Posts Tagged ‘VOLUNTEERS’

Dec16

Farewell!

Greetings City Fruit Supporters,

This time last year, I was en route to Seattle (er, stuck on the side of the road in Western Nebraska) to begin a yearlong journey with City Fruit as their first AmeriCorps VISTA. Now that my time with City Fruit is almost at an end, I can reflect back on what has been one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had working with small nonprofits.

As a Harvest Against Hunger VISTA with City Fruit, I was tasked with connecting to food banks and meal programs to distribute rescued fruit, attending community outreach events, recruiting volunteers, and harnessing the power and passion of so many fruit loving, food waste fighting folks. I’m most proud of all of the residential harvests we had this year that contributed to our record breaking haul, and our incredible Ambassadors who represent City Fruit year-round by attending neighborhood events, leading harvests, scouting for new fruit trees, and advocating to their friends, family, neighbors, and even City Councilmembers.

While the numbers speak for themselves, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the impact of City Fruit’s most dedicated volunteers. In each of the five neighborhoods where we gathered for residential harvests, many volunteer harvesters attended week after week. One evening we’d harvest Italian plums, and two weeks later we’d share plum jam with one another. Working with such devoted people week in and week out is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

While I am excited to be moving on to my next professional adventure, I will miss seeing the impact of my work on the communities City Fruit serves. Knowing that I am leaving my role in the capable hands of Natalie Place, City Fruit’s second AmeriCorps VISTA, makes me excited to see all that the organization can accomplish in 2015 and beyond. Thank you for helping make my year at City Fruit one of the most rewarding of my life. I look forward to seeing folks as a volunteer down the road!

Cheers,

Melanie

Jan28

MLK Day of Service

Urban-Orchard

Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

Realizing the importance of serving others, City Fruit coordinated over fifteen new volunteers at the Amy Lee Tennis Center. What ensued was a beautiful gathering of people who had no idea the Amy Yee Tennis Center is actually much more than a tennis center. It is an urban orchard with over 30 fruit bearing trees that, for better or worse, have not been taken care of over the years.

In just four hours, volunteers cleared out 20 tarp loads of invasive plants that had stymied the growth of fruit throughout the years. Although we can’t yet measure our success in pounds of fruit donated, the work is critical to the productivity of the various fruit trees at Amy Yee. With more work parties planned for the future, it is hopeful these trees will produce more bountiful fruit to provide to Seattle’s food insecure.

-Report from our Volunteer Coordinator, Melanie Peters. Originally posted on the Rotary First Harvest blog.