This past weekend, Fig Tree families & friends headed to Bushwick City Farm for a service day, organized by Repair the World. Bushwick City Farm is a volunteer-run non-profit urban farm that produces eggs, fruits and vegetables. BCF provides free food, clothing and education to local community members, and serves as a model for sustainable urban farming practices. Repair the World is a non-profit that empowers people to transform their neighborhoods, cities and lives through meaningful volunteering.
The day was nothing short of phenomenal: kids and adults were engaged the entire time; the work we did was both meaningful and enjoyable; and we got to cuddle a bunch of fluffy chickens. You heard that right. Cuddled. Chickens.
It's surprisingly difficult to find service opportunities that appropriately and meaningfully engage both kids and parents. In our experience, volunteering with kids means kids slogging through token jobs, while the adults stand around and take pictures. That's a shame because, fundamentally, most kids want to help out, and many parents want to contribute relevant service work side-by-side with their children.
We didn't have to worry about any of that this weekend! Our group of kids and adults harvested veggies, hauled mulch, turned compost, sorted donated clothes and, yes- gave a LOT of love to the chickens.
So. Much. Love.
The icing on the cake was a short moment of learning at the end of the day, delivered by Repair the World Family Engagement Coordinator, Ariel. Ariel led us in discussion about the Jewish philosopher Levinas, as described in this NY Times Essay by Aaron James Wendland "What Do We Owe Each Other?" (Jan 18, 2016). We shared our perspectives on service, community, humanity. It was a lovely way to end a great afternoon.
THANK YOU so much to the Fig Tree families and friends who joined us this weekend! And HUGE HUGS to our friends at Repair the World and Bushwick City Farms!