December 9, 2016

Dear friends,

Another holiday season is upon us as we are busy making preparations for the coming garden season. It is with joy for the past year’s success and determination for the future that I write to you today. For over 35 years, Kansas City Community Gardens has been working to help families and community groups to grow fresh fruits and vegetables, and never before have we seen so much need for the organization’s service. More and more families across the metro are joining our Self-Help and Community Partner Gardens programs to effectively grow their own affordable food. More schools and youth groups are joining our Schoolyard Gardens program, our Youth Gardens initiative, and visit the Leanna Flandermeyer Beanstalk Children’s Garden to gain hands-on learning experiences in gardening and nutrition.

Kansas City Community Gardens has come to a point where the need for service has outpaced our current funding, resulting in a budget shortfall during the 2016 service year. Now more than ever, KCCG needs your help to continue providing quality service to the community. KCCG works tirelessly to provide low-cost garden supplies and materials, free and individual, expert assistance in planning community gardens, garden construction assistance, free workshops, and ongoing technical assistance that helps individuals and groups to successfully harvest hundreds of thousands of pounds of healthy food each year. As Program Director Andrea Mathew says, “The best thing KCCG has to offer Kansas City gardeners is ourselves; our expertise and the time we take to help each unique garden achieve the best harvesting results.”

Every year, I sit down with each program’s staff to listen to stories about the people they’ve served. Shea Bergman, our Home and Youth Gardens Coordinator, told me about a 9-year old boy named Alex who gardens at Spofford Home, a preventative and therapeutic treatment center for children suffering from abuse. KCCG built this garden with Lauren, a Girl Scout, for her community service project. Along with cabbage, purple kale, collards, broccoli, and tomatoes, apple trees were recently added to the garden. Despite having gone through some very traumatic experiences, Alex is hopeful

and excited for the future through his garden participation. “I can’t wait to make an apple pie,” he says! Can you imagine all of Kansas City as excited about fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden as Alex? We can, but only with your help!

This holiday season, please consider Kansas City Community Gardens in your giving plan. Your contribution will help KCCG to serve more children like Alex and over 18,000 families across the metropolitan area through gardening and nutrition education, and through the harvest of affordable, fresh and organic fruits and vegetables.

Warm Regards,

Ben Sharda
Executive Director