by Tim Pulice
Spring has arrived, not only because the calendar says so, but also because my 4-year-old daughter Zoë says she’s ready once again to “help Mommy plant flowers.” Her enthusiasm reminds me that it’s the perfect time of year to support a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives and communities through gardening.
Based in Washtenaw County, Michigan, Growing Hope works diligently in the area – collaborating with neighborhoods and community groups, schools and families, and primarily serves under-resourced and disadvantaged populations.
Amanda Maria Edmonds is Growing Hope’s executive director, and having heard her speak passionately last year about its programs, it became clear to me that she and her expert staff deserve more attention for their efforts.
I love that Growing Hope gets kids involved with gardening at an early age, giving them hands-on training so they can learn about and grow nutritious food, which promotes a healthy lifestyle. That’s vital, given the rampant problem of childhood obesity.
Plus, the kids are outside with no electronic distractions, meaning they’re active, not passive. Another way in which Growing Hope supports healthy food access is through its Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers’ Market, which runs Tuesday afternoons from May – October. Growing Hope’s partners include the City of Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County Head Start, and Food Gatherers.
You can help, too.
Check out its calendar and, if you can donate time or expertise, please call volunteer coordinator Karen Spangler at 734-786-8401. You also can donate materials, contribute money, or become a Growing Hope business sponsor or partner. This season of renewal is an ideal occasion to assist an organization that, year after year, makes a valuable difference in its community.
Tim Pulice is a freelance writer based in Ypsilanti, Michigan and a former long-time employee of Borders. In addition, Pulice spent several years as a radio personality and show host on WDET-101.9 FM in Detroit. The DIFF Team thanks him for this great post. You can read more of Tim’s work on his blog, The Pulice Report.
Thanks again Tim, and as we say to our favorite guest bloggers – "keep ‘em coming!"