The Big Garden focuses on growing nutritious food in East Omaha, where many live at or below the poverty line.
Last year on UMC #GivingTuesday, United Methodists collectively raised a record $6.5 million online through The Advance. It was a wonderful sign of commitment and extravagant generosity, maximizing the impact of thousands of United Methodists coming together on one day to transform the world. This story is another example that demonstrates the impact of giving when Methodists are united.
Youth volunteer for The Big Garden project helping to grow fresh produce for the community. Photo: The Big Garden.
Because of generous donations made online through last year’s UMC #GivingTuesday event, The Big Garden, Advance #3021107, was able to develop a 10-week gardening curriculum that was used to teach basic gardening skills to more than 200 low-income refugee youth.
The youth learned how to make compost, gained new techniques on how to improve the soil, and learned how to cook healthy meals using the fresh produce they themselves grew.
“Through The Advance, we are well on our way to eliminating hunger in our community,” said Nathan Morgan, executive director of Big Garden. “We are grateful to partner with our Advance supporters in this life-changing work.”
Supported by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and initially funded by the USDA’s Community Food Project, The Big Garden began in 2005 with a focus on growing nutritious food to eliminate hunger in East Omaha, an urban food desert. Its mission is to improve nutritional health and facilitate community development in the Omaha metro area where many people live at or below the poverty line. The project helps build the capacity of community organizations, congregations, and schools through the act of gardening. Today, The Big Garden is a network of more than 100 community gardens in the metro-Omaha and rural and semi-rural communities in Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa.
According to Morgan, plans are in development to create eight new community gardens at child care centers in the Omaha Metro area, providing 10-week summer programs for youth and adults at each site. The goal will be to reach 300 youth and adults with a physical space to offer gardening education classes so they too can grow their own food.
UMC #Giving Tuesday
On December 2 you are invited to extend the spirit of giving thanks into the Advent season by participating in UMC #GivingTuesday. Every gift made online through The Advance at www.umcmission.org/give on December 2 will be matched up to $1 million.*
Click here for UMC #GivingTuesday resources.
*Global Ministries will allocate the matching funds dollar for dollar up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on December 2, 2014, between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EST. A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.