Season 1: Buckets of Rain Detroit#33

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Feeding Detroit’s Food Deserts and Shelters

Find out about Nine-year-Old non-profit organization Buckets of Rain. Its home base is Traverse City, Michigan. From August 20th through Sunday, August 23rd downtown Traverse City is flooded with voices, all singing one song for the benefit of Buckets of Rain, This Land is Your Land. Skellenger is leading the sing-a-long. He told Romy that after singing the same song, for about 1,000 times, he can hardly see straight.

Skellenger and Romy met at a Buckets for Rain urban garden in the Highland neighborhood of Detroit, earlier this summer. If you listen carefully, you may hear the sound of the intermittent windshield wipers going across the glass of Skellenger’s truck. Romy and Chris had to dash into it during a summer storm, as they were talking amongst the raised bed vegetable garden, planted in what was the parking lot of an abandoned building.

Skellenger started Buckets of Rain as part of his mission work to feed hungry people in Africa. The name of the organization comes from an irrigation device that he and a colleague device to help capture rain and irrigate arid land so that food can be grown. He tells the tale of why he set up shop in Detroit, in some of its most blighted communities, which do not have grocery stores or access to fresh fruits and vegetables. These areas are called Food Deserts. Skellenger and Gingras also talk about the impact the garden is having on nearby residents and a handful of homeless shelters run by the Detroit Rescue Ministries.
You are listening to a unique episode of the Bonfires of Social Enterprise, as the emphasis is on the Social and not the enterprise. That’s because Buckets of Rain, as of this time, has no definitive plans to transition from its status as a non-profit organization. Hence, fundraising efforts are ongoing.

If you’d like to know more about the Woodie Guthrie-inspired sing-along in Traverse City from August 20th through the 23rd, you’ll find more information on the Buckets of Rain Website. If you’re nearby you should see if, after singing “This Land is Your Land” for about 1,000 times Chris Skellenger can tell the difference between a beet and a parsnip.

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