15 Years, 1500 Hours Volunteer Spotlight: Growing to Give

A group of Colby Co. employees spent many Fridays this summer getting their hands dirty and learning new gardening techniques at a farm in Brunswick. 

Growing to Give is a nonprofit that was founded six years ago by a group of people who wanted to provide fresh produce for people struggling with food insecurity, while also practicing climate-friendly farming techniques. 

CCE employee Shannon Haley has been volunteering at the farm for two years. She says she was inspired to begin work at the farm as a way to feel connected to the community, especially after 2020. “It was a great opportunity to work in a garden when I didn’t have access to one at home,” Shannon says. “My grandmother was also a big supporter of food pantries so I was familiar with similar work.” 

Shannon began inviting her coworkers to the farm as well, as a way to inspire people for the 1500 Hours Campaign. Colby Co. had several Fridays where a group of around ten employees spent their mornings on the farm – including Amanda Vogler. “It was especially neat to learn more about the people that the food goes to,” she says. “Many people receiving these foods have immigrated here from Africa, and the farm ensures that they can grow crops that help these people have a taste of home.” 

Vogler, who is a certified yoga instructor, also began teaching yoga classes ahead of volunteer Fridays, for anyone volunteering at the farm. 

In total, Colby Co. donated more than 100 hours to Growing to Give!