It's National AmeriCorps Week! I am more and more amazed by all of the things AmeriCorps members are accomplishing in Ames and Central Iowa. Our VISTA at the Volunteer Center of Story County, Laura, is full-fledged into a project that she dreamed up months ago... and it's becoming a reality. Back in September, almost right away when she began her VISTA term, she heard about a homeless garden in California, where people who were homeless had the opportunity to work on this garden, gain skills, and produce food to feed themselves. From that minute, she knew she wanted to do something similar here.
After months of planning with the AmeZone youth group, the Service Patch is becoming a reality. On Global Youth Service Day, organized by Laura and a fellow VISTA in Ames, volunteers joined together to kick off the Service Patch by building raised planters, a compost bin, a shed, a deer fence and more. By the end of the day today, weather permitting, there may be the start of vegetables in the garden.
The motto of The Service Patch is "Growing More Than Food." Laura's vision was that this garden would not only produce food (all to be donated to local food pantries and shelters), but that it would also grow relationships. It is a community space where people of all backgrounds can come together to volunteer, learn, grow food and friendships. Already youth and adults have joined together, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, and soon people from area shelters will be out working on the garden. Throughout the summer, there will community events with music, food and friendship.
We'd like to get the whole community involved - so I hope you can make it out sometime!
And, if you'd like to learn more about AmeriCorps and how AmeriCorps members are creating change in Central Iowa, join us for an AmeriCorps Week Panel Wednesday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ames Public Library. All are welcome.