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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

USCB Students were among four groups of College Students that joined Fields to Families over their spring break. Read an article about this group: http://www.blufftontoday.com/bluffton-news/2011-04-05/uscb-students-donate-spring-break-charity#1


Other groups included Central Piedmont Community College, Alpha Phi Omega from University of Illinois Chicago, and the Presbyterian Student Association of Charleston  (pictured below).

With the help of these hardworking groups Fields to Families was able to help our partner Sweetgrass Garden Co-op on Johns Island clean up their lot, prepare their fields, build compost bins, form up rows, mulch, and plant. Groups also gleaned several hundred pounds of collards and mustard greens at Joseph Fields Farm and helped to clean, paint signage, propagate seeds, and plant at the Bogarden community garden.

A huge THANK YOU to our great dedicated college students for spending their spring break helping others!

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Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year from Fields to Families!

2010 was a great year for our organization and we hope it was a great year for you as well. Looking back on the year we accomplished so much with help from YOU!
With all of your hard work…

  • We continued to collect tens of thousands of pounds of fresh local produce from farms, gardens, and farmers markets.
  • We gained hundreds of new volunteers.
  • We connected with over ten new local food agencies.
  • We watched our Moncks Corner Garden blossom.
  • We hired Nikki Seibert as the new Executive Director.
  • We won the South Carolina Angel Award.

With your support, we could even make City Paper’s Best Local Cause!! Please visit their website http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/and cast your vote :-). (Also consider voting for our generous sponsors including Whole Foods, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Clawson and Staubes, LLC Attorneys at Law, Dine with Sal, and Blackbaud.)

Looking towards 2011 we hope to continue the successes of 2010 and grow even further. Here is a little sneak peek of what is to come…

  • Updated volunteer database!
  • Charleston CANs program in partnership with Lowcountry Local First, Joanna Foundation, and Lowcountry Food Bank. The program will educate our food agency partners, their clients, the public and youth on proper food handling, storage, preparation, and preservation of fresh produce.
  • Potential new farm property.
  • And more!!

Again, THANKS to all of our volunteers, local farmers, partner agencies, and donors for all of the support needed to make this year a success!

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Angels!

In case you haven’t heard, Fields to Families is among the Angels!!

See us on the news and read about us below:

November 17, 2010

South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond Announces Scrooges and Angels for 2010

(Columbia, SC) – South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond announced today the fifteenth-annual Scrooges and Angels for 2010.  The ten Angels were recognized at a press conference and honored with a reception in the Secretary of State’s Office following the announcement.

The Angels honored represent organizations that exemplify charitable giving in South Carolina.  Representatives from all organizations were in attendance to receive a plaque and recognition from Secretary Hammond. The Angels recognized, with the percentage of their program expenses that went toward their program activities, are listed below.  Those recognized are listed in alphabetical order, and are not ranked by the Secretary of State.

Angel Flight Soars, Inc., Atlanta, GA    87.3%
Cheer for Children, Rock Hill, SC    98.2%
Family Promise of Beaufort County, Inc., Beaufort, SC    99.9%
Fields to Families, Ladson, SC    98.5%
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, Jacksonville, FL    85.8%
Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands SC, Greenville, SC    92.8%
Horry County Museum Foundation, Conway, SC    99.6%
House of Hope of the Pee Dee, Florence, SC    83.6%
Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy, Kiawah Island, SC    80.8%
Pets, Inc. of the Midlands, West Columbia, SC    98.7%

The Angels were selected by review of financial reports submitted annually to the Secretary of State’s Office. The following criteria were considered:  the charity must have been established for at least three years; has collected revenue greater than $20,000; 80 percent or more of the revenue must go toward the charities’ program goals; makes good use of volunteer labor; and receives minimal funding in grants.  The panel also sought to showcase charities with different missions, and chose charities across South Carolina and outside the state.

