|Words cannot express my gratitude |
for each and every one of you.
I hope you received the letter I sent last week, sharing with you some of the moving words of thanks our clients have sent us. Each week, we read some of these notes to our teen and adult volunteers, but the notes are really meant for all of us who come together to make Ceres' magic happen each week.
This food is such a miracle. When I think about it, I cry. If I didn't have this service, everything would be so different.
Every time I open a meal from Ceres, I realize I would not be eating at all if it were not for your help.
Whether you're a donor of time or funds, in-kind goods or services, a business sponsor or community partner, I hope you'll read and take in the enormous difference your gifts are helping to create in the lives of people in our community who are dealing with a serious illness.
And I hope you'll join me in making a financial contribution to help us deliver more than 40,000 meals this year (nearly 50% more than last year) to clients throughout Sonoma County, so that more people whose lives have been turned upside down by a diagnosis of cancer or another life-threatening illness can say:
We feel nourished, nurtured, and deeply held in this community.
Ceres is truly a miracle...
You are all a special part of building that Bridge of Hope for so many others like me.
Please give as generously as you can so we can be there as a community for our friends and neighbors. And remember, no matter how much you give today, your support is making a life-changing difference for the clients we serve and the teens who prepare their meals. Your investment in Ceres brings hope, builds community, provides vital nourishment, and gives our young people a vision that together we can create a vibrant and caring future.
Click here to donate now online!
I hope you enjoy this month's newsletter. As always, we welcome your feedback.
Thank you for being a part of the Ceres Community Project family.
P.S. If you prefer to mail a check, you may do so to PO Box 1562, Sebastopol, CA 95473
Harvest of the Heart Gala Auction Preview
Our annual fundraising gala will be a beautiful, delicious and inspiring
event, with fine wines and appetizers, a 3-course Ceres-style meal, a client and a teen sharing their stories, and a terrific silent and live auction.
Here are just a few of the many exciting auction items you'll be able to bid on. We predict some stiff competition for:
A stay in Moshin Vineyards guest house, complete with private tour and wine tasting.
A week's stay at a beautiful Matzatlan condo
Jeroboam of 2007 Shafer Hills Select Cabernet, rated 98 points!
Japanese Tea Ceremony for up to 12 guests at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center
Animal Tracking and Bird Language guided walk with internationally certified tracker, Jim Sullivan
A foursome round of golf at Bodega Harbour Golf
Sailing on the San Francisco Bay
And much, much more, including restaurant certificates, amazing wines, beautiful jewelry and leather goods, and priceless experiences.
Our enormous gratitude to all of the sponsors, donors and volunteers who have come together to create this event in support of Ceres work.
|Luke Lindenbusch, second from left, |
and friends taste-testing another nourishing, delicious and beautiful meal at Ceres.
Talking with Teen Leader, Luke Lindenbusch
"Ceres is a comprehensively fantastic organization"
Luke Lindenbusch had what he considers a personal victory recently: he opened his Dad's fridge to find it contained several bunches of fresh kale. Luke's father, who is a "Bar-B-Que guy" from the South, isn't the only member of the family who has changed his way of eating as a result of his son's involvement with Ceres. This year, Luke gave copies of Ceres' Nourishing Connections Cookbook to everyone in his family as gifts. He also regularly cooks meals at home.
One of the newest Teen Leaders in the Ceres kitchen, Luke wears a sparkling white (for now, at least) Chef's coat embroidered with his name and the Ceres' logo. Getting that Chef's coat is a big deal for our teens, but Luke doesn't feel that it's changed his experience in the kitchen all that much. The newer teens know that the coat means he's got a bit more experience and they can seek him out to ask questions, but Luke says that really "everyone who comes to Ceres and stays has a certain initiative and is a Teen Leader in their own right. We talk to each other and help each other out. It's a real team environment".
Ceres' Teen Chefs and Gardeners come to us from many places and for many reasons. Several of Luke's friends had talked about Ceres, and he liked the sense he had that Ceres was an integral part of our local community. But his strongest motivation for becoming a volunteer was a desire to give back after the death of his uncle in early 2011.
