I first met Katie in St. Louis when Build-A-Bear Workshop named us both 2009 Huggable Heroes. Katie had received the honor for her success with Katie’s Krops, and I had gotten the award for the nonprofit that I started, called Bowling for Bears, which provides teddy bears to children in need during the holidays. It was a great experience to meet Katie and to learn about her amazing organization!
After we met, I continued to grow Bowling for Bears, and started a Do Something Club at my high school to involved students in my school in my organization. Our Do Something Club has expanded to participate in projects for many different causes.
The club was so excited about the idea of starting a Katie’s Krops garden as another one of our projects, and we couldn’t wait to get started and help those in need with our garden! We are so grateful that Katie’s Krops was able to provide us with funding for our garden -- Katie’s generous support has helped so much!
Once we decided to start the garden and got Katie’s support, we secured a plot at our local farmstead’s community garden. We got seedlings and other gardening materials donated from local gardening stores, and after tilling and preparing the soil, we finally got to plant our eggplant, tomato, and pepper seedlings! We set up a schedule for club members to water each day, and continued to watch the seedlings grow! We also set up a collection bin for other gardeners to place excess produce to donate.
Our club members have really enjoyed growing our vegetable garden so far, and we can’t wait to continue! We really want to thank Katie for her generous support, and for all of the great advice that she gives us throughout our gardening process. We appreciate the opportunity to get involved in her organization and help others! Katie is so inspiring, and I really love working together!
Below are some thoughts from a few of our club members:
We're proud of [the garden]. To Katie and Katie's Krops, thank you very much for your support! Without it, we wouldn't have been able to achieve what we have, so once again, thank you very much :-D! Sincerely, Tiffany
After starting a garden in my own backyard this year, and then hearing about a chance to garden as a group for community service, I immediately joined the Do Something Club. I began to spend time researching garden tips and taking care of both locations, at my home and at the Barclay Farmstead. I think that it is great that by growing a garden and having fun while doing it, we can actually be helping people in need of food by donating our produce. It has been a successful experience so far and I am grateful for it. Thanks to Katie's Krops for the inspiration and help we have received! Thanks, Kaylin
Thanks for sharing your expertise. I am honored to be a part of your wonderful organization! Despite the challenges of weeds and bugs, so far I've had a ton of fun and learned a lot from our gardening experience. It is incredibly exciting and rewarding to spot vegetables growing. Thank you, Katie, for supporting our garden and helping us to have this terrific experience. You are truly amazing! I look forward to keeping in touch as we keep you updated on the challenges and triumphs of our garden! Thanks, Gigi
Congratulations, Sarah the Katie's Krops/AllyKatzz Grant Winner!!!
I am very excited to announce the winner of the Katie's Krops/AllyKatzz Grant, Sarah, from Virginia! I loved Sarah's application! I knew from the minute I read it we were so much alike. Sarah is very passionate and excited about gardening and giving back! In fact, Sarah was so excited that she didn't wait to see if she was the winner of the grant to start her garden, she began shortly after she applied! Here is what Sarah wrote in her application, “I saw Katie on the news and Disney Channel. That inspired me to grow the vegetables I have in pots to something bigger. When Katie said “That a kid can do anything they put their minds to” that has made me what I am, a runner, a gardener and a helpful person to people.” I immediately knew I needed to make Sarah a member of the Katie’s Krops family.
It was even more special to find out that Sarah wanted to come and meet ME at the AllyKatzz Year of the Youth Culmination Celebration at the United Nations! Sarah is the first grantee I have ever met in person. It was a very special day for me for many reasons but meeting Sarah made it even more exciting! I was able to award her the grant in person at the French Institute and she had a great time at the celebration as did I! We both walked away so inspired by the people we meet, the speeches we heard and the realization that we can change the world.
Choosing a grantee is the most difficult part of the process. There are so many amazing girls out there who are passionate about this issue also. I always have trouble narrowing down the grantees as I did this time. I look forward to giving out more grants in the future.
Thank you to everyone who applied for the Katie’s Krops/AllyKatzz Grant and a huge thank you to Miss Denise, Miss Carol, Monique and to Disney Friend for Change for allowing me to be part of an amazing event that truly inspired so many!
Every year we plant watermelon seeds in hopes of getting a big, juicy, delcious melon. Yet every year we still get no watermelons or fist size watermelons that die or crack from the heat. Well this year we got lucky! Out on Mr. Bob's farm with my two little girl volunteers we planted some watermelon seeds donated to us from Ferry-Mores. Today we went up check the garden and there was a twenty pound watermelon right in front on our eyes. I was absolutely amazed that I grew that! Even though I have grown a freakishly large cabbage before I have never managed to grow a watermelon, but there is a first time for everything! Thank you to my two volunteers Reese and Georgia for their magical touch! I am proud to say that my watermelon,which weighed in at a whooping twenty pounds, was donated to Eagle Harbor Ranch. Eagle Harbor Ranch is a a home for abused, neglected or homeless children. I am very happy to have been able to help them.
Thank you Ferry-Morse for supplying the seeds to help feed people in need!
Planting our Ferry-Morse watermelon seeds!
My amazing volunteers Reese & Georgia!
The end product! Beautiful!
I am excited to share with you my second guest blog from Ms. Shawna Babin’s Class. I am very happy and lucky to have Sydney, Greyson, Jared, Abbey, Nathan, Sophia, Shay, Thomas, Kate, Mitch, Abigail and Dreyton as my grantees.
Here is what two kids in her class wrote on their application, “Metro Athens is one of the poorest areas in the entire state of Georgia. There are a lot of homeless people in the city, and I want to be able to help them! I think they would really love to get home grown vegetables, I know I would!” and “I feel it is important to help people in need because they still deserve food even if they are poor. I also feel it helps the economy and community. I hear a lot about the bad economy and people are losing their jobs so I think to feed people who are in need is something we can all help do. When I went to Chicago on vacation last summer, I saw lots of homeless people who could not afford food. Sometimes I see people who can’t afford good clothes to keep them warm in the winter near where I live.”
After winning the grant my class was very excited about getting started. We spend a lot of time planning and drawing out what we wanted our garden to look like in the space that we had at our school. The soil condition at our school was really poor so we decided to build mostly raised gardens. Our next step was to implement a school-wide composting project. Our local Oconee Beautiful program donated three large compost bins. Our goal was to make as much of our own soil as possible for our garden space.
Our next step was to go to Lowe's to spend our grant money. We took an exciting trip to Lowe's, the students learned so much about planning ahead and all that was involved in starting a big project.
These pictures show the progression of the construction of our garden. At the end of our project we built ten raised beds and developed a 15x30 foot tilled area with a fence trellis. We have our garden stock with numerous kinds of tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, squash, green beans, peas, okra, zucchini, cucumbers, herbs, and onions. We also have some fruits: strawberries, blueberries, and figs.
Our plan is to take care of our garden throughout the summer. All of our produce will be given to Cornerstone Ministries. This ministry feeds the homeless in our area a hot meal every Wednesday and Sunday. The efforts of my class this year will touch the lives of many people in our area. I cannot wait to watch our garden grow!!!!