AC3’s Seeds of Grace of ministry began 15 years ago with one volunteer putting some free loaves of bread out on a card table…
Since then Seeds has grown into a full service food bank, which served hundreds of families per week at the depth of the “Great Recession” in 2009/2010, and has since bloomed into a complete Resource Center, offering access to all kinds of help from mental health services, to housing and counseling.
But the latest fruit to grow out of Seeds is the Market Mentors Program (MMP). We’ve learned over the years that when people have a need, helping is not a one-size-fits-all affair. In fact sometimes, helping hurts and so we began exploring ways to move beyond providing Relief (like a food bank) and adding ways to Rehabilitate and Develop people. MMP grew from that.
Beginning last Summer, our Seeds of Grace Market Mentors began working with 3 “apprentices”, coordinating their efforts with other AC3 Community Center endeavors like First Fruits Coop and Marysville Farmer’s Market to offer job skills training, resume support, communications and team building and character development.
Under the guidance of their mentors, the apprentices processed fresh produce from First Fruits, set-up and operated a booth at the Market, managed the business, provided customer service and even expanded their product line to include up-cycled pallet furniture and garden aprons! Each apprentice was compensated with a percentage of the profits from the market and with a stipend for actual work performed. At the end of the eight week program, each had attended job skills and interview training, gained scores of hours of practical experience and lots of one on one coaching. Also included is a Certificate of Completion and an expertly prepared resume they can use to land that “dream job”.
AC3 – this is a super big win for our Compassion Initative and we wanted you to know! Does this capture your imagination? Can you see yourself being a part of this kind of ministry? We will be launching a second round of the MMP in the Spring of 2016 and Twila Crain would love to hear from you.
If you’re motivated by helping in different ways, Seeds continues to provide Relief in the form of weekly food distribution on Wednesdays and Saturdays – one of our key volunteer leaders is going to be recovering from surgery for several months and we’re looking for someone to help out with weekly sorting and storage of foods on Wednesdays…just let Twila know you’re interested.
And don’t forget: AC3 is a partner in the Marysville Cold Weather Shelter, and there’s always room for another caring team member to help save lives as the temperatures begin to drop this Fall. Just drop and email to Dan and he’ll get you connected.