The Daily Beet

11 Feb Adventures with Ami: Volunteer

Share this story

So outside of E2, my blog, my work and my volunteer activities… I have a life :)

Though…my husband may argue that point :D

I love boxing, traveling and gardening.

We have a glorious urban garden, where we grow a variety of vegetables.  Heirloom tomatoes are our favorite thing to grow.  I love the feeling of freshly turned earth in my hands.  The joy of watching and waiting for the first tomato of the season.  Going out to the garden to pick dinner.  It’s all such a thrill to me. It was a moment in my garden that led me down this path of work.

I was tending to my tomatoes in my front yard vegetable garden, my black cherry tomatoes were coming on full and plentiful – by the way…Linda Sapp at Tomato Growers Supply…has the BEST varieties of tomatoes any where. It’s true.  Any way, as I was pulling tomatoes off the vine, two boys from my neighborhood about 10 or 11 years old stopped to ask a question.  “What are those?” one of the boys asked, pointing at the tomatoes.  I explained what they were and the boys were a little perplexed as to my strange growing of vegetables, in my front yard of all places, in the inner city.  I’m not sure the boys had ever seen a tomato growing before.  I invited them up to the garden to pick some.  They seemed really surprised at this.  I told them as long as I was out in the garden, they were welcome to come pick some tomatoes.  The boys each picked a handful of tomatoes, smiling and laughing at the idea of the treasure they were collecting in the well of their drawn up shirts.  We chatted for a bit as the boys ate the tomatoes and saved a few to take home.

It was then that I knew I wanted to help people learn about vegetables, urban gardens, plant-based nutrition.  I wanted to find a way to be able tovolunteer my time helping others. Especially kids, who I find, are really receptive to the idea of good nutrition.  If you teach them about their food, they will make better choices on their own.  I am lucky to be able to volunteer my time on a variety of fronts. I volunteer some of my time helping people with plant-based nutrition online.  I also volunteer my time locally with a few athletes in the golden gloves boxing program.  Helping them learn about plant-based nutrition, grocery shopping, cooking etc. Being able to spend time volunteering has been so fulfilling for me.  I love working with people to help them reach their goals.  From helping others figure out how to have their own urban garden, developing community gardens, to helping people achieve better health through plants.

I highly recommend seeking out a way to volunteer if you are able.  Find a way to lend your area of expertise to those in need. Or find a way to just help out where help is needed.  Volunteer opportunities exist everywhere.  Start and Engine 2 – 28 day challenge in your area, or form a meet up group.  Got no time? Donate to a program that is doing good things in your community.

http://www.communitygarden.org/

http://www.volunteermatch.org/

https://foodcorps.org/

Share this story
Ami Mackey
Ami Mackey

Ami Mackey is a food coach at Engine 2 Extra and has been plant-strong since 2011. She is also the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

  • Wisconsin gardener

    great job…..keep teaching!!