We, Team 20/20 Vision, the 20th class of Next Level Trainings’ Vision Impact Program (VIP) in Columbus, were charged with creating an impactful community service project. Our decision as a team was to stand in support of creating future leaders of tomorrow through an organization called Seeds of Caring.

Too many service-oriented organizations exclude kids due to age, denying them access to enriching volunteer experiences shaping their development. Because of this, we’re missing a huge opportunity: engaging an entire upcoming generation of kids in critical issues from the beginning of their lives, instilling in them the passion and confidence to effect change in their communities. Seeds of Caring empowers kids to create a kinder community with their hearts, hands, and minds by designing meaningful opportunities for kids to engage in service, social action, and community-building.

With the intention of creating love, passion and inspiration,, our team chose to support Seeds of Caring and their mission.. As our team banded together and formed a cohesive unit of action, we learned that Seeds of Caring’s mission was our’s as well. Its vision was everything we stood for, and therefore inspired us to empower the next generation of leaders.

With a team of only 40 individuals (with nearly half living in other cities across the country), we boldly declared to raise $88,000 in 21 days. We reached out to corporations, local businesses, family, and friends to support this cause. Our campaign reached all across the country, as far as Washington State and even Europe. No matter our location, we pushed until the very last second of our campaign.

We hosted a fundraising event at Whetstone Park of Roses to bring the community together and raise funds. We provided food, activities, games, and a silent auction for members of our Columbus community.

With one day to spare in our campaign, our team met our fundraising goal and then exceeded it for a grand total of $106,386. In addition to these funds, we sourced over 1,800 tangible goods and transformed Seeds of Caring’s education rooms at St. Stephen’s Community House into beautiful workspaces for the kids. .

Brandy Jemczura, Executive Director at Seeds of Caring, emphasized the impact of our team’s support: “What you have done is really changing the future for our kids in our community... thank you, thank you.”

We could not be more humbled, yet wildly ecstatic about the impact we have made in such a short amount of time. It clearly illustrates there is nothing we can’t do when we come together to achieve a goal that is bigger than ourselves, changing the world.

From the bottom of our very full hearts, we thank everyone who contributed and supported us along the way. Thank you to Next Level Trainings’ Leadership, coaches, and graduates, and the many donors from all walks of our lives. We are truly grateful for the lessons learned and the connections we created not only within our team, but also in the world.