Luke's uncle had received Ceres meals while in treatment for prostate cancer, and Luke saw first hand the difference those meals made for his uncle, aunt and cousins. They helped his uncle be able to eat, and took a huge burden off of his aunt. His uncle lived five years after his diagnosis (when he was told he likely had about a year to live), something his family feels was partly due to Ceres' support.
On his first day in the kitchen, Luke remembers feeling "extremely welcomed" and says there was an "instant clicking with everyone". One of the other teens he met that day has become a close friend. That social aspect of Ceres is one of the things that Luke loves. Everyone "comes with different intentions-often because they want to work with a friend who is also a volunteer-but in the end, you leave with a personal connection even if you didn't come with one".
Since coming to Ceres, Luke finds that he puts more thought into what he eats, considering the impact of his food choices on his body and on the environment. He feels that when community is at the center of food, it propels people to make better choices in what they eat.
Beyond that, the biggest impact his time with Ceres has had is on "figuring out what I want to do in life: major in Public Health and Policy, maybe focusing on AIDS or cancer advocacy or research." Beyond the facts and figures that are so often focused on in working with long term illness, Luke sees the individual persons who are living with those illnesses. That is where he would like to put his focus.
Recently, Luke has been spending time working in the Ceres Community Garden, which has helped deepen his connection to Ceres. He shared that it's been "special to plant garlic, harvest it, use it in a dish in the kitchen, package the dish and then talk to a client about how it enhanced the dish".
In answer to my last question: "why should someone consider getting involved at Ceres?", Luke said "because they'll give so much and they'll get so much. They'll receive cooking and gardening skills, but also deeper connections and new friendships. They'll discover new passions. Ceres fosters passion".
|Ceres Community Garden Crew|
|Ceres Community Garden Solstice Celebration|
On Thursday, June 21, we celebrated Solstice and the verdant abundance of our garden's first season.
Sara McCamant, our Garden Coordinator, has led a team of teen and adult volunteers in creating incredibly beautiful healing and nourishing spaces (at our building, and at the Community Garden) in which the Ceres vision can grow and thrive.
For those of you not able to attend, more than 80 people came including past clients, neighbors of the garden, major donors, volunteers, garden and kitchen mentors, lots of teens, garden donors and in-kind sponsors. There was lemonade and herbal iced tea, chips and salsa, kale chips, vegies and dips and lots more delicious things to munch. Much of it was freshly harvested from the garden! The Thursday afternoon volunteer team set up beautiful tables with our umbrellas, places to sit, fresh flowers and a bountiful altar of garlic, beets and carrots in the center of the garden.
We gathered in a circle to mark the summer solstice, pulling energy up from the earth and passing it around the circle. Sara told the story of the garden and shared the idea that the magic of the garden stems from all of us holding it together, and the fact that the garden is in service to the healing of our community and the earth.
We are grateful to Sara, our garden volunteers, and the following donors, who have all worked to plant the seeds that will keep our garden program thriving for years to come...
Joanne & Terry Dale
Abacot Fund of Community Foundation Sonoma County
Dougherty Family Fund of Community Foundation Sonoma County
EnviroKidz (Nature's Path)
Semilla Fund of Community Foundation Sonoma County
In Kind Donors
Atlas Tree Service
Harmony Farm Supply
Ken Brandt (The Gentleman Farmer)
|Garden Prayer Flags|
A Garden Journal
June 5, 2012
First day here, and it is impressive. The garden is beautiful. The entrance is a wooden gate that leads you through a willow arch and into the splendid acre of prospering plants. It's strange, half the garden seems to be overflowing with produce and the other half is filled with hopeful starts of plants, trying desperately to be like their friends across the path. One side is saying "we want to be like that!" and the grown side is saying "you will."
