The college application process was not an easy one for me. I didn’t know where I wanted to go to school, and I certainly didn’t know how to encapsulate my essence in an essay. I finally settled on telling the story of my time spent one summer rebuilding homes in the Appalachian Mountains towns of Kentucky. I tried to capture the work we were doing – restoring bathrooms, installing septic systems, framing houses, and roofing in 100-degree heat – but somehow it seemed jumbled and came off as too righteous. It was hardest to describe Stafford Walker, a six-foot-sumthin’ Texan who led our group. He was quiet and diligent with his fifties-style square black-framed glasses and crew cut; constant, steady, and humble. Every time he picked up a hammer, navigated his lanky 60-year-old body onto the steep two-story roof, or sat and respectfully shared a beer with the owners of the homes we were working on, he showed us all something true: Be kind, be respectful, make the world a better place.
I don’t know why I’ve been having trouble letting folks that we work with – clients, vendors, people passing by – know about the philanthropic work that we do at The FruitGuys. Maybe it’s embarrassment. I don’t want to be vainglorious or said to promote ourselves at the expense of others. However, I do want to share with you the work we are doing that we consider important and central to our mission as a company. I also wanted to thank you as it is truly your business with us that allows us to develop and drive these programs forward. We define our philanthropic work in four ways: 1) environmental & farm stewardship; 2) abating human suffering in low-income areas; 3) providing entrepreneurial opportunities in low income or neglected communities, and 4) support of FruitGuys employee’s philanthropic goals. These goals take the following forms: The “Somethin’ Fresh” program in the Bay View Hunters Point in which we donate fruit to a group of young women who go door to door to deliver low cost, high-quality fruit to people in this community. The young women keep the proceeds as a way to grow their business.
St. Anthony’s Foundation and Philabundance: We donate over 120,000 pounds of produce per year between these two organizations that are committed to helping to feed those in need.
We kicked off our farm steward program (The FruitGuys Community Fund) by donating bees to Gabriel Farm. We support organizations such as the American Cancer Society, The SF Bike Coalition, The California State Parks Foundation, the California Taskforce on Youth and Workplace Wellness and ShapeUP San Francisco.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt email@example.com