Many of you came out to the Fruity Nutty Affair on February 22nd, to share the launching of our the campaign to create a home for Victory Garden Initiative.
Victory Garden Initiative started nearly 10 years ago, in the basement of my house. A former speakeasy, from the times of prohibition, the room had a sense of history with an energy of the people who gathered there before. Here, we gathered to create something that we thought would change the world, a movement to help people grow their own food in the city.
Ten years later, and together, with many other exciting efforts in Milwaukee, the conversation about food, environment, health, and justice has come to the forefront of most of our public institutions, in our schools, at universities, churches, and restaurants.
Victory Garden Initiative has engaged thousands of people in the act of growing their own healthy food, right at home. With this exciting next step, we hope to deepen our impact in the community, offering more ways for more people to have access to fresh, good food.
The building, across the street from the Victory Garden Urban Farm, is located at 249 East Concordia. It’s a place where we will Gather and Create the next ten years of helping people grow their own food. It’s a place to Gather and Create year-round programs, leaders, and events. It’s a place to Gather and Create farm-to-table meals for our friends in the Harambee community. It’s a place to Gather and Create resilient communities. It’s a safe place for all to Gather and Create. But, we can’t do this alone! We need your help for two phases of this campaign.
Phase 1 involves the purchase of the building and the renovation work needed to finish our Farmhouse. In later summer or early fall, we’ll be moving our offices and our education space will be ready! We are honored to have received support from the Build-A-Bear Foundation. And, we’re truly amazed by the generosity of our Fruity Nutty Affair guests who donated over $20,000 at the event for this campaign! With the help of several other individual donors, we’ve already raised approximately $60,000 towards our $130,000 Phase 1 goal!
Phase 2 will move us towards having a Victory Garden Urban Campus. This will take place next year and will involve additional exterior work to the Farmhouse, kitchen renovations and equipment, and Farm-to-Table Cafe supplies. At our campus, we plan to enhance workforce development to include green infrastructure careers, food system careers, and extended internships. We’ll also implement a Food System Small Business incubation program with solidified partnerships.
How you can help
- Gifts of Cash – Donate through our website or mail a check
- Monthly Donations – Schedule donations through our website or call us to make arrangements
- Matching Gifts – If your company has a matching program, please request their gift
- In-kind Services or Supplies – You can donate supplies or services needed for our renovations (this list will be posted soon!)
- Volunteer – We close on the property on April 13th and will need a lot of clean-up help
Every gift made to the Gather and Create campaign is vital to the growth and impact of VGI. All donors will be listed on our Gather and Create wall in the new space, to be remembered by everyone for decades to come. All gifts are appreciated and will be recognized at the following levels:
Gatherers: $50 – $999
Placemakers: $1,000 – $4,999
Creators: $5,000 – $9,999
Legacy: $10,000 – $24,999
Donors contributing $25,000 or more will have the opportunity for naming rights of our kitchen, our community gathering space, or our outdoor cafe and greenhouse.
Are you ready to join us as we Gather and Create, ushering in a new food culture? Contact us to get involved now!