Causes & Giving

Category: Causes & Giving

81. Barrington EATS: Smart Farm Open House & Organic Veggie Seedling Sale

 The Smart Farm of Barrington is celebrating the spring growing season and inviting us all to visit their brand new garden and hoop house on the grounds of Good Shepherd Hospital during an open house and organic veggie seedling sale this weekend.  It’s happening from noon to 4 p.m. this Saturday, May 4th. They built the hoop house on an acre of land at the hospital, with the help of many volunteers, and thanks to a grant from the Barrington Area Community Foundation in support of the Smart Farm’s mission.
Simply stated, Smart Farm’s mission is “Growing food for our neighbors in need using sustainable gardening practices.”  The 501c3 not-for-profit organization donates 100% of the produce they grow to feed people who come to our local food pantries for help.  And their goal is also to encourage more of us to grow our own food and better appreciate the benefits of sustainable gardening.
A woman named Kathy Gabelman gathered a small group of gardeners to form Smart Farm in 2009.  It was at a turning point in her life.  “My mom had just passed away and she was raised on a farm and you go through a transition in your life.  I felt like I wanted to do something good and green in our community.”  And, judging by the photos on Smart Farm’s Facebook page, there’s no shortage of good, green fun with this group.
They started with a community garden at Ron Beese Park where they doubled their production last year, donating 2,000 pounds of produce to area food pantries in 2012.
Last fall, they expanded to the garden and hoop house on the hospital grounds where they hope to double their production again this year, feeding even more families in our area.
Kathy says these are “educational gardens” to help everybody grow food for themselves to improve health and wellness and give back to the community……

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27. Students Host Fashion Fundraiser for Guatemalan Family

 If you’ve been reading our posts here at 365Barrington.com for a while, you know we love to write about upcoming events and the people behind the many things to do in Barrington.  Today, we’re taking a new approach.  In a new series called Good Works, we’ll be inviting guest writers to share posts about people helping others and ways we can get involved.
Our first guest post is from a Barrington High School Junior named Courtney Quigley.  We asked Courtney to share, in her own words, the experience that motivated her to organize a fashion show fundraiser in Barrington this weekend.  The purpose of the event is to help build a home for a Guatemalan family living, among rats, in a shack surrounded by garbage.
The student fashion show is called Hope’s in Style, it’s happening at The Garlands Center for The Performing Arts from 1 to 4 p.m. this Sunday, February 24th, and we’re all invited.  All proceeds from the event will go to Pottter’s House Association to build a house for 8-year-old Monica Morales and her seven family members who currently call a Guatemala City garbage dump their home.
And that’s where I’ll let Courtney Quigley herself pick things up.  I hope you will be moved, as I was, by her story…
Hope’s in Style
by Courtney Quigley, Barrington High School Junior
When I was younger, I really thought I knew exactly where my life was going. At seven years old, I wanted to be a world famous actress.  Later, I decided that I wanted to be a chef. The third ambition was to become a doctor. But things change in your mind when they change in your heart.
Things changed for me when my family went on our first trip to Guatemala. I was eight years old and my younger sister was only five.  On that trip, we worked with an organization called Kids Around The World that builds playgrounds in places affected by war, poverty, illness and natural disasters.  At this time in my life I spoke no Spanish, so I thought I would not be able to communicate with all the children that we met. But I was so wrong.
My mom threw my siblings and me a soccer ball and the kids slowly but surely came over to us. We played soccer for the next three days. By the time the playground was ready I had made friendships, learned how bad I was at soccer and, most importantly, I found a place in my heart that was especially dedicated to Guatemala.
Guatemala City has about 1 million people living in it. These million people produce a lot of trash. All their trash is dumped in a 40-acre ravine.
As you can imagine, homeless people in Guatemala City have naturally migrated there. In fact, three generations of human beings, fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers have lived in that trash and built whole communities out of it.
That is where Potter’s House comes into play.…

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