The designation of Scrooge is based upon the charitable organization’s failure to spend a high percentage of their collections on stated program activities and/or use of a high percentage of collections to pay professional solicitors.  The Scrooges chosen, with the percentage of their program expenses that went toward the program activities, are listed below.  Those recognized are listed in alphabetical order, and are not ranked by the Secretary of State.

A Leg to Stand On, New York, NY    34.2%
American Assoc. of State Troopers Scholarship Foundation, Tallahassee, FL    34.4%
American Association of the Deaf-Blind, Silver Spring, MD    20.3%
Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, Inc., Schererville, IN    35.8%
Disabled Veterans National Foundation, Washington, DC    37.0%
Firefighters Support Foundation, Inc., Greenfield, MA    7.5%
National Cancer Assistance Foundation, Sarasota, FL    11.7%
National Veterans Service Fund, Inc., Darien, CT    17.5%
Parkinson Research Foundation, Inc., Sarasota, FL    25.3%
Project Cure, Inc., Bradenton, FL    22.7%

The Scrooges were selected by review of financial reports submitted annually to the Secretary of State’s Office. The following criteria were considered:  the charity had given 40 percent or less of the revenue to the charities’ program goals; collected revenue greater than $20,000; and spent a large amount of donations on the use of professional fundraisers.

Secretary Hammond issued the following statement: “As Secretary of State, I have the duty of enforcing the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act, and of protecting the public against “Scrooge” organizations that want to take advantage of our giving spirit. Charitable solicitations across the state have increased in the last three years because more and more people are in need of assistance.  Even though times are tough, South Carolinians continue to be some of the most generous people in the nation and always answer the call when it comes to defending and helping the less fortunate.  However, there are those who would take advantage of our generosity.  So I ask that you check out any organization before you contribute your hard-earned money.  Please visit our Website at www.scsos.com; select the Charity Search button to learn the charity’s total revenue, program expenses, total expenses, net assets, and fundraiser costs.  We have even calculated the percentage of total expenses that the charity has devoted to its program services. You can also call our Charities Division at 1-888-CHARITI (242-7484).”

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Whale of a Sale!!

Come out to the annual Junior League’s Whale of a Sale this weekend! The Junior League is a dedicated partner with Fields to Families and this event helps them to support our cause.

Whale of a Sale Promo from BRITESIDE PRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.

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Comings and goings…

Past Events:

Day of Caring


This September 14th,2010 Fields to Families was joined by Santee Cooper for the Day of Caring in Moncks Corner, SC. Their crew came rolling-in with a dump truck full of supplies, ready to help our garden! With our powers combined, we built four new lasagna-style garden beds, re-bedded two three older beds, and installed shelving into our Whole Foods shedquarters. Check out the pictures HERE.

Volunteer Party!


On Sunday September 19th we had our Volunteer Appreciation Party at the North Charleston Felix C. Davis Community Center. With the hard work of Board members Lindsey Salmony and Mimi Rose for the coordination of this beautiful event! The food was provided by Whole Foods, Harris Teeter and Cupcake at it was sooo delicious. What we did not finish was shared with My Sister’s House, so as usual, nothing went to waste! We all sat at tables adorned with gorgeous planters from Hidden Pond Nursery which were given our to community partners at the end. Our Volunteers of the Year were Ann and Jim Calhoun which received a generous gift card from FIG restaurant. To see more pictures click HERE.

Future Events:

Charleston Green Fair!

Sunday, September 26th, 2010 from 12-6

Join us in Marion Square from 12-6 as we spread the word about Fields to Families at the Local Food Tent in conjunction with our partners Lowcountry Local First. Their will be businesses, non-profits, food vendors, music, drinks, and plenty of good green fun!

Click HERE for more information.

Other:

Check out this amazing calendar from http://www.cottage-industrialist.com that helps us keep up with our seasonal veggies!!

