Reflections, Gratitude, Funding to a TEA

We had a lovely evening last Tuesday with Emily and Kate of WePropelle! Along with the wonderful company of many of the Rock IT! members,  we enjoyed beautiful weather and inspiring conversation at Healcrest Urban Farm under the big apple tree. Check out all of the beautiful photos from the evening lovingly taken by Cara Rufenacht Creative
10014415_874376175976273_2022010700818529614_oMaria and I had such an inspired time we are still feeling the High Vibes from a week ago! Thank you all so much for spending your evening with us. We know how valuable time and energy are and we are so grateful, fortunate, and blessed that you shared your with us.

We thought it helpful to reshare some of what we spoke about that it may support your own efforts.

Healcrest Urban Farm is so fortunate to received support from many varied sources. Many of the structures and gardens have been built by student work crews through PGH Learn and Earn Program, formerly Pittsburgh Summer Youth Employment Program from 2005 – 2010. This program, through participating CDCs and Non-Profits, places youth interns with qualified businesses. Grants pay the student work force and small, local, and non-profit businesses get the benefits of working with a young person outside of your businesses payroll.

In 2012 we were able to purchase our first Ice-Cream cart, Big Bertha, with a grant from Awesome PGH. Awesome if made up of 10 people who every month give up $100 each of their disposable income to projects they believe make PGH more awesome. As a grant winner we were featured and participated in an award ceremony. At the award ceremony we were inspired by all the other awesome projects and we made some great connections. By being a grant winner we were offered 2 news spots as well as other publicity and it really gave us some good fuel to work with.

Through a neighborhood connection with Catapult PGH, also how we met miss Kate Stoltzfus, Maria was sponsored to apply for a KivaZip loan. KivaZip is a type of crowd funding program where anyone can support projects and the recipient receives an interest free loan from the support of interested people. With this loan Healcrest was able to secure the permits, certifications, insurance, equipment and commercial kitchen space needed to legally bring our product to the people. Through this opportunity Maria has been featured which has led to more great connections.

We were fortunate to be chosen for the Idea Foundry Intersector Program in 2013. This program is specifically designed to incubate social enterprise start-up businesses. Our time with Idea Foundry has been eye opening and deeply motivating. We are currently in the second round of their programming. Each round comes with consultation, a financial award designed to support the growth of the social enterprise, and some legal services. With the disciplined support of Nicole and Mike at Idea Foundry we have made strides in our business we may have not otherwise envisioned.

Some of our most recent financial support has come from the Sprout Fund and New Sun Rising, each supporting mindful projects in Pittsburgh and assisting in making our Funding to a Tea event a success. We were graced with Scott from NSR sharing a bit of the work they are focusing on and we are thankful to have NSR focusing on Garfield and inviting Maria to be a board member.

We are able to grow and continue our work through amazing relationships like these. Not only in financial support but the countless amounts of gifts, collaboration, free advice, and consultation we’ve received from knowledgeable people throughout Pittsburgh. I’m sure I can not list them all but advice and support is priceless and we’ve received it from Meridith Grelli of Wigle Whiskey, Jacob Hanchar of Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor, Jody and Steve Choder of Choderwood, Dora and Dierdre of 52nd St Market, Leah Lizarondo of Brazen Kitchen, Pastor Paul of Eastminster Church, Terry Doloughty of Pittsburgh Public Market, and many more.

We’ve also been fortunate over the years to collaborate with Carnegie Mellon, Chatham University, Youth Builders, The Eve Circle, Western Psych, Assemble, Bloomfield Garfield Corp., Western PA Conservancy, Fork in the Road, Chicks in the Hood, Ola’s Herbshop, and others.

Looking forward to the future we are practicing gratitude, manifesting abundance, managing our stresses by counting our blessings, while living presently and with intention. Our journey with Healcrest and working with others has given us many opportunities to learn about ourselves, however reluctantly at times.

Healcrest Urban Farm not only cultivates herbs and fruits, it nurtures our personal growth as well. As we have grown in business we have grown in ourselves. Through this experience we have had to ask hard questions of ourselves and our business and we have matured as a result. With each passing year the perennials get stronger, juicier, more robust, and of higher quality, and so do we. As we nurture the soil and cultivate the plants, Healcrest nurtures our spirits, bodies and minds.

Thank you for sharing in our love. Thank you for your appreciation of the bueatiful sanctuary that is Healcrest Urban Farm.

With love and gratitude, Dana Launius

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