A MESSAGE FROM VIP 10 - PHILADELPHIA
We, Transformation Tribe, the 10th class of Next Level Trainings’ Vision and Impact Program (VIP) in Philadelphia, were charged with creating a massively impactful community service project. Our team chose to stand in support of Urban Creators, a nonprofit that stands for self-determination and youth empowerment.
The community of North Philadelphia has experienced disinvestment, disenfranchisement, chronic poverty, and food insecurity for decades. This created an environment of neglected landscapes, crime, and gun violence. In response to this, Urban Creators came together in 2010, forming a collaborative community dedicated to supporting and nurturing self-determination, equity, and leadership through food, art, celebration, and political education. Transforming a 2-acre lot into the Life Do Grow farm, Urban Creators has created a space where the community can gather, grow, and eat healthy food, express themselves freely, and learn to reconnect themselves to the environment.
The vision of Urban Creators is rooted in the same values as those declared by the Transformation Tribe: love, freedom, and empowerment. Inspired by this shared vision, our team of 23 leaders declared that we would raise $50,000 to ensure that the mission and work of this collective will continue to ripple through their community. Reaching out to family, friends, businesses--even the Philadelphia Phillies and the office of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney--our fundraising campaign pushed higher and harder every day to reach our goal. Donations came from far and wide - Southern California, Colorado, New Hampshire, Upstate New York, United Kingdom, South Korea, and the Philippines! After 25 days, our initial goal was reached! Making every day and second count, we strove to create a massive impact to the very end, raising a grand total of $60,318 in support of urban agriculture!
As a working farm, Life Do Grow is always in need of support in the form of physical labor. In addition to our fundraising campaign, we declared to maximize our impact by holding a Day of Service. On a beautiful and sunny Sunday, over twenty team members and friends descended on the farm ready to roll up their sleeves and get dirty in support of Urban Creators and Life Do Grow farm. After several hours of weeding, vine pulling, crop picking, and fellowship, not only was the physical environment improved, an even closer bond had been forged between Urban Creators and Transformation Tribe. Our Day of Service didn’t begin and end with only physical improvements. The day included hosting expert consultants in marketing, finances, business modeling, and graphic design, allowing the people behind Urban Creators to leave with tangible skills and resources to expand economic development in the neighborhood.
Our efforts in support of the vital work of Urban Creators are awe-inspiring. In a short period of time, our small group was able to come together and make a truly massive impact! Powered by our vision of love, freedom, and empowerment, our results were truly powerful.
Transformation Tribe would like to thank everybody who supported us in our journey, whether it was contributing financially or not. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank the Next Level Trainings leadership, coaches and graduates, as well as our families, friends, colleagues, and the many strangers who contributed to our final results. Our connections have forged this incredible result, and we will be forever humbled by our experience. Our memories and the impact we have made to the community of North Philadelphia will live forever.