Follow us as we transition into an independent non-profit organization.
Our Program Director and Co-founder Max Elliot shares his thoughts on this new, exciting change and what it means for Urban Roots:
WHY IS URBAN ROOTS BECOMING AN INDEPENDENT ORGANIZATION?
In 2007, YouthLaunch sowed the seeds of Urban Roots, a dynamic youth development program. While the Board of Directors of YouthLaunch is working to overcome funding challenges within the organization, they have recognized the strength and value of Urban Roots in the Austin community. The Board has determined that the best strategy to ensure the continued success of the Urban Roots program is to support Urban Roots in becoming its own independent organization. Urban Roots is excited to continue its unique work with young people and the community by making the transition toward becoming an independent non-profit agency.
WHAT ARE THE PROGRAM GOALS FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR?
In the 2010-2011 program year, Urban Roots engaged 30 Austin youth to plant, cultivate and harvest over 32,000 pounds of healthy fruits and vegetables. We donated more than 40% of the produce to local soup kitchens and food pantries. Youth farm Interns led almost 500 youth and adults on farm tours and field trips. Over 600 adults got their hands dirty by volunteering on the Urban Roots farm through our Community Volunteer Days.
In the current 2011-2012 program, we aim to match the same goals and objectives to grow 30,000 lbs of food for the community on our 3.5 acre farm with 30 youth Farm Interns. We are also excited to welcome even more community members and students to volunteer and visit the farm for field trips. We will continue to set a high bar for success for our youth and for our organization moving forward through this transition.
WHAT IMPACT WILL THIS TRANSITION HAVE ON URBAN ROOTS AND ITS PROGRAMMING?
This is a very exciting time for Urban Roots, and as we take these first few steps as a brand new organization, your support will be critical. We are asking our friends and supporters for their immediate, generous financial investment in this growing organization. We will also continue to rely on your volunteer efforts, advocacy, and connections to help Urban Roots continue to flourish, now as a successful, sustainable, and independent non-profit. This transition is already underway, and we are excited about giving you the opportunity to show your support.
With the support of the Austin community, we strongly believe that an independent Urban Roots will have the infrastructure and organizational culture to continue to provide high quality programming. Additional funding is necessary to ensure our ability to do so.
URBAN ROOTS IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE FIRST STEPS IN OUR TRANSITION:
New website: www.urbanrootsatx.org
New office at Center 61 in the People Fund Building at 2921 E. 17th, Austin, TX, 78702
New mailing address: P.O. Box 12745, Austin, TX 78711 (The Urban Roots farm will continue to be at 7651 Delwau Lane, Austin, TX 78725)
New phone numbers: To be coming soon!
- Max Elliott, Program Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leigh Gaymon-Jones, Youth Program Coordinator: email@example.com
- Marysol Valle, Farm Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shirene Garcia, Outreach Coordinator: email@example.com
We have recently filed for our own 501c3 status as an independent agency; however, until this process is approved, YouthLaunch will continue to be the Urban Roots fiscal sponsor.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN NEEDS OF URBAN ROOTS AND HOW CAN I HELP?
The most important contribution that individuals can make to help Urban Roots during this pivotal transition is financial –your thoughtful and generous donations are vital to ensure that the organization will continue to provide quality programming and services to the Austin community.
WAYS TO SUPPORT URBAN ROOTS:
- Make a tax deductable donation to Urban Roots (although this is a link through the YouthLaunch website, 100% of your donation will go to support Urban Roots)
- Donate items on our Wishlist
- Purchase our produce at the SFC downtown Farmers’ Market on Saturdays at Republic Square Park (4th & Guadalupe)
- Join our 30 member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription program for the 2012 season. Visit our CSA page or contact Marysol for more information.
- Host a party on behalf of Urban Roots to help us raise funds. Contact Shirene for more information.
- Follow us on Facebook
- Participate in Edible Austin Eat Drink Local Week, which benefits Urban Roots and Sustainable Food Center.
- Schedule Corporate Team Building Days for your business or work place.
- Share information about Urban Roots with your friends and family!
Thank you all for your continued support. We couldn’t do this work without you! We hope to see you on the farm or in the community soon!
Urban Roots Program Director