Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I know I've been on a bit of a Kickstarter and crowd-source funding rampage since doing that cover story on local campaigns, and I've reminded you a few times about those local campaigns and why you might want to send a small or big donation their way. But this Kickstarter that I'm about to tell you about has nothing to do with Tucson (which is normally what I am all about), but it has some personal significance that I think is worth sharing with you in hopes you might want to throw some support its way.
Almost 20 years ago, I had the chance to meet my father for the first time. It was something I always wanted to do, and in my mid-20s it happened. He visited me in Seattle from his home in Chicago. It was exactly what I wanted — questions answered and a chance to really understand myself (I now have some pretty strong theories on genetics vs. nurture). But one cool thing during our visit was getting to know more about what my father did for a living and how closely aligned our moral and political beliefs were.
I drove around with him to a couple of public gardens and farm projects that were still in their early stages. He was doing some homework during our visit. In the early 1980s, my father started the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and before he passed away he was working as their policy director and was also seeing a new project take root — Growing Home — an urban farm project that employees people, educates folks, offers transitional job training, grows food and does so much more to transform lives based on urban agriculture. Since his passing it's actually been pretty amazing to watch it take off. My father loved to grow food and he saw something a lot of folks didn't back then — the potential for organic farming to be a vehicle for the social justice work he dedicated his life to.
My reaching out to meet him in my mid-20s was a huge blessing. In the short time I got to know him, I didn't spend as much time with him as I would have liked, but he was still a huge influence on me. I was grateful for how much we had in common and I'm grateful for the family he left me when he passed. You can read about his life here, and about Growing Home here.
So yeah, this is another Kickstarter campaign. Has nothing to do with Arizona or Tucson. It's personal, but still worthwhile for me to share. Perhaps you'll think it's worthwhile enough for you to support, too — there's 20 or so hours before the campaign ends.