Earlier this year, I spoke to a group of students who were preparing to start a service-learning project with Groundwork Somerville. As I described our organization, I mentioned our Green Team - teens from Somerville we employ to meet our mission to improve access to healthy food in the city, access to open space, clean air, and youth jobs. One of the students, who had been tuning in and out of the conversation to this point, froze when he heard this, raised his hand and asked, "you mean, I can get paid to do this stuff!?"
I believe that this is what Groundwork Somerville is all about. Yes, Groundwork Somerville grows urban gardens and teaches outdoor education in all the schools. Yes, we fight for equitable access to open space and advocate for healthy food and transportation options. But the heart of this work is creating opportunities for our city's residents-especially our youth-to realize their full potential to do great things and put their mark on improving their city, their environment and their lives.
'Tis the season to be grateful. And to ask for money! Thanks to generous people like you, Groundwork Somerville has had a positive impact on our city's environment and individual lives for over 10 years. We need your help to continue our consciousness-raising and life-sustaining work. I am asking you now to consider Groundwork Somerville when making your year-end contributions and to give generously.
Since I joined Groundwork Somerville in June, I have been impressed and amazed by the work being done by our remarkable staff and volunteers.
Thanks to her job with our Garden Youth Crew working in our schoolyard gardens program, one middle schooler helped to put food on her family's table.
Thanks to the leadership of our National Park Preserver Coordinator, nine unemployed Somerville residents received on-the-job training. Most are now in school or working full-time work with local businesses or the National Park Service. Many have also stayed on to volunteer with Groundwork!
And thanks to supporters like you, we grew local produce in nine gardens, did outdoor education every day reaching every Somerville public school, and performed community outreach and advocacy to improve the environment, air quality, open space and transportation.
But for every amazing individual we were able to hire, there were five equally qualified, impassioned and deserving applicants we could not bring on. Just last month we met more than thirty students from Somerville high schools looking for a spot on our eight-person Green Team. Each one of them would have been an incredible asset to this organization and community. We urgently need your generous support now to continue providing meaningful employment to urban and low-income youth, grow fresh, local produce next summer, and continue our advocacy for equitable transportation and open space options for all of Somerville.
So please give generously to Groundwork Somerville if:
- You enjoy fresh, locally grown produce. (Groundwork sells and donates the most local food in the city.)
- You want to see the Green Line Extension built.
- You believe all people, regardless of race, gender or income, deserve equal access to clean air, public transportation, and healthy lives.
- You want to help a young person improve their own life and their community.
- You have ever attended a community meeting, raised a garden, or taken the T.
- You want to look around at the great things you love about your city and be able to say "I did this."
I believe strongly in Groundwork Somerville. Before I became Executive Director, I personally supported Groundwork every year, and will continue to do so. You can donate by sending a check to Groundwork Somerville, 21 Properzi Way, Suite O, Somerville, MA 02143, or going to our website, www.groundworksomerville.org, and clicking Donate Now on our homepage.
Your contribution makes a difference! From everyone here at Groundwork Somerville, we wish the best for you and your family in the New Year. Thank you.
P.S. We are nearly half way to our annual fundraising goal of $100,000. Please help us reach it by December 31st with your contribution today!
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