You won't understand the unabashed power of a community until you're a part of one.
River City Youth Ops has reached some major milestones this year. For the first time ever, we have had a full time Farm Manager — the amazing Maddy Halverson — on staff. Among many of her duties, Maddy has been charged with developing a comprehensive curriculum that not only teaches job skills, but also works to recognize the needs of the whole person. On the first part of every work day this summer, Maddy's curriculum focused on community through team building activities, the development of communication skills, and ways each participant can give back to the neighborhood and city we share.
If you had a chance to see the documentary about Fred Rogers, you have probably (like me) been humming "Won't You Be My Neighbor." It resonates because we all, at some level, want and need to belong. Our program works to empower the youth of West Central because what we really want is for them to become the kind of people that can empower others in their families, their neighborhoods, and in their cities. We are working together to develop the skills necessary to communicate with kindness, to respond with patience, and to acknowledge that we are all needed and valued.
I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO HAVE A NEIGHBOR JUST LIKE YOU
Community means a lot of different things to River City Youth Ops. We are fortunate to have many amazing neighbors that support us and, ideally, we in turn get to return the favor. Dave has lived across the street from our HUB lot for 20 years. Dave knows how to fix everything and, as you might imagine, there is always something that needs fixing when you operate a farm. He manages the daily watering of our Mission Lot Farm and teaches our youth the in's and out's of fixing small engines.
Odessa's family has lived next door to one of our farm lots for the last 12 years. They provide the water that keeps our garden lush and thriving. Odessa loves to greet the farm crew each morning and often shares with us her love of animals. Corn is her favorite of the crops we grow and she is especially interested in the bee hives kept on "her" farm. She is excited to join our Farm Crew when she is old enough.
Our neighbors are the foundation of our program in so many ways: providing water and lots for us to farm, sharing of skills and resources, and sometimes just through sharing jokes and stories. RCYO gives back through the revitalization of what were once vacant lots. Transformation of these lots into farm sites means neighborhoods are cleared of garbage and hot spots for crime and drug activity to become sources of beauty and pride. Perhaps even more important, people living in the West Central neighborhood get to see their own kids doing amazing work, everyday.
PLEASE WON'T YOU BE OUR NEIGHBOR?
We would love to invite you to join our neighborhood. Many of you of course, have been long standing supporters of River City Youth Ops. Whether you have been part of our community from the beginning or are just becoming familiar with who we are, we would love to see you at our Garden Party on September 22nd. Meet some of our youth, learn about the amazing things they have been working on, and get to know some of our neighbors as well! We will share the delicious food grown on our farms and celebrate the successes of the past year while we build on the future success of this amazing organization. Tickets are available here.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY
If you can't join us for the Garden Party, you can always support the young people of West Central through direct sponsorship. Follow the link bellow!
Above all else, thank you for being a part of our community. We look forward to seeing you at an event or at the Kendall Yards Night Market or the Emerson Garfield Farmers Market through the end of September!