Friday, August 12, 2011

Getting to Know the New VISTA's

I have been meaning to sit down on a quiet day at the office and get all of you blog readers up to speed. Today is finally that day. As you may already know, Grow Food, Grow Hope is an ever-changing entity with a rotating staff of AmeriCorps VISTA's and a near daily influx of community and student volunteers. We are always working on a new project; this week, we are getting cool weather crops in the ground and planning for various fall events (I'll have a list of dates and times in the September Newsletter).


It can be hard to keep up with us- even if you work here. As readers, you may find that you don't really know us as people, but more as an entity; However, Grow Food, Grow Hope is made up of a diverse mix of employees, volunteers,and community members with a passion for helping others. I am one such individual and I feel that the time has come for an introduction.

My name is Sarah Bachman. I am from Dayton, Ohio originally but these days, I find that home is wherever the people I love are. I have degrees in sociology and film & video production. I consider myself an environmentalist, an animal lover and an optimist. I am one of those rotating VISTA staffers I mentioned earlier. I came to Grow Food, Grow Hope on June 27th, 2011 and I will be here for a total of 365 days. I am paid through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. My position is that of Public Relations Coordinator. If you check this website regularly, read our newsletter, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, there is a good chance you are seeing something that I personally had a hand in. As part of my position, I am also responsible for helping to maintain our community garden plots, expanding our Grow-A-Row program, planning events and writing grant proposals. Needless to say, I keep busy.

I have a lot of help though. I am one of six VISTA's in the Grow Food, Grow Hope office. Most of us are new to the organization but since starting, we have formed a close-knit team. It came easy to us, mainly because we all want the same thing; We want to help people. We want to see people thriving in their daily lives. We want to see happy, healthy families. We want to educate people, to give them a leg up, and to fight the dastardly beast known as Poverty. We believe we can do it too.

This is my second stint as a VISTA; Last year while I was completing my bachelors degree at Shawnee State University, I served with another garden initiative called The Portsmouth Pantry Garden. I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided I would try to pursue another service term upon graduation. I applied to about a dozen other non-profits and knew when I found GFGH that I needn't look further. Food is a necessity but access to healthy food is something that can make the difference between merely surviving from day to day and thriving. According to the US Department of Agriculture in 2010, about 17.4 million households in America had difficulty providing enough food due to a lack of resources. Working at GFGH, I feel that I am able to tackle this problem with full force. I can interact directly with the population that needs me and it feels GREAT!

I have 349 days left with Grow Food, Grow Hope. I don't know what the coming year holds for me and I have no idea where I'll end up when it's over, but I know I will go forth with an experience that will have changed my life.

If you have ideas for how I can help the community of Wilmington while I am here, or if you yourself could use a bit of help from GFGH, please send me an email. If you have suggestions, praise or criticism, don't hesitate to comment here on the blog or on our Facebook or Twitter feed. Also, check back in the coming weeks for intros from all the other VISTA staffers at GFGH.

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