Empowering Our Neighbors Through Community Conversations
This spring, Bridging For Tomorrow hosted our first Community Conversation in our new community space. Our hope is that these conversations will promote community engagement through the sharing of knowledge and collaboration around a common interest. Our first topic was "Gardening and Your Health." The conversation was facilitated by Isis Scurry and Ramone Johnson, community members and experienced gardeners, and by Jason Lominac, the founder of Northampton Veggie Gardeners.
Our partnership with Northampton Veggie Gardeners began a year ago. Shortly after starting the online gardening community, Jason saw that his church was collecting nonperishable donations for our Food Pantry. He wondered if the families who would receive the items collected had access to fresh produce. As Northampton Veggie Gardeners continued to expand, he felt God calling him to find a way to use the group to help feed families in need. He brought this challenge to the group, and they responded enthusiastically. They have been providing our Food Pantry with fresh, organic produce ever since.
Jason was excited to help lead our first Community Conversation because he enjoys sharing his love and knowledge of gardening with others. He says, “I believe anytime you can bring a group of people together with no agendas and have an open conversation about a common passion, there is a benefit to everyone. Also, to see the diversity in such events certainly makes communities stronger.” On the evening of the Community Conversation, we gathered together to learn about urban gardening, ask questions, and share ideas with each other. In addition to a great group discussion, we experienced first-hand how to plant seeds and how to compost. Everyone left with new information and a package of seeds, feeling empowered to try growing their own produce. All who attended really enjoyed the event. People can’t wait to learn more about gardening and explore new topics with their neighbors.