All posts by Shannon Cherry

Let them take over the kitchen

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“We don’t have any more milk,” says my daughter.  “Let’s go to the store and get some more.”

A girl after my own heart, she loves getting the chance to go to a supermarket or a farmer’s market.  Not to just get milk (which I forgot – again – to buy) but to smell the fresh fruits and vegetables, selecting one, and developing a recipe around it.

From garlic scapes to lychees, from kohlrabi to loquat,  an adventure awaits for the daring. We focus on learning where things are grown and how to make delicious, healthy meals.

Studies show this type of ‘farm-to-table’ kids cooking fosters enthusiasm around fresh fruits and vegetables and empowers children to make healthier choices that are often better for the environment.

Since September 13th is Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day, why not use the day to help kids you love to learn more about the foods they eat? Here are some tips:

  • Slow down. Teaching takes longer than just doing it yourself. Add time so that no one gets the ‘hangries’ because dinner ended up late.
  • Really let them cook. Of course we need to make sure young kids aren’t handling sharp knives or the hot oven, but really let your kids get their hands dirty and not just stir ingredients in a bowl. Let them crack eggs (just be ready to scoop out shells), pour and measure out ingredients, and chop or cut when age appropriate.
  • Be ready for the mess. Your kitchen will probably get messy and your kids will probably be even messier. So expect the mess, don’t get angry about it, and teach your kids to clean as they cook.
  • Teach them how to read a recipe. From ingredients, prep work, to putting it all together, talk to your kids about the recipe so they know what step is coming up and how all of the steps come together to make the meal.  It’s also a great time to discuss where food really comes from.

Speaking about where food comes from, have you heard about the Grazing at the Kitchen Table event from our project Kitchen Table Advisors on October 5?  Find out more about this delicious evening that celebrates sustainable farms, ranches, and the community who supports them.  Go to https://www.grazeandgive.org 

In the photo above: Sophia and Lyra Cherry, daughters of T4CI’s Director of Communications and Outreach, Shannon Cherry.

T4CI adds new senior advisor for fundraising and development

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T4CI is proud to welcome Alice Ng as our Senior Advisor for Fundraising and Development. Hailing from New York city, Alice brings over 16 years of experience in the nonprofit sector with hands-on multi-faceted experience in fundraising and development. In this role, Alice will advise and coach our program teams on fundraising and development best practices in areas such as annual giving campaigns, membership development, major donor cultivation and stewardship, foundation support, corporate sponsorship, and fundraising events.

Most recently, Alice served as the Development Director for the Coral Reef Alliance, where she was responsible for the long-term fundraising strategy based on the organization’s theory of change. In this role, she  worked closely with the Program and Communications teams to direct the design of a 10-year $20 million capital campaign strategy, planned and executed the organization’s annual gala, managed the stewardship and major donor recognition program for prominent constituents, and directed the messaging for all direct mail appeals.  She also performed the first-ever analysis donor segmentation of the donor database to better identify untapped giving opportunities and refine approach strategies.

From 2006-2014, Alice served first the United States Director for Animals Asia Foundation, where she supervised the North American operations including strategic planning and growth and development of the organization and then as Development Director where she managed all fundraising efforts across North America. During her tenure, she created and implemented a major gifts program including bequest/legacy giving and donor recognition programs, stewarded all major donor relationships including securing high-level six-figure gifts, oversaw foundation proposals and reporting, and led donor trips to field projects in China and Vietnam.

From 2002-2006, Alice served as Co-founder and Co-director of Animal Balance, a global nonprofit focused on the development and implementation of 100% humane animal population control strategies for dogs and cats on the islands of Galapagos, Dominican Republic, Samoa, Cuba, Cape Verde, Bahamas and Hawaii. Alice is a current member of the Board of Directors and continues to support the growth and expansion of the organization.

Earlier in her career, Alice served as a Shark Conservation Campaigner for WildAid where she focused on reducing the demand for shark fin through education and research.

Alice holds a BS in Management Information Systems from the University of Buffalo and in her spare time, you can either find her climbing in Yosemite or serving as an active wilderness first responder for the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit.

This position is part of our forward-facing strategy focused on providing hands-on advisory support to accelerate the growth and development of the innovative projects that operate under our umbrella. Together with other value-added services in areas of communications and leadership development, these additional advisory services are  provided alongside our core operational supports in accounting, human resources and benefits administration, grants and contracts administration, and general operations and administration.

