Two months ago Gary and I not only celebrated our milestone birthdays, 60/40 – Happy 100 Centennial, but also (as we have shared) got married making the love we have felt the past five years that much stronger, as we are joined together for life. Our nuptials were a surprise, so we asked for no special gifts to be given, but we did request anyone wanting to bring a birthday gift to donate to Dallas Uncorked instead, for us to give back to two important charities that we believe strongly in, Charity:Water and The Edible Schoolyard Project. Thank you to all those who contributed. Earlier this month we were able to give $500 donations to each in the names of a few very important people to us.
To Charity:Water, our donation was made in honor of Don and Ellen Winspear, our dear friends and witnesses for our marriage who have a love, romance and marriage that Gary and I admire and aspire to. Sweethearts since their youth, they continue to surprise us with their courage, depth, strength, grace and love, even when facing extreme adversity.
To The Edible Schoolyard Project, our donation was made in the name of the magnificent Dash Stodghill, much like a superhero with the manners of a prince, Dash is the curly haired son of Anne and Steve, our dear friends who graciously gave us the use of their pristine home for our birthday festivities. Dash is lucky, his mama has already planted raised garden beds in their backyard to start the learning process of growing plants and eating food straight from the garden, so he is learning the importance of this at a very young age. Millions of kids across the country don’t have this benefit and The Edible Schoolyard Project hopes to change that.
If you are unfamiliar with either, here is a little information about them both and why we have chosen to support them.
Charity:Water was started in 2006 with the goal to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Over 800 million people in the world today do not have easy access to clean drinking water….that is about one out of every nine people in the world, don’t have access to the one resource we often take most for granted. In countries around the world the sole jobs of many people in villages, usually young girls and women, is to walk to gather water, often spending the majority of their day in this one simple task, carrying up to 80 pounds back to their village to supply the rest. Charity:Water is determined to change this, by working with partners around the world to dig wells, capture rainwater, provide water purification and sanitation, dramatically changing the lifestyles of hundreds of thousands…so far…around the world. And, one of the key reasons I love them, 100% of every dollar donated is used for these water projects. Funding for staffing, office maintenance, etc. is provided through separate private donations and sponsorships. Since they started multiple water projects have been completed in 20 countries around the world helping bring clean water to millions of people. In Ethiopia they have helped 1,183,550 people through 3000+ projects, in The Republic of Congo over 56,000 people have been helped through 183 projects, 71,000 people in Haiti have been helped through 39 projects and dozens more. Their work is impactful, relevent and important.
The Edible Schoolyard Project was started by the mother of the slow food/real food movement, Alice Waters, famed owner and chef of Chez Panise in Berkley. Ms. Waters had the universal idea that “every child in this world needs to have a relationship with the land… to know how to nourish themselves… and to know how to connect with the community around them.” By establishing living gardens in schools and communities throughout the country, especially in inner city, urban areas that have difficulty finding fresh fruits and vegetables, you can teach children how to nurture the land and nourish themselves, ensuring they will never go hungry….an issue so many kids face in the U.S. today. Bonus, they will also learn to appreciate the taste of real food, especially when they have a hand in growing it. More and more programs are being developed throughout the country, following Ms. Waters vision for “fostering hands-on learning, healthier food choices, and respect for one another and the land.”