The Circle of Life

I never realized how cool our little circuit of community organizations was until someone pointed it out to me.

Quite a few of those I work with at the garden seemed confused about how all the food got distributed. They planted it, they watered it, they pruned it, they harvested it, and then…? As far as they knew, I took it home and called around to different area organizations like the hospital and the senior center, asking who needed whatever crop was on hand. When they suggested that, I laughed instinctively. When the confused looks remained, I explained:

Adams County is so neat. A lot of the community organizations are all inter-connected in some way – they partner together, easily, despite different strategic employments, due to their shared goal of a bettered community. The harvest from Sherfy goes to the college’s campus kitchen, which is located on the property of the South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP). From there, it gets processed to be distributed during the less-bountiful cold months, donated to the Gleaning Project and the food pantry to be set out on a food stand for anyone who needs or wants the fresh produce, cooked into meals for the Circles Initiative or the senior center, and more. I serve as a liaison between the college/campus kitchen and Sherfy Garden/The Gettysburg Foundation.

The confusion turned rapidly into expressions of approval, a few eyebrow quirks betraying the fact that some of them were impressed. To me, it seemed like common sense – why would I be haphazardly calling around to organizations that probably have little to no need for the particular crop we have handy, when I could be finding it a place at a central location that could distribute everything as necessary? 

One of the volunteers agreed rapidly, shaking her head in astonishment. “I wish we had something like that up north in my county – I had no idea there were so many partnerships involved.” This prompted her to jot down some notes in her notepad – to take back home with her, she said, as inspiration for project proposals for the future – as I explained in further detail the many organizations I am familiar with and just how they interact with one another. This cycle, of all of us supporting one another at both the organizational and individual level, continues on, effortlessly working to better our community. This is an incredible time for Adams County, and though we have a long way to go, I hope our small circuit system does serve as an inspiration to some, whether it be “up north” or not, to organize partnerships that are mutually beneficial while increasing the positive effect on the surrounding community. You never know what can happen from one little spark.

Jade Kling ’17