Dear Friends of VGI,
On behalf of the board of directors, committed staff and all the dedicated volunteers, we want to THANK YOU all for helping us reach our Annual Giving goal of over $30,000 for 2016!! We are all deeply grateful for your generosity and continued belief in the impact we make in our community. For all the people….children, parents, schools, churches that will benefit from these generous financial contributions…..we say THANK YOU!
I am so excited to be starting another year as the Chairman of the Board. It is such a gift to me to be able to serve in this capacity for an amazing organization. I am continuously reminded of the all the ways VGI weaves its mission into our lives. So often, while going about my regular day, I meet people that talk about their experience with VGI. One day it was the mother of one of the children on my son’s soccer team who shared with me how much her family LOVED their new garden. One day it was someone dancing next to me at CORE El Centro, who told me how their children were learning more about growing foods from their Mexican heritiage. I have had teachers from my children’s elementary school ask how they can bring their students to VGI’s Urban Farm. I once heard someone in line while grocery shopping describe a VGI Fundraising event they attended. And, perfect strangers have approached me at Colectivo Coffee to ask me about the meeting I was just having, “I’m sorry to listen in, but I couldn’t help but hear what you were talking about. Is there any way that I can get involved in the work you are doing?” “Yes! Yes, there is!,” I proudly respond.
Victory Garden Initiative’s mission to help people grow their own food seems to permeate the community in every corner of Milwaukee. When I learn of people’s interest and their passion to help the world become a better place through growing their own food, I understand, even more deeply, how important the work we are doing is to this community. I can see that VGI’s mission is everywhere.
In 2017, our goal is to move all of these people who are ‘talking’ about VGI, into living VGI’s mission. To growing their own food in their own space. The ability for Victory Garden Initiative to grow its mission is dependent upon your level of engagement.
Here are some ways you can ‘get your hands in the dirt’:
- Volunteer: We have group volunteer days, on-going office opportunities, internships, farming positions, composting operations, and higher-level committee work.
- Take our Food Leader Certificate Program. This program is a life-changing experience for its participants.
- Bring yourself and all your friends to our upcoming Fruity Nutty Affair. This event helps us plant orchards all over Milwaukee County.
- Get or give a garden – or do both! – during our annual Great Milwaukee Victory Garden BLITZ. It is an inspiring way to begin growing your own food.
2017 is going to be a year filled with building gardens, growing food, and fostering community. Don’t miss it!
Susie Ralston, Chairwoman of the Board, Victory Garden Initiative