Happy New Year!
2018 has been an amazing year for Miracle on Craig Street. We are grateful to be able to accomplish more and more each year. We continue to learn and grow from our community while building alongside them. We have raised a total of $330K for our capital campaign for Carver Community Center! We had our first clean up of the property this November! We are so close to restoring this legacy and space for our community. It is our goal to close on the property in the Spring of 2019! Fingers crossed that all of our hard work on fundraising, business planning, securing tenants, building partnerships, strategic planning, and grant writing pays off in a big way this year! We have worked really hard to build on our assets here in the community and leaders and stakeholders have come in every step of the way to support our cause. Here is an overview of our fantastic 2018 year.
Our veteran initiative The Community Basketball League at Jerry Burrell ceases to amaze us. We started this important community series event five years ago as our first anchor program for engagement, promoting safety, celebrating community, promoting physical activity and improving community ties. The initiative has evolved to encompass several community partners including The YMCA, Boys Day Out, and The Schenectady City School District. In conjunction with the League we now include yoga classes during the games, a book mobil provided by SCSD, free and for sale food, and community giveaways. Next year we are looking to continue collaborating with our community by signing up additional vendors to provide information, resources, and goodies to our community. Occupying Jerry Burrell Park, one of the local community parks while ensuring safety and a vibrant experience during the summer in conjunction with our community members, partners, and collaborators is what our work is all about; building from within, pooling our resources together, many hands make light work.
Project Backyard proved to be a great success during its first year in 2018. In our attempt to meet our community where they are at and bring farming/gardening education and fresh food to their doorstep, we launched Project Backyard in the Spring of 2018. We worked with ten families over the course of May-November to support them in building their own garden beds, learning, and practicing growing their own food. All participants were satisfied with the program, felt more confident to continue growing food for the next season, and responded likely to recommend the program to a friend. 2018 was our first year of piloting the program ,our intention is to continue piloting the program and learning how best to develop and implement it to meet the needs of the community. But our program proved a sure success in the engagement, dissemination of information, and retainment of knowledge/education regarding growing food! Small victories make for big celebrations here :) Thanks to our sponsors Bellevue Builders, Honest Weight Food Co-op, Home Depot, and Electric City Food Co-op for making this possible.
Though our Self Care and Yoga Series with Chelle Marie Wellness was brief in the Spring of 2018 it was magical. Women gathered together to discuss personal conversations about social and emotional health that helped to connect all of us in the room. We laughed together, cried together, and participated in movement and the sharing of intentions. We shared and borrowed each others tips and tricks to maintain and build peace, confidence, and self love. With Chelle’s direction we followed specific prompts to journal and dig into and explore ourselves. We are hoping to do a lot more Self Care and Yoga with Chelle Marie Wellness and other instructors in 2019. We’d like to keep developing and opening up this resource to our community as we have witnessed the need for this type of support in our community by the overwhelming response to these workshops.
In 2019 we are looking to promote collective responsibility and cooperative economics especially regarding our fundraising practices. We have had many community members who have stepped up and requested to host fundraisers for Miracle on Craig Street to support our organization. It is our goal to support those individuals with this very meaningful and generous task and act of kindness. First up is Erin Hundley owner of Red Door Beauty Studio and our Soul Fire Farm Family. Red Door Beauty Studio will be hosting author, farmer, activist, spiritual leader, Leah Penniman for an intimate discussion and book signing of “Farming While Black” on January 26th at 3pm. All proceeds will go to providing 1-2 families with garden beds, farming/gardening education, and all materials and seedlings through Project Backyard. Isn’t our community amazing? To register for this event please click here. Seats are limited to thirty people, so hurry hurry! To purchase this must read, important, and necessary book click here.
As we continue to add new professionals and talented individuals to our board, we would like to introduce them to you! Please meet our new board member and treasurer, Nash Hylton. Nash dedicates most of his time to the work of empowering others. Through his work as a Financial Wellness Coach, Nash has been plugging away at establishing himself in the community as a readily accessible resource for sound financial decision making and planning. The opportunity to serve on the board of Miracle on Craig Street is not only an honor, but also right in line with his mission of getting in the trenches with the community. Outside of financial planning, Nash spends the rest of his working hours training at Empire Self Defense and Fitness where he studies Muay Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. He also teaches a cardio kickboxing class at Empire called Strike-Fit, aimed at empowering women and creating an environment where they can flourish and achieve their fitness goals. To round him out, Nash is a musician with training from Berkeley School of Music, specializing in Rock Guitar. He’s often likened to the “Metal” Jimi Hendrix who passed on Nash’s birthday years ago.
Thank You to all of the volunteers, board members and countless individuals and partners who have helped to make 2018 a great, fun-filled, productive, and meaningful year for Miracle on Craig Street. We are looking forward to experiencing and sharing all that 2019 has to offer with you!
Yo Te Bendiga
Happy New Year!
By: Rosa Rivera
Lead Organizer of Miracle on Craig Street