Click the following link to download the rest of the year! http://www.cottage-industrialist.com/blog/2010/2/28/calendars-part-deux.html

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Mt. Pleasant, S.C. (September 12, 2010) – Fields to Families, an organization dedicated to helping increase nutrition to the area hungry by coordinating the distribution of fresh produce, expanded its operations this year to include a garden, with 100 percent of the produce going to feed the hungry.

“We are so grateful to our community partners and volunteers, not only for their financial support, but also their caring and concern for the most needy in our community,” said Phyllis Ford, chairperson of Fields to Families Board of Directors.

The Whole Foods Market Fields to Families Garden, located in Monck’s Corner, will grow even larger on Trident United Way’s Day of Caring – September 14 thanks to volunteers from Santee Cooper.

A dozen employees will work onsite with one group focusing on outfitting the “shedquarters” (where the supplies are housed) with shelving, bins, and hooks. The other team will build six additional beds using a no-till organic gardening method that was employed by the Master Gardeners with the assistance of Clemson Extension to install the garden’s existing beds.

Thanks to the generous support of Harvest Level sponsor Whole Foods Market – Mt. Pleasant, the Junior League, Sisters of Caritas, Blackbaud, Gardener’s Supply Company, and countless volunteers, Fields to Families’ inaugural garden was born in April of this year.

“Whole Foods Market is excited about our partnership with the Fields to Families Garden. Providing healthy, nutritious, locally-grown food to people in need is an important part of building and maintaining a healthy body,” said Pam Fischette, Whole Foods Market’s director of marketing. “We are inspired by the great work that Fields to Families is doing to make fresh produce available to the hungry in our communities.”

The Master Gardeners, Clemson Extension staff, and many other Fields to Families volunteers broke ground this spring by building six raised beds at the Monck’s Corner garden. They used a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that results in rich, fluffy soil with very little work from the gardener. Since then, six additional beds have been added, yielding a harvest of squash, okra, eggplant, pepper, tomatoes, beans, and herbs.

An additional workday is planned at the garden on Saturday, September 18, when the Junior League, an organization that selected Fields to Families as a community partner organization this year, will install an additional six beds, bringing the total to 24 beds.

For more information about Fields to Families and to volunteer, visit

www.fieldstofamilies.org.

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New Director for Fields to Families!

Dear Readers,

It is a pleasure to introduce myself as the new Director of Fields to Families. As a longtime follower of the organization and a member of the farming community, I am looking forward to being able to serve those in need through the mission of the organization.

My position marks the beginning of a new chapter for the organization as it begins to grow and mature. I am grateful all of the work those before me have put into building the foundation for Fields to Families as well as for the Board of Directors that invests so much time and energy into keeping the mission going.  Moving forward, the goals of my position are three fold: volunteers, fundraising, outreach.

Volunteers– The organization has an impressive volume of volunteers that is currently being entered into an electronic database so that no one slips through the cracks. For the first time ever, all volunteers will soon be easily contacted at once so that gleaning opportunities are announced to everyone in an easy format. If you have submitted an application but never heard back, please bear with us until we get our system updated.

Fundraising– With an increase in service, programs, and outreach there is an increased need for funds and community partnerships. We will continue working with our fantastic and loyal supporters while cultivating new ones!

Outreach– Our organization is one of a handful in the area that are working to increase access to fresh vegetables to the community and by partnering with these groups we hope to educate Charleston on the needs of the community and how they can get involved in the fight against hunger.

These three goals will be guiding the organization as we continue to glean, work the farmers markets, and grow our programs. As a part-time position, I will not be in the office every day, but I am always available at info@fieldstofamilies.org. We are currently updating our website but please check our Blog for the latest news!

I hope to meet you all at our Volunteer Appreciation party on September 19th . It will be held at 4800 Park Place East North Charleston, SC 29405 from 2-4 p.m. Please RSVP by emailing me (info@fieldstofamilies.org) or calling Fields to Families at (843) 388-2487 by September 15.

Thank you for your support,

Nikki Seibert 🙂

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