Celebrating the elephant

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We recently shared the story about how the Singita Grumeti Fund is working to train dogs in their anti-poaching and conservation efforts.  So who are these dogs protecting?

The Tanzania area’s elephant population, for one.

The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, and human-elephant conflict are just some of the threats to both African (less than 400,000 worldwide) and Asian (less than 40,000 worldwide) elephants.

Working towards better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats, are the goals that numerous elephant conservation organizations are focusing on around the world, including the Singita Grumeti Fund.

And it’s working. The project has seen a fourfold increase in their elephant population. That’s why on World Elephant Day – and everyday, you should consider supporting the Singita Grumeti Fund.

 

It’s just peachy!

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August is National Peach Month and we couldn’t be more excited.

That’s because our project, Piggy Bank, is celebrating the fuzzy stone fruit and the farmers across the nation who work so hard on August 13 with its first PeachFest in downtown Atlanta.

The festival, hosted by FlatironCity,  highlights Georgia’s diverse agriculture, through cooking demonstrations and tastings, contests and barbecue.

“This has been a difficult year for our peach farmers,” says Brady Lowe, project director of Piggy Bank, a farm-in-the-making for heritage breed pigs, many of which are endangered. “Yet, it’s the ideal time to celebrate how important these farmers are to local and national agriculture, especially during National Peach Month. We’re looking forward to making PeachFest a recurring destination event filled with exciting competitions.”

Top Georgian farmers, chefs, distillers, and brewers will collaborate to give the state’s finest agricultural products flavor and form in this urban setting, including three distinct competitions:

  • The Peach Beer Tasting and Judging, which will select the best peach beer in the land.
  • The Breckenridge Bourbon Peach Punch, which features local barmasters to mix a signature peach cocktail for bragging rights.
  • The Gumcreek Farms Peach Grind, featuring local chefs inventing a peach-pork sausage.

Other events include a benefit silent auction, local chef demonstrations, local wine tastings, and music from the Packway Handle Band.  To purchase tickets, visit ​www.peachfest.org​.

 

 

 

Got me working like a dog… oh, I am a dog.

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We know you work hard.  But do you work like a dog?

One of our projects, the Singita Grumeti Fund, is working to have man’s best friend to become the best friend to animals that are often poached for ivory or just game shooting.

The project currently has an effective law enforcement presence throughout the Tanzanian reserve and it has helped increase the population of animals including elephants, black rhinos and lions.

Now they are amplifying their impact by developing a dog detection unit to stay one step ahead of poachers. These highly skilled sniffer dogs will catch poachers before they have succeeded in killing wildlife, shifting to proactive law enforcement and saving the lives of many endangered animals.

During Work Like a Dog Day, won’t you consider helping support Singita Grumeti Fund’s work by making a donation today?

Photo credit: Singita Grumeti Fund

Simplify your life! And help the environment

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The first week in August is Simplify Your Life Week.  And although many may think simplifying means items of convenience, such as pre-packaged foods and disposable items, including paper plates, diapers and plastic utensils, there are some wonderful ways to simplify your life without hurting the planet.

  • Eat more natural, locally created foods.  Studies show our average meal has traveled several thousand miles to arrive on your plate. Not only is this at a massive cost to the environment, but your food will probably have lost a lot of its nutrients in transit for up to several weeks before you eat it. A good way to start doing this is by grocery shopping just the perimeter of the store where the fresh food is, while looking for locally-sourced items. In addition, you’ll be eating healthier, and supporting local farmers.
  • Understand you don’t need everything.  Clutter fills more than our shelves and closets – it permeates our lives. We work hard to be able to afford things, many of which require care, cleaning, storing, insuring, protecting….and the media and the merchants are constantly offering us the next “must have.”  The cost of consumer goods goes beyond the price tag. Environmental costs come from resource extraction, manufacturing, shipping and waste management.
  • Choose online shopping (even for groceries). Buying goods online can be an environmentally friendly and time-saving way to shop. Think about it: a delivery truck is making multiple stops on a route.  That reduces the carbon footprint.
  • Consider outsourcing. As the world becomes smaller, and technology improves, hiring others who may live on the other side of the world is increasingly going to be the norm AND it can actually save us a lot of time and money. From an environmental point of view – outsourcing and remote working reduces the carbon footprint of commuting, and additional office space. From a personal standpoint – it saves you money, and hassle.

