Words can't express how thankful I am to everyone. Together we've surpassed 25,000 meals donated to help fight childhood hunger. 25,000 meals in a little over a year! When I was little, my grandmother always told me that every little bit counts - it adds up. Watching meals add up, 1 and 2 meals at a time, over the last year has been amazing. I've met so many incredible people and I've realized just how strong the heart beats within our community. Of course our granola is incredible but we are about so much more then that. We are about what can happen when community comes together to make a difference!
You know that old saying, “Be careful what you ask for”? Well, my New Year’s resolution this year was to step out of my comfort zone, to push myself beyond what I have always told myself was possible, and to be daring. When I decided that, I never dreamed what would become of it. A few weeks ago I heard that Forgotten Harvest was one of the official charities benefitted by the October 20th Detroit Free Press Marathon and I knew that an opportunity was presenting itself. I knew that with a little (or a lot!) of effort that I could take part and not only finish the race but, more importantly, make a difference in our community!
My grandmother was an incredible woman. She always told me that unless you take risks and try new things, you’ll never know what you can accomplish and what possibilities lay in store for you. So taking that advice, I’m going to attempt the impossible. I’ve registered for the Detroit Free Press ½ Marathon to help raise money to feed kids in our community through Forgotten Harvest.
Forgotten Harvest is amazing! An organization that started with one woman in her garage has grown in the last 13 years into a community of dedicated individuals who last year alone managed to rescue over 47 million pounds of food and redistribute it to more then 260 food banks around the metro Detroit area. Their work – and especially the effort they make to feed children in our community – is what inspired me to create Crunch Granola. They turned the impossible into the possible and have shown just what people can do when they work together.
To tell the truth I haven’t jogged, let alone attempted to race, since I was in high school. Right now, I can’t even run a mile – and that’s not an exaggeration! I can still remember running a 5K with my sister and thinking I was going to die before finishing the 2nd mile. I’ve always thought the idea of running a marathon was great but running has never been something I’ve been good at. So, the idea of running a marathon, even half a marathon, is daunting to say the least. Of course, a few years ago I would have thought starting a company to help feed kids in our community was impossible too. But with the support of the amazing people around me, and an incredible community, Crunch Granola has been able to donate more than 24,000 meals in just over a year.
What makes me think running a ½ marathon is a good idea? I must be crazy! Really, I just know in my heart that every little bit adds up and by acting together we can make a difference. We can change the things around us that need to be changed. Childhood hunger is one of those things. No child should ever have to worry about where their next meal comes from or have to go to bed at night hungry. That’s what motivates me every day to do what I do and that is what makes me know that by starting to train now, I can finish this race and together we can make a difference.
So, if you want to make a difference here in metro Detroit JOIN US! Sign up to run the Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K run/walk, get together with friends to do the relay, or donate to our team to help Forgotten Harvest feed those in need. Join our team – Crunch Granola’s Hunger Run for Forgotten Harvest. I’ll be blogging about my experience along the way. Let’s show that we can change the definition of impossible!
This is the year of being daring, of stepping out of our comfort zone, of family and community, and of making a difference!
When registering for any of the Detroit Free Press races you can select to make a donation to the charity of your choice.
You can register for any of the races by visiting: http://www.freepmarathon.com/
To donate to or join our team: https://www.raceit.com/fundraising/fundraise.aspx?event=16540&fundraiser=9150
Registration fees change throughout the year, register early for the best rates!
Thank you Michigan for making this an incredible year and for joining us in the fight to end childhood hunger! Crunch Granola is about so much more then our incredible granola. It's about community coming together to make a difference.
Let's all celebrate today in a nontraditional way. Since Valentine's Day is about showing others how much we care, let's be sure to include our community in our definition of others. Give some time to a friend or neighbor in need. Give gifts that give back. Take a walk with someone you love using Charity Miles. Every act of kindness changes the landscape of our community. Today is about love... lead with your heart!
The holidays are over and we're well into January. In our house our daily routine is returning to normal. Our daughter is back in preschool and overall our schedule has slowed. No more parties, no more gifts, much less stress. I always welcome January after the hustle of November and December.
Having a little extra time on my hands has prompted me to start thinking more about the concept of everyday philanthropy. What does that mean? When I think of philanthropy, I think of donations made on a grand scale. Not many of us are in a place where we can make enormous contributions to build community centers or fund a college scholarship. But that's not what philanthropy has to be. Everyday philanthropy has more to do with making small efforts that can touch the lives of those around us.
