Sowing the seeds of hope for Townsville communities in need
From little things, big things grow.
A partnership between Northreach Upper Ross Baptist Church and Carinity, which was devised to support Townsville families in need, is starting to bear fruit.
The Good Soil Project is a community fruit and vegetable garden in Kelso. Northreach Upper Ross Baptist Church Pastor, Michael Stainbrook, said the project aims to positively impact people living in areas of high need around Townsville.
“Participants can tend to the community garden, learn about nutrition, start their own garden, and reap the benefits of harvesting and eating self-grown produce. We grow fruit and vegetables but we also want to grow our community and grow the connections between our neighbours,” Michael said.
The Good Soil Project is funded through the Collaborative Community Projects, a Carinity initiative. Northreach Upper Ross Baptist Church was one of 14 recipients of the inaugural round of funding.
The grants scheme sees Carinity partner with Queensland Baptist churches to fund community outreach programs which promote connectivity for vulnerable people, relieve and mitigate disadvantage, and increase the strength of local neighbourhoods.
Over $350,000 has been allocated in the first year of funding, with a number of projects receiving a commitment of additional support in subsequent years.
Funding awarded to Northreach Upper Ross Baptist Church for The Good Soil Project will see the Kelso community garden duplicated in two other areas of Townsville over the next two years.
“We wish to build three gardens in three years to support areas of high need. In 2023, the project will expand to partner with students at Carinity Education Shalom in Condon, and in 2024 a garden will be established in Kirwan so we can work with refugees who originate from nations such as Burma and the Central African Republic,” Michael said.
Carinity’s Church and Community Outreach Officer, Kerryn Bien, said other Collaborative Community Projects included sustainable ventures ranging from grocery distribution for homeless people and support for migrants, to mentoring disadvantaged families and mental health initiatives in isolated rural areas.
“This funding scheme builds on the positive outcomes of the Carinity Innovation Grants, which saw us support 92 churches to deliver 137 community projects over 14 years. However, the Carinity Collaborative Community Projects operates on a much larger scale, both in terms of the scope of the projects and the financial assistance we offer,” Kerryn said.
“It has been exciting to see these projects evolve and witness how churches have been empowered to reach out to their communities and support local people who require assistance.”
Anyone interested in participating in or supporting The Good Soil Project can email firstname.lastname@example.org.