2. Our Community Partners: What a blessing it is to work alongside individuals from the community who partner with us to advance our work and are committed to our mission of growing good food and good jobs. Notre Dame’s GreeND and Knights of Columbus student chapter are two partners that have volunteered with us steadily, and we love the work they do on behalf of sustainability and creating more opportunities for autistic adults. Likewise, the MBA Program at Notre Dame's Mendoza School has brought their incoming students to our expansion site as part of their new student orientation to learn about the local community, social enterprise, and to share their gifts with us in a spirit of solidarity and service. The Saint Mary’s College Communicative Science Department has shown their versatility as volunteers - going into the classroom to share our inclusive aquaponics curriculum with middle school students, and working at our expansion site to see our new commercial greenhouses take shape. And with a spirit of service and dedication to the community that can’t be beat, the Penn High School Hockey Team has volunteered onsite at our new farm to do tasks requiring a large number of people – and has helped move us along beautifully. For these partnerships and the partnerships we hope to continue to develop, we are extremely grateful.
3. Our Funders and Foundation Supporters: This year we are very grateful for the opportunity to participate in Autism Speaks’ efforts to develop entrepreneurial businesses for individuals with autism – including their Pitchfest at Northwestern University and as a participant in their Midwest Small Business Accelerator. And locally, the outstanding support of the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County has advanced our work in a very meaningful way – the Foundation’s commitment to impact and innovation has been quite an inspiration for us. Also important is the support of the Heart of Cook Foundation with their special interest in sustainability and “green” initiatives, and for the commitment of the Notre Dame Knights of Columbus to assist in our expansion plans benefiting individuals with autism.
All of us at Green Bridge Growers are full of gratitude for those in the community who offer so much and have made such a difference to our work. We would love to involve others in the community as volunteers and supporters – please be in touch to share in our impact and offer your own time and talent!