When COVID-19 shifted schools online in March 2020, the number of schools that Green Thumbs Growing Kids (GTGK) was able to reach TRIPLED. In addition to serving students in Regent Park and St. James Town (our home base), we’ve been able to reach 9 NEW neighbourhoods (e.g. Riverside, Parkdale, Eglinton West, Lawrence Ave) and schools in 4 NEW cities (Richmond Hill, Mississauga, Scarborough, and Whitby).
Prior to the pandemic, GTGK ran in-person programs at local school gardens. Our staff performed many of the necessary garden caretaking tasks (planting, mulching, weeding, harvesting) alongside students. Now that we are running online programs, as well as caring for our gardens, our work effort has greatly expanded. Staff are running programming and tending the gardens both separately and simultaneously, but our budget has not adjusted to reflect this growth.
Thus far, staff have done an amazing job working in the gardens, on the Green Roof and even supporting Ohemaa's online programs too, packaging kits for students and helping run the programs. They are harvesting produce and donating it to local agencies, and selling surplus at the Farmers Market in Cabbagetown. Unfortunately, their contract via Canada Summer Jobs comes to a close on July 9, 2021. This is a full 8 weeks ahead of back-to-school, and well before the main harvest and market season. We are grateful for the funding we have already received, but to ensure basic minimal garden care for the remainder of the summer, we need to raise a minimum of $9,065.00 to cover this 8-week gap.
This is where you come in!
Our summer matching campaign is made possible by long-time supporter Robert Spence. This year, Spence promises to match donor contributions up to $5000.00. An unexpected promise of $3000.00 from 100 Women Who Care (Toronto East) will also be included in this year’s matching campaign, bringing our summer fundraising target to $8000.00 -- or a possible $16K in matched funds.
If you donate by July 9, 2021, GTGK can extend summer staff contracts. Your donation will support youth jobs, as well as ensuring that our beautiful learning gardens are well-cared for, producing food, and free of weeds when teachers and students return in September.
Your SINGLE donation will be DOUBLED to help support our reach, which has TRIPLED!
Thank you for your interest in our work, and for supporting our summer matching campaign. Donate now to have your donation matched!