How can our actions really make a difference without breaking the bank? Can we really make a difference? I believe we can. I've always heard "every little bit adds up." That never felt real to me. It wasn't something tangible that I could see. That is, until the last year. When I think about what we've been able to accomplish in our first year with Crunch Granola it amazes me. By working together as a community, we've been able to donate almost 23,000 meals to help fight childhood hunger. All that just a few meals at a time! I now know that our everyday actions can make a difference.
Here are just a few ways that you can make a difference too:
I know that one person can't fix everything but by making simple changes, together we can make a big difference. It's like the old saying: A pebble thrown into a pond makes but a small ripple - 1000 pebbles make a wave. And, waves have the power to change our landscape!
I have no words to express the depth of my gratitude to everyone for their support. This last year has been unbelievable and I know the year to come will be nothing short of amazing.
When I talk about Crunch Granola being a community effort, I really mean it. This has been an effort that has involved so many people on so many levels. It's incredible what can happen when a lot of hands come together!
We have been able to donate 22,625 meals to children in Michigan through Forgotten Harvest and the Greater Lansing Food Bank since we started one year ago! I'm looking forward to what the year ahead will bring - new products, new friends, and truly working together to make a difference in our community. Thank you all for making this an amazing year. I know in my heart that we can end childhood hunger!
Let's make 2013 the year of being daring, of stepping out of our comfort zone, of family and community, and of making a difference.
Happy New Year Everyone!
We are so thankful for all of you this year! Together, since our beginning in January, we have exceeded 18,000 meals donated to help keep our kids from going hungry. I am thankful for each one of you who have joined us in the fight to end hunger in our community. Together we can make a difference!
It's official! Incu-BaKe is up and running at the Lansing City Market.
Last Wednesday, a very enthusiastic group (including Incu-BaKe owner Marcy Bishop Kates, Mayor Virg Benero, LEPFA President and CEO Scott Keith, Becky DeYoung from the MSU Product Center, and Crunch Granola founder Christine Stamper, among others) converged on the Lansing City Market for the official ribbon cutting of Incu-BaKe's new store front. It was a wonderful celebration of what hard work and a lot of heart can accomplish.
It's been just over a year since Incu-BaKe opened the doors to it's kitchen in Holt, MI. In that short period of time, over 22 businesses have received their licenses and begun making quality Michigan products. Food entrepreneurs have been able to grow their businesses from mere ideas to a collection of functioning profitable businesses thanks to the guidance and unending assistance of Marcy Bishop Kates. Marcy has managed to create so much more then just a shared use kitchen. She has created a community where dreams become reality.
With the addition of Incu-BaKe's storefront at the Lansing City Market, many of the businesses that have grown from the kitchen in Holt can now provide their products for sale to consumers in the greater Lansing area. Crunch Granola is very excited to be a part of Incu-BaKe's offerings at the Lansing City Market. Remember, for every bag of granola we sell in the Greater Lansing Area, 2 meals will be donated to the Greater Lansing Food Bank to help feed children in need.
Come out, check out the market, try some great Michigan products, and you too will fall in love with the barn!
Hope to see you there!
Crunch Granola had an incredible weekend in Northville at the Buy Michigan Now Festival. Northville was filled with great food, outstanding music, and around 86 incredible Michigan vendors. The heat, humidity, and even a little rain didn't keep anyone from coming out to enjoy the festival.
We were honored to be showcased as Buy Michigan Now's Up and Coming Entrepreneur of the Year! What an incredible chance for us to meet people, share our granola, and our mission of ending childhood hunger.
We had a brief visit to our booth by Jessica Starr from Fox2 News. It was a lot of fun (although pretty nerve racking) to talk about our little company on television. It was great to see so many people come by to try our granola after seeing our spot on Saturday morning. I was even more moved by the people who came out specifically because we give back to Forgotten Harvest.
On Saturday I met the most incredible little girl. I had the opportunity to talk to her mother about our granola and our mission to feed hungry children in the community through Forgotten Harvest. That little girl couldn't possibly have been older then 6 or 7. In her little girl voice she asked me why kids didn't have enough to eat. I didn't quite know how to respond. I told her that there were a lot of people who cared and worked very hard to make sure that those children and their families received food so they wouldn't be hungry and that was why we were selling our granola. As I continued talking to her mother, that little girl took out a dollar from her little purse, smiled, and handed it to me. She told me that she hoped her dollar would feed a lot of kids. I was stunned. Her mother looked so proud. This is by far the most precious dollar given to us by the most incredible little girl!
Our sales over the festival weekend were enough to push us over the 10,000 meals donated mark! It's such an incredible feeling to know that together with our customers we have been able to donate that many meals from just the beginning of the year. I'm so excited so see what the months ahead will bring!