High School Student Inspired to Become UrbnEarth Changemaker

“Help Others Grow Fresh Food” is the simple, but powerful, message Reece Williams gave when he launched a crowdfunding campaign called Green Roots using Piggybackr. The campaign successfully raised over $1,300 dollars to buy UrbMats for selected low-income families.

Reece is a high school senior from Hickory, NC who is passionate about both improving the environment and helping less-fortunate families. He witnessed how less-fortunate families must often resort to fast food and processed snacks because they cannot afford fresh, healthy meals. He is aware that this type of lifestyle not only causes health problems, but it also leaves a negative impact on the environment.

To encompass both of his passions, Reece became involved in facilitating community gardens where he provided many of the harvests to selected families. However, he felt that they were not as impacted by the harvests as he was because they did not see where the food came from. So, he became inspired to do something bigger.

Reece realized that growing food with the UrbMat is a great way to engage the community and pursue a project based on his passions. It allows families to easily grow their own food with a sustainable, environmental method. So, in May 2014, he started the Green Roots crowdfunding campaign to purchase UrbMats, where he exceeded his goal of $1,200 by 20 percent. With the funds he raised, he plans to provide UrbMats to selected families, as well as teach them how to enjoy their food and live a healthy, green lifestyle.

While the campaign has ended, his project has continued to take off. Supporters from all across the country have shared and helped market the Green Roots project. Members from Reece’s local community are also fully supporting the project. Since the campaign, many local groups have helped donate tools, topsoil, and volunteers to help start off the project.

Reece’s project is a perfect fit with UrbnEarth’s own mission. He saw how guided gardening can be used to connect and educate communities about the health benefits of homegrown food. The UrbnEarth team is so excited for his project and hope that he inspires others to use guided gardening in their own neighborhoods.