Thursday, April 21, 2016

Volunteer Appreciation!

Last week was National Volunteer Week and at New Roots we were able to celebrate with many of our volunteers who work tirelessly to help refugee farmers become more self-sufficient every year! We gathered our English tutors together to talk about how the winter classes went. Tutors were able to share suggestions and resources for future tutors. 

We also enjoyed some delicious snacks and swapped success stories and funny moments. It’s always an adventure with our farmers- and we are so grateful to the volunteers who put in hours of tutoring each week to build up their confidence and English skills as they prepare to sell their vegetables at market.

For the past several months, Catholic Charities and Somali Bantu Foundation of Kansas have partnered with the Boy Scouts of America on a collaboration project for the Somali Bantu Community Garden in Kansas City, KS. Anthony Hornung selected the garden to be the recipient of his Eagle Scout project this spring. He was able to fundraise in order to purchase supplies and build a fence for the newest portion of the garden, purchase compost to improve the soil for that area and purchase a much-needed weed eater to maintain the property around the garden. It was so great to watch everyone work together to complete the project and new relationships were made between the Boy Scouts and the Somali Bantu gardeners. A huge THANK YOU to the Boy Scouts for making this happen!

We were also able to celebrate with one of our volunteers, Mary Gillespie, as she was named the Wyandotte County United Way Volunteer of the Year by Catholic Charities. Mary has been with us for several years, teaching English with the same family for the entirety of her time. The family members have learned to count back change, interact with customers and most importantly, have become more confident in their abilities! She also teaches English classes at Catholic Charities for newly arrived refugees in her spare time. She has done so much to make our program better. Thank you, Mary!

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