Program Age: 3 years
Program Impact: We are many different programs, all with the same objective: To help where we can and to
bring people together to do good things.
Program Leadership: Kiana Raphael, Cynthia Schaefer, Kerri Sullivan
Town of Davie Parks and Recreation, Broward County Schools EAP Department, United Way, Marando Farms, Society of Saint Andrews , www.growsocial.org and hundreds of volunteer hours from our community.
We are The Caring Community, (501c3) and we have accomplished much good in our local community. We have harvested thousands of pounds of backyard fruit to food banks, impacted hundreds of teachers through our Self-Care Stations and we plant gardens to supply food banks. All of this good has been accomplished by engaging the small FB group that we have.
What if we were able to replicate these programs nationally? They would look different in each region, but that’s the power of it. Local people meeting local needs and us all learning from each other more effective ways of doing so.
We’ve been working on a web platform to connect and energize the millions of gardeners and the millions more of wannabe gardeners. We utilize geotagging to create a unique platform that combines social media, classifieds, Wikipedia (localpedia), groups and marketplace all focused around food growing and local economy. We are about 70% complete (volunteers and shoestrings-it’s how we do it!) and believe that we will need additional resources to take it the rest of the way. Find us at www.growsocial.org
Impact is everything.
We believe that we can create massive and continual impact by finishing the platform so that we can connect and energize the already engaged community and accelerate the positive changes. We also believe that the platform itself can be a source of revenue for even more impact.
We want to partner with Habitat for Humanity to help create food gardens and a couple of fruit trees for the homeowners who would like to grow their own food and support them with a garden mentor the first year as they learn to grow.
We have a long-standing dream of a web platform allowing people to connect locally, share, and collaborate around local food growing. The platform has a social media component, a marketplace, a classified, a localpedia, groups, and calendars for events. Everything is based on location so that effective organizing, info sharing, barter, sales and a strong local food economy can all be realized. Eventually this leads to collaboration on things like community kitchens, tool banks, small businesses created around local food opportunities and a system that can identify areas of opportunity to close waste loops and create more programs for the greater good.
We want to expand into areas that are considered food deserts, and create gardens for residents to harvest and learn from. We would love to partner with churches, temples and mosques to create ongoing relationships that support the gardens and help them expand.
We want The Caring Community to be a way of thinking, not just a name. We’d love to see local businesses partnering with us on the Self-Care Stations so that a local business would sponsor a nearby school, fire station or other care giver location and provide a Self-Care Station and monthly refills. The Caring Community logo would be a sign to the customers of that business that the business participates in the greater good of the community.
We have so many more dreams. We know that the caring, compassionate and effective community that we all want to be part of is possible. We know that in every moment we are creating our next moment, and we create that moment with love. We know that you will show up and do your part, because you always do. We are forever grateful to each and every one of you for the donations, the time, the laughs and the groans.