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The ABCD’s of Goodness

In an election year where we’ve all been tearing each other apart for our differences, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the collective goodness that has quietly gone about its business amid the noise.

PGP was about three years old before I learned of the very fitting term “Asset Based Community Development” (ABCD). Which, simply put, translates to everyone pulling together to use the things they have, to make something great (vs. lamenting about the things they don’t have and doing nothing.)

Our program does that. We use empty land and other spaces (like the Community Cooking School) to teach lifelong skills and build community. Our tiny-but-mighty staff of four and a half’s job is primarily to facilitate an army of volunteers (over 1,500 this year) to care for Pop-up Victory Gardens, teach gardening and cooking classes and manage other community events (144 classes and events to be specific).

While we need membership funds to keep the lights on, thanks to the generosity of our community, we’ve never turned anyone away from participating in the program due to financial limitations. And we work with numerous partners to make the gardens and Community Cooking School available to their communities to learn, grow and be together.

And when I say “we” – I mean all of us. From the basic garden member who barely has time to take care of their plot, learn, and help feed their family, to the “super volunteers” who are there washing dishes at the Community Cooking School, leading work days, serving on the board or as garden leaders, or delivering fresh produce from our Grow2Give program to our food and nutrition partners on a weekly basis.

Here’s the point. Nobody has to do any of this. Our community has taken some commonsense ideas and turned them into a bigger thing that benefits a lot of people and is open and welcoming to everyone. That’s goodness. I see it at every event, at every garden I visit, at each meal around the table at the Community Cooking School. People participating, making the program their own, sharing good ideas and caring for one another…

These thoughts and experiences have kept me sane over the last year. And I know that going into uncertain times our community of gardeners, cooks, volunteers and good people will continue doing our thing to make our corner of the world better, brighter, and tastier.

Thank you for your part. When I speak about PGP, I often say “I may have been┬áthe spark but everyone else was the kindling.” Thank you for making PGP’s light shine bright with your goodness.

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