and teens in the program. This supports and encourages young people to aim not only to graduate from high school in an area with an almost 40% drop out rate, but to pursue higher education. Their time and effort working in the garden is rewarded not only in building invaluable life skills, but in actual monetary support for their future education. I don't know about you, but this makes me insanely happy.

There are lots of ways to support ANV! If you're local, you can volunteer in the garden planting or building, either on a regular basis or on periodic farm work days. You can also taste the fruits (and vegetables) of the kids' labor and purchase a CSA box or visit the farm stand- because who doesn't love locally and organically grown produce? If you don't have a talent for gardening or already have a veggie source, you can also send some money ANV's way to nourish their good work for years to come. Like ANV on Facebook to keep up with the goings on around the farm!

In other news, this year I have pledged my birthday to charity:water. They do amazing work building wells and bringing clean water to communities where lack of or difficulty in access mean high mortality rates among children under 5 and overall suffering for all people. I love their work and hope to raise $3000 for my campaign. That's only 100, $30 donations and at the time of this writing, I have already received 3, so it's only 97 more to go! Please help make my 30th birthday the best yet by contributing to my campaign and joining me in this truly life saving effort.

Tomorrow is Tax Day 2014, and it's the perfect time to begin thinking about Tax Day 2015 and the tax deductible donations you can make this year in order to lessen the tax sting next year. Donations to both Acta Non Verba and charity:water are 100% tax deductible, so you know what to do...

Give good, do good, feel good!

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