-Ethan (in the Ceres Community Garden Journal)
|Kale Chips make a delicious and nutritious snack.|
| Healthy Snacks To Go
JoEllen DeNicola NE, Deanne Luzaich, NC
Snacks are an important part of a healthy meal plan to keep blood sugar and emotions stable, thinking clear, and energy up to continue with what needs to be done.
A healthy snack will help you avoid the afternoon low that many people experience, causing them to reach for whatever is easy--often sugary snacks and processed foods with empty calories, or caffeine to pick up one's mood and energy.
Make a snack plan, especially when out of the house where healthy food choices may be difficult to find. This is critical for those facing a serious illness, as nutrient-dense foods are more important than ever.
Some healthy snack ideas are whole fruit such as apples or oranges, raw nuts, and items that can be prepared at home such as popcorn (organic and made at home with seasonings such as nutritional yeast for an added boost). Kale chips, homemade muffins or bars made with whole grains, nuts, fruit and protein powder travel well.
Other delicious options are veggies with hummus, celery with nut butter, yogurt (plain, unsweetened organic) with or without fruit, nuts, coconut, flax, and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Kefir or coconut milk can be made into a smoothie and will keep a couple of hours. A half sandwich or wrap with lots of veggies and avocado and home roasted meat is a great pick-me-up and easy to eat. Guacamole, goat cheese and nut butters go well with whole-grain crackers. You should plan on taking a small cooler with an ice pack to keep these snacks cold.
So, next time you head out for errands or appointments, plan a healthful snack to go. You will return home feeling sated and energized!
|Click the image and download a healthy snack recipe: Cashew Cardamom Balls (from our Nourishing Connections Cookbook)|
| Recipes: Cashew Cardamom Balls; Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salad
We're pleased to offer you two recipes this month.
Click here for Cashew Cardamom Balls, perfect for a healthy snack.
By popular demand, Ceres Executive Chef shares a recipe for Black Bean & Sweet Potato Salad. The last time this was on our menu, three clients asked for the recipe. Here you go...
|Immune Broth Boxes being assembled|
Volunteer Job Profile:
Supplemental Product Crew
Each week in their bag of meals, our clients have the option of receiving a range of supplemental products especially designed to support them during their illness and treatment. There is no charge for these foods, and clients "order" whichever ones are helpful for them. A few of the items, such as goat milk kefir from Redwood Hill Farm and Dariy, are donated. The rest are prepared in the kitchen each week by a team of adult volunteers. This month, we asked two of those team members to tell us about this volunteer job.
Jan Turrini, who has been a Ceres volunteer for about two years, says that "the product prep team prepares some of the core daily products for clients, such as Immune Broth packages, Vital Bites (a superfood truffle containing seven adaptogenic herbs), sauerkraut, Nori Nettle Spice Blend and a smoothie mix. Some of these products can be the only thing our clients can eat at different points. Many clients have mentioned how delicious and nourishing the Immune Broth was for them. Our team prepares these each week, which takes time. This frees up the teens to prepare the rest of the menu each week. We also prepare products for sale so that people can purchase them for themselves or for family and friends".
Here's how Jan described atypical shift on this team: "we share the work and based on what people are interested in doing that week it is usually what we get to do. But it can vary and we are always improving things. Sometimes an improvement gets everyone excited. Some simple improvement can make the whole group say - 'wow, what a great idea!' Simple solutions that make things better for the team and for our clients and are fun and creative to come up with.
A typical shift- we prepare workstations for each of the products and the number of items of each that are needed. Then we get together and take a few minutes to set our intention for our work together, then we ask what each volunteer wants to work on and divide up the work. Cleaning veges, chopping, measuring smoothie mix or vital bites herbs, rolling vital bites, chopping and pounding cabbage for sauerkraut and there are always dishes to wash. The food is so beautiful as it is being prepared- it is fun to look around the room and see all the activity and the beautiful results. New volunteers work with more experienced volunteers until they feel comfortable in the various jobs."
Maile Arnold, a one-year veteran of the team, shared that "I especially like preparing the herbal mixture for the Vital Bites; making enough for many batches and then following through with the two or three completed batches scheduled for our week. I always do the same task, plus filling in where needed washing veggies or dishes."
