brent and i went to a volunteer orientation yesterday for an incredible non-profit in our community. i was so inspired and moved…and really can’t wait to get started. volunteering is one of the goals i have for year 26 (see here), and after talking to the women who are leading this effort i felt like i was in the right place at the right time. i don’t even know where to begin to describe this organization, they do so much. such as:
grow food in three huge gardens that they then distribute throughout the community. they have chickens and goats that provide meat and eggs (and they’re going to start making their own goat cheese). they have bees that provide honey. they just planted over 300 fruit trees on their property. they have businesses around town that donate coffee, water, and bread. and each week they make up packages of food to distribute to the 25 or so residents they provide housing for in east austin.
they also offer cooking classes and community events. employ their residents by letting them work in their gardens and with their animals. and overall believe in building friendships and a community with and for the homeless – they hope to maintain a relationship and keep them in their community long term, not just get them on their feet and out the door. they want these people to feel like they belong somewhere, like they have people they can go to. it was easy to see the passion and love coming from the two women leading today. they know the residents by name. they call and check in on them throughout the week. they know what physical ailments they have. they talk to them on the phone. they have a real relationship with these people. there’s no pity. just love.
so, needless to say – i can’t wait to get involved. brent and i are going to be a “distribution team.” which means two saturdays a month we’ll pick up food that has been washed and packaged from the community center and distribute to 3 or 4 residents. it will be the same residents each time so we’ll actually get to know them and build a relationship. i already feel like this is going to be such a growing and learning experience for me, and i can’t wait!
you can check out more about the organization here.
photos: iphone | austin, tx (these photos have absolutely nothing to do with this post. but whatever…photos are nice)