Monday, July 26, 2010

Our Thanks to Jack & Kim Johnson and their dedicated crew

Growing Places Indy is extremely grateful to Jack Johnson and his All At Once program and crew. It was really an amazing experience to be selected to participate, and to be challenged to raise $2500 before October 1st. They strongly encourage engaging the community in raising the funds, and we have work to be creative in our approach. We organized a film screening and a yoga class, and our Farm Stand in the Slow Food Garden at White River State Park has made produce available by-donation. We have also received generous contributions from others who could not make a specific event. Thank you all!

On Friday, July 23rd, we had the opportunity to have a booth space in the All At Once Village Green at Jack Johnson's concert at Verizon. We'd gotten our first t-shirt order the day before, so we took those, along with some brochures, a little info board, and some produce to attract folks to our table. The All At Once program uses a wonderful "passport" idea to get concert goers to explore the organizations in the Village Green, as well as encouraging them to consider other actions they can take for a more sustainable lifestyle on their own. From the time the doors opened (actually even before from All At Once workers & volunteers) we had a constant stream of people interested in our husk cherries, our t-shirts, and/or the work of Growing Places Indy. We received $609.59 in donations (including $15 donations for all 30 t-shirts we had)! We remain energized and truly amazed by this experience.

Jack Johnson took the time to come out and introduce himself, chat, and take a picture with each organization. Growing Places Indy and Big City Farms had sold his catering folks food for their Friday night meal earlier that morning. He also told us he and his wife celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary on July 22nd with dinner at R-Bistro. They had enjoyed husk cherries from the Slow Food Garden there as well. While we may not have another opportunity to be an All At Once partner again, we certainly hope we can continue to provide Jack Johnson and others with "good, clean, fair" food whenever they visit Indianapolis.

Not every "big name" musician chooses to engage in the purchase of local food or eat at local restaurants. Fewer still donate 100% of tour profits to charity, as does Jack Johnson. Probably even fewer invest in the work of connecting their fans to local non-profit organizations doing work to support environmental, art and music education. Jack Johnson and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation do all of the above, and probably more than that as well. It is also impressive that through the All At Once program fans of Jack Johnson and the local non-profits are encouraged to show their support directly by donating to those organizations, and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation then matches the funds donated up to $2500.

For all the conversations, opportunities to share and receive, and the wonderful example of leadership, we offer our sincere gratitude to Jack Johnson, All At Once and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation.

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