Some things that are supposed to make our lives simpler may actually just make it more complicated and intricate.  Take a look at how you can make a difference to the environment while adding more simplicity to your life.

Orange you glad it’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

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As farmers markets begin to bustle and produce stands pop-up along the roadside, celebrating National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable month presents a fresh and delectable invitation for a summer meal. Whether from a stand, you picked-it-yourself at a local farm, grew it in your backyard, or had a friendly neighbor knock on your door, ‘lettuce’ take a bite of all that is yummy.

Much of our work at T4CI lends itself to healthy, fresh produce that focuses on sustainability. One of our projects, The Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative, for example, is working to get fresh fruits and veggies in religious communities and their food pantries.  And the central T4CI team in Oakland is always up to anything fresh and edible.

Here are the office favorite fruits and vegetables:

  • Ty: Mango and Chickpeas
  • Stephen: Mango and Sweet Potato
  • Carolyn: Opal Apples and Broccoli
  • Tenzin:  Apples and Spinach
  • Jessica: Blueberries and Broccolini
  • Laura: Grapefruit and Celery
  • Kvetka: Apples and Peas
  • Kristin:  Cherries and Brussels Sprouts
  • Shannon:  Avocados and Jicama

We’re hungry for more, so please share your favorite fruits and veggies with us in the comment section.

It’s too darn hot.

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If you have been keeping up with Northern California’s weather, you know we’ve been in a heatwave lately, and it is expected to last for several more days. This heat is cause for concern, not only from an environmental perspective, but also from a food security and health perspective.

The massive winter storms which coated towering peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range after years of drought  is now melting too fast. That means waterways could flood and damage the vital crops in the Central Valley.  Find out more about this through our project, Maven’s Notebook.

The heat can be dangerous in other ways too. Young children, elderly people, pregnant women, people with disabilities and animals are especially vulnerable to the heat.

Here are some tips to beat the heat:

  • Get wet. Hang a wet sheet over a window, which is what the rangers do at Death Valley National Park. Incoming breezes are cooled by the evaporating water.
  • Block sun. Closing curtains and blinds (ideally with sun-deflecting white on the window side) can reduce the amount of heat that passes into your home by as much as 45 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Eat cold. Although barbecue is ubiquitous with  warmer temperatures, it works against you on hotter days.  When it’s too hot to cook, consider cold soups or rely on electrical appliances instead of those cooking methods that generate more heat.
  • Swig it. Staying hydrated is important. You can think beyond water to other foods that will keep you in the cool, including watermelon, peaches, celery, and cucumbers.

The outdoors awaits

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Over the course of more than 150 years, a once-radical idea has evolved into a cohesive United States national parks system, with a sometimes conflicting two part-mission: to make the parks accessible to all and to preserve them for future generations.

North and south, east and west, they stretch from the edges of our maps to the hearts of our cities, covering nearly one-third of the country. This June, celebrate the natural wonder and outdoor spirit of America by getting outside during Great Outdoors Month.

June is a special time to celebrate America’s great outdoors and all the benefits it brings, including annual economic impact of $650 billion nationwide. That’s why June has been named Great Outdoors Month.

Whether camping, fishing, rock climbing, or playing in a neighborhood park, nature offers each of us the opportunity to get active, explore, and strengthen our bonds with family and friends.  It’s also a time great to uphold our nation’s legacy of conserving our lands for future generations.

So as you enjoy the great outdoors, think also about how you can better support it.

The answer is blowing in the wind

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What’s the answer to clean energy?

It’s swirling around you.  It’s wind.

Wind power has become a major driver for a sustainable energy future.

Last year, $112.5 billion was invested in wind power globally, and the industry now employs 1.2 million people making it one of the fastest growing industrial segments in the world.

Wind power is already a low-cost option for new power capacity in rapidly increasing number of markets. In 2016, unsubsidized new renewable power was cheaper than fossil fuels in over 30 countries, and by 2025 that will be the case in most countries around the world.

On Global Wind Day,  we salute our project, Sane Energy, working to create sustainable energy sources and changing the use of fossil fuel. Consider a donation today.