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10/10/18

 Dear Mr. Alexander,

 First, please receive my deepest gratitude for the time you are taking to read this letter. I realize how valuable your time is, and I believe, as you use it to read through this letter, your openness to viable  solutions is revealed. You understand that the greatest potential to reach more people is best achieved using the simplest, organic and sustainable methods for healthy food provision while allowing individuals an opportunity to be accountable for their own families if they so choose.

Although you and I have been Facebook friends for the past few years, you may not yet have heard of Seeds of Grace; a local, grassroots organization on the Kitsap Peninsula here in Washington State. Perhaps you didn’t know that we started building gardens in Mexico in April of 2014, then locally in Kitsap County the following June. You might not know that since its founding, the volunteers Seeds of Grace have built 18 gardens in Kitsap, Mason and Pierce Counties locally and 4 in Mexico. I also think you may not have heard that over the last 3 years, the garden programs in schools have also become tools for STEM curriculum for the students of those schools. Maybe you knew of the local gardens in financially-assisted housing communities, and how the residents thereof are directly receiving and serving their families delicious produce within moments of its harvest from the beds we constructed. But I’ll bet you were not aware that all the food from every Seeds of Grace garden goes to feed the hungry not only in the ways outlined above, but also through soup kitchens, food banks, backpack programs and other programs. Every garden is built, maintained and harvested by volunteers. Over the last 4-1/2 years, thousands of people have enjoyed fresh fruits and vegetables from the gardens built by Seeds of Grace teams.

I share this with you, because I believe the Seeds of Grace mission, ‘to build sustainable, organic gardens in impoverished neighborhoods around the world to feed God’s Sheep’, is something you are aligned with. I have seen that you bless organizations who work toward alleviating hunger. As a parent, how can we not care about that? Well, this is exactly what we do, and I am hoping to compel you to help us by donating a gift that we can leverage to grow the reach of Seeds of Grace and help change the world.  

In November Seeds of Grace is hosting an event to raise funds so that we can continue on this trek. This event, the Third Annual Seedy Soirée will include an auction and other entertaining fundraising activities, dinner and a concert, featuring Dove-nominated artist, Shawn McDonald. It will be held at the Admiral Theatre on November 17, 2018, in Bremerton, Washington.

I would love to offer you and Valerie tickets to this event, as I know that it aligns with your values. But I want to ask if you will please consider donating a meet and greet, perhaps in Seattle – an experience for 4 – 8 people, and perhaps it will include lunch or some other sort of experience of your choosing?  The funds raised at this event will help us expand our offered programs, build more gardens in more schools, and they will create a new summer intensive for kids and an after school educational program I call, Garden Gnome Junior- Growing Good Grub. We will also offer an adult-version of the program too!

 This leap in my program capacity is a direct result of my receipt of an amazing gift: a building on acreage. When the Gilberton Community Club found it necessary to dissolve, their exit plan required that their assets be given to another NPO. They asked for letters describing how the facility would be used, and out of all of the hopeful local organizations, Seeds of Grace was chosen. We are now the proud owners of Lichen Hollow, (renamed from Gilberton Community Club). The initial disbelief in reading the announcement, led to intense gratefulness, and absolute awe that we were the recipient of such an amazing gift. Then came the reality of everything that would have to be done in order to use this facility to its potential – it required a LOT of renovation!

As overwhelming were the needs of the building and grounds, it has simply been another opportunity to see how my community supports those organizations whose values align to lift up those who need it the most. Seeds of Grace has received so many gifts! From major discounts on supplies, materials and services to altogether free services, materials and even food to support work parties! Many small, local companies have come with teams of their employees working several hours in a day. Several businesses have given materials; enough paint to complete the inside and outside of the whole building and sheds, an electrician who has not charged us for even one of the seven hours he has spent repairing and rewiring so that our teams can efficiently do the work necessary to maintain all existing programs. There have been so many individuals who have put their own gifts to use, whether money, know-how or time, to help us get to the point that we can use this space to the betterment of the whole community.

 As a facility, Lichen Hollow will be rented out for events, such as weddings, retirement and birthday parties. Organizations that offer private classes will be asked to donate according to their ability. This will allow us to create a sustainable revenue resource, all of which will be put right back into the building, the property and the classes that we’ll offer. And more, it’s use by other non-profit organizations for classes or club meetings will be offered for free.

Of course, all of those activities will be scheduled around the Seeds of Grace education programs, we now have the capacity to offer. The expansion into education has been a dream since the inception of Seeds of Grace. We will continue to place gardens around the community where they are most needed, and where the harvested food will do the most good. At the same time, the potential impact that we have been given in Lichen Hollow, will enable us to plant more seeds in our community by teaching people to grow their own food. We will not only teach specific gardening methods, like permaculture, raised bed planting and companion planting; but also cutting-edge technologies like aquaponics, vermiculture, composting, food preparation and preservation will be taught to children and adults alike! Individuals are coming out of the woodwork with specifically detailed gifts to be shared through these classes by way of a simply and experientially designed module, such that all ages will be excited to participate and learn.

I can’t tell you how impactful your gift’s potential is. I have no doubt that I can leverage a VIP package to at least three times it’s worth. And this doesn’t even account for the added awareness that any gift from you would afford Seeds of Grace.

Won’t you please support my growth and complete the attached online form?

https://www.dreambigaskbold.org/seedy-soiree-auction-donation-commitment

And if you and Valerie would like to come, please register using the promo code on the invitation below at this link:

https://www.dreambigaskbold.org/seedy-soiree

Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your consideration. If you have any questions, you can reach me directly at: 360-797-5605.

In Appreciation,

Karole Lee Johnson, Executive Director

Seeds of Grace builds sustainable, organic gardens in impoverished neighborhoods around the world to feeds God’s Sheep

www.dreambigaskbold.org  info@dreambigaskbold.org  IRS 501 (C)(3) 32-0445906

Seeds of Grace 8050 Illahee Road NE– Bremerton, WA 98311

Phone: 360-797-5605

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