2020 seemed like an impossible year to face at times. COVID-19 took loved ones, livelihoods, and the sense of stability away from countless individuals.
It is easy during a time of immense pain and loss to feel alone; however, unlike other historical tragedies, we cannot physically gather together to process and heal. This poses the question: When we are required to social distance, how is it is possible to feel a sense of community?
I firmly believe a community should not be defined by a physical space; a community is a feeling of belonging and being loved by the people around you. At The GardenWorks Project, we strive to create a community where our neighbor’s needs are met and our environment is taken care of.
Despite its challenges, 2020 proved that this idea is still fundamental to our organization’s mission. During this unprecedented time, our community fought to support and love one another. Local businesses, organizations, and individuals donated what they could to keep our programs going. Volunteers made sure their neighbors had access to food by providing container gardens to local families in need. Farmers advocated for the importance of local production and consumption of food to better ourselves and our environment. These actions are a direct result of the community we have grown together.
COVID-19 cannot take this away from us.
I have had the personal privilege of working in the nonprofit field in DuPage County for the last three years. During this time, I have witnessed countless individuals step up and help and give whatever they could. While nonprofits facilitate services for individuals and families in need, it is people like you who make these services possible. Donors, volunteers, and advocates are the reason our community can face monumental problems like homelessness, food insecurity, or the health crisis we are still fighting.
On behalf of The GardenWorks Project, I want to thank you. Without people like you, we could not fulfill our mission to promote organic suburban agriculture to improve the well-being of our community, the environment, and those facing food insecurity. We will continue to serve with compassion in 2021 and beyond. We will continue to serve together.
I cannot wait to see what we accomplish together.