As to special qualifications required for this job, Jan feels that they are "the ones the teens have as well: a positive attitude and willingness to learn", while Maile stressed the importance of "attention to detail...as precise measurements are required and the recipes must be followed exactly. Also, each client's needs must be met exactly."
Maile says that "I enjoy working with Jan and the other volunteers AND especially like that our time is totally filled with useful tasks. The shared energy is wonderful." For Jan, what has surprised her most about this job is "how wonderful all the volunteers are and how much of a sense of community I have gotten from it. Cooking together is a great way to be together."
Thanks to all of the wonderful people who make up our Product Prep team! If you're interested in learning more about this job, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Volunteer job openings
- Bilingual Client Liaison
- PR (hanging posters around town for our events and classes)
- Delivery Angel(deliver meals to our clients on Wednesdays at 5:00 or Friday mornings at 9:00)
- Adult Mentor Chef to lead Wednesday morning prep crew (beginning in August)
New to Ceres? Please come to our next Volunteer Orientation night on July 17th at 5:30 to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.
Contact Kosima Grundy for more information at email@example.com.
Save the Date
Enrichment training: A Time to Gather and Learn
How to Confront Hardship and Loss
We invite all of our active adult volunteers to join us in learning how to support yourself and others when confronting hardship and loss.
This is also a wonderful time to meet other Ceres volunteers and enjoy some snacks and tea together. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 20th.
|Class and Event Calendar
|Healing Foods Basics--Thursday, July 5, 6-7:30 pm
Get an overview of the Ceres approach to wellness, with tips on nutrition, healing foods, pantry basics and much more. Sliding scale. Get info and register here.Garden as Medicine presents: Full Circle Gardening; Saturday, July 7, 9 am-noon
Learn about keeping your garden going in the winter months, saving seed and making compost. For more information, or to register, click here.Volunteer Orientation--Tuesday, July 17, 5:30-6:30
Take the first step to becoming a Ceres volunteer. Ceres Meeting Room, 7351 Bodega Ave in Sebastopol. Tea & Talk: Ceres Community Connections presents --
The Benefits of Vegan and Raw Meals. Wednesday, July 18, 6-7:30 pm.
With Kathy Emmer, Nutrition Consultant. Click for more information.Rumi's Caravan Stops at Osmosis: A Benefit for Ceres Community Project~Thursday, July 19, 6-9 pm
A magical evening of poetry in the ecstatic tradition, set in the meditation gardens at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary and complemented with a Mediterranean feast catered by Ceres. Tickets are selling fast. Click here to purchase. Nourishing Connections Cooking Classes presents: The ABCs of Fermentation--Creating Health with Lacto-Fermented Foods~Saturday, July 21, 10 am-noon
Ceres' own JoEllen DeNicola guides you through preparing and enjoying these rich sources of probiotics, so helpful to healthy digestion and nutrient absorption. To register, click here.Healing Foods Basics--Thursday, August 2, 6-7:30 pm
Get an overview of the Ceres approach to wellness, with tips on nutrition, healing foods, pantry basics and much more. Sliding scale. Get info and register here.Harvest of the Heart, Ceres Community Project's Annual Fundraising Celebration~Saturday, August 11, 5:30-9:30
Join us for an evening of fine wine, a stellar live and silent auction, a delicious Ceres meal and inspiration from our clients and teens. This event will sell out well in advance, so we encourage you to reserve soon by clicking here
Tea & Talk: Ceres Community Connections presents -- Let's Talk! Potluck and Informal Q&A. Wednesday, August 15, 6-7:30 pm.
With JoEllen DeNicola, Ceres' Nutrition Director. Click for more information.
Healing Foods Cooking Course--New 5-Class Series starts August 16th
This multi-part course provides valuable hands-on cooking instruction and knowledge to support healing and long-term health. Open to those dealing with serious illness and their caregivers, with limited slots open to healthcare professionals. Please