Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hi everyone,

As many of you may already know, the reason that I'm able to devote time to initiatives like Calgary Urban Agriculture and the "Rachel Grows Project" from last May, is because I have been supported by a scholarship from the Millennium Foundation. This means that instead of a full time job, I'm lucky enough to work with different volunteer and community initiatives.

This year, the foundation is closing its doors. It has been running for 15 years, and is at the end of its funding. All the scholarship recipients will receive the remainder of their funding. However, the Foundation will no longer be able to provide the programming it used to which kept all of us laureates in touch with each other, offering support and knowledge for the wide variety of programs we are interested in.

It has been an inspiration to me to see some of the laureates coming forward to bear the torch- we have organized and planned, and have been able to set forward a plan for the new Millennium Network. The Millennium Network will continue the programming (as best we are able,) for years to come. Part of what we're doing to put together an initial investment is competing in the Aviva Community Fund Competition, for a potential $50,000 worth of funding. We've already made it to the semi-finals, with over 4000 votes over 2 weeks. Aside from the competition, we have already raised nearly $10,000 nationally. Winning this competition would give us a level of stability that most startup not-for-profits don't see for years.

So- this is something of a solicitation for help. We're not looking for donations, just for a few minutes. If you could sign up (just an email address and name) at to vote on the competition, I would really appreciate it. The last round was really down to the wire, so every vote we can get counts. Whether having your help means a few votes, or a vote once a day, or forwarding this message to all of your friends and asking them to vote as well, I'll be really happy for any help at all. If you're interested in a daily reminder to vote throughout the competition, please feel free to let me know.

Thanks so much for all of your support and friendship. It means a lot that I have a community to look to for support.