Friday, May 09, 2008

Community Day - a big success!

Manna from Heaven's Community Day was a big success! All the Strawberry plants, gardening sets, gloves and most of the Vegetable Seeds were passed out to almost 1000 families. The garden was planted at the Manna from Heaven building - so Lois will have fresh fruits and vegetables to hand out late summer. Lois handed out baby chicks and feed to almost 40 families.
The families enjoyed a day of food, games as well as raffles and door prizes. It was a fun day held by all. It's amazing to see that Project Seeds has really grown and how many families are growing gardens this year.

They are planning a Back to School celebration the first week-end in August. All school supplies will be handed out. Shelly's idea of the gently used school supplies will go a long way to helping these kids get back to school with the right tools.

Lois will be holding classes to teach the community how to blanch food for freezing. This will go a LONG way to preseving the food so that it will extend into fall/winter. There is a BIG NEED for pint and quart size freezer bags. I am asking that if anyone see these and picks up a few boxes, it will go far in helping these people eat.

It is exciting to see how this community is learning to feed themselves with food that they have grown on their own.

Thank you to all that read these blogs and all the help that you have done to help this community to learn how to feed themselves. I am excited about Shelly's programs and her upcoming trip to Myra.

Have a safe spring,
Ellen Murphy

05/09/08: Returning to Appalachia

I have been inspired to return to Appalachia this year. Despite my sister's near-death experience, she is also considering returning. In fact, she is the one who called me after reading Ellen's postings on this blog and said, "When are we going back?" I think I'll take my oldest son with me, too. It will be a humbling experience for him and open his eyes to the needs of the world.

I'm planning to coincide this trip with the Myra children's return to school in early August. So, I will head out in either late June or early July. It's going to be tough and expensive with gasoline so high but, I have to do this to help Lois and the community.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

05/01/08: NJ and Myra, KY

The kids are at it again, collecting vegetable seeds to send to Myra, KY. Both kids asked for seeds for their birthdays. In addition, we are starting a gently-used school supply drive for end-of-year school supplied from the local schools. Several kids are jumping on board for this effort and will collected the remnants that would otherwise be tossed out but are still in good shape!

I am very impressed with all that Ellen is doing with the Myra community! Bravo and kudos!!!! I have tears in my eyes reading all of these notes that have been posted to the blog. I have been so involved in my own geographic area that I haven't been monitoring the happenings from Maryland. Wow, Ellen. YOU ARE AMAZING AND TRULY BLESSED!!!!!

Big news coming up for next year. It appears that my college will be creating a Sociology course to have the students learn about Myra, KY. It's a course called "Living on the Edge". We will be teaching the students all about Appalachia and explore the long economic disaster known as American poverty. The plan is to actually take the students out to Myra, KY in 2009. I know it's a long way away but...I'd rather get back out there in 2009 than 2010. :)

On a more fun note, my daughter's Daisy Troop learned about Myra, KY where I showed them my photo book and talked about the community (with special commentary on Destiny and Kirsten). The 5 and 6 years old really loved it...but the parents really jumped on board.

After reading about all that Ellen has achieved with Heifer, my box of seeds seems small in comparison. I'm motivated to continue my work. Thank you, Ellen and all of the Focus America volunteers throughout the nation!

Shelly Zimmerman, Founder