In January of this year we reported on the effort to help save Ron Finley’s Gangsta Garden in South Central Los Angeles, a project which has inspired a global resurgence of interest in gardening, self-sufficiency and good health by growing your own organic food.
Faced with eviction after the project’s headquarters and urban farm was sold to a real estate company, a GoFundMe campaign was setup to help raise the $500,000 needed to buy the property and keep their hard work and vision alive.
“Over the last few years, the owner of the RFP property has been battling with the bank and has made several attempts to receive a loan modification to no avail. The bank recently foreclosed on the property and sold it to Strategic Acquisitions Inc. RFP has requested that Strategic Acquisitions allow them to continue operating from the location as to sustain with the important work they are doing in the community. The only solution they have been offered is to purchase the property, otherwise, face eviction.” [Source]
As of today, the fundraising campaign has now raised over $517,000 from some 2,656 donors form around the world who value the project and wish to see its continuance in its current location. Donors also include some high-profile people who wish to see this project live on.
The community rallied for him — even creating a GoFundMe page — that caught the attention of natural food giants Nell Newman, co-founder of Newman’s Own, and John Foraker, president of Annie’s.
“We had to come support him and fight no matter what to save it,” Foraker told CBS News.
The team created a Care2 petition to bring in more donations.
“It’s an opportunity for the natural foods industry to give back to support those areas that are food deserts that don’t have any,” Newman said. “They don’t have fruits and vegetables.” [Source]
At present, Ron Finley’s team is working to close the deal which would give them ownership of their headquarters, a place of inspiration and hope for many people around the world.
Something big is happening in this world when so many people are willing to put such a large amount money on the line to save a garden. It remains to be seen if the effort will pay, as the decision to sell the location to the Ron Finley Project is in the hands of the real estate owners who will have to decide if they will accept the sale of this property.
A petition has been set up to raise signatures in support of the sale of the property, addressed to Strategic Acquisitions, Inc., the firm currently carrying out eviction procedures against the project. Please help by signing and sharing the petition, here.
Will they do the right thing?
CBS News asked Finley thinks the owners of the land will honor what they’ve said?
“Let’s hope so,” he said. “They got a lot of money, but we’ve got a lot of people, we got a lot of souls. It would be beautiful if they did the right thing.” [Source]
Learn more about The Ron Finley Project in this inspiring TED Talk:
Dylan Charles is a student and teacher of Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, a practitioner of Yoga and Taoist arts, and an activist and idealist passionately engaged in the struggle for a more sustainable and just world for future generations. He is the editor of WakingTimes.com, the proprietor of OffgridOutpost.com, a grateful father and a man who seeks to enlighten others with the power of inspiring information and action. He may be contacted at [email protected].
This article (The World Chips in Over $500k to Save Ron Finley’s Gangsta Garden) was originally published on Waking Times and syndicated by The Event Chronicle.