Good News Sunday: Volunteers from area organizations grow vegetables for food pantries

Good News Sunday: Volunteers from area organizations grow vegetables for food pantries

  • Members of the Children of Abraham Coalition (an interfaith group) joined the Viatorian Community Garden ministry last year in planting and harvesting vegetables to be donated to food pantries.

    Members of the Children of Abraham Coalition (an interfaith group) joined the Viatorian Community Garden ministry last year in planting and harvesting vegetables to be donated to food pantries. Courtesy of Viatorian Community

 
 
Posted6/26/2022 7:00 AM

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald:

More than 20 years after the Daily Herald sponsored a program that encouraged backyard gardeners to "plant a row for the hungry," local faith communities are continuing to plant -- and drawing lots of eager partners.

 

Take the Clerics of St. Viator, based in Arlington Heights. Ten years ago, the community dedicated a portion of its land to creating a giving garden. Right from the start, its intent was to grow fresh vegetables for families served by area food pantries.

The Rev. Daniel Hall, now Provincial, said it succinctly: "It's all about feeding the hungry."

This year, the community doubled the size of the garden. Enclosed by a white picket fence, it now includes 25 raised beds. Initially, its gardeners included Viatorian associates, brothers and priests, as well as staff members and students from St. Viator High School.

Some of their new partners include the Children of Abraham Coalition, First United Methodist Church in Arlington Heights and a team from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

For the full story, click here.

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Teen starts nonprofit to get more girls interested in STEM fields

Ruby Arun
Ruby Arun

A first-generation Indian American, Ruby Arun, 15, of Inverness, has been participating in school math teams since third grade.

But during the early months of the pandemic, Ruby saw her peers struggle with math and their scores started slipping without adequate in-person support.

It led her to create Mission: MathMinds, a nonprofit whose goal is "to create more interest in math fields at a younger age so that more girls are keen to join STEM fields in the future," said the incoming sophomore at William Fremd High School in Palatine.

Her nonprofit recently hosted a national conference on female role models in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields in Arlington Heights. Ruby sought to highlight math isn't just for nerds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"You can be really interested in math and not be a genius," she said, adding that anyone who puts effort into learning math can get good at it.

Ruby and her team will be at the Palatine Jaycees Hometown Fest July 1-2 to raise awareness and interest about girls in STEM fields. She soon plans to launch an extension to the missionmathminds.org website focused on creating a platform for women role models.

For the full story, click here.

Finding forever homes for dogs of all sizes

Niccalina Santilli, right, and Melissa Young at one of their many meet and greets showcasing the dogs they adopt out through their Tiny N Tall rescue.
Niccalina Santilli, right, and Melissa Young at one of their many meet and greets showcasing the dogs they adopt out through their Tiny N Tall rescue. - Courtesy of Melissa Young

Best friends Missy Young and Niccalina Santilli met while volunteering at an animal rescue organization.

"We soon discovered that the founder of that rescue was misappropriating donated funds for herself. Needless to say, we learned a lot of what NOT to do in rescue. We were truly invested and knew we didn't want to stop what soon became our passion, so we decided to start our own rescue," Young said in an email.

So they started Tiny N Tall Rescue, which is headquartered in St. Charles. The rescue focuses on dogs that may get overlooked because of their size -- gentle giants like Great Danes and mastiffs and dogs under 25 pounds, like Chihuahuas and Yorkies.

The group is holding a 5K fundraiser June 26 in Schaumburg, but you can meet dogs up for adoption at various meet-and-greets each month. The next one is from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at Ahlstrand Park, 6900 Catalpa St. in Hanover Park.

The group also will be marching in the Bartlett Fourth of July parade at 1 p.m. July 3.

For the full story, click here.

• Good News Sunday will run each weekend. Please visit dailyherald.com/newsletters to sign up for our Good News Sunday newsletter.

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