August 25, 2022
A Note from Amanda Nofzinger
The Dalai Lama once said, “Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.”
This quote has really resonated with me as I have been reflecting on my three years as the manager of the Hilliard Farm Market. I would never have guessed just how many “ripples” there would be.
These are just a few of the ripples that I have seen develop in three years:
New Neighbors: Middle Eastern Cuisine
One of our vendors is called New Neighbors. Here, six women prepare food from their native countries from the Middle East to practice their English as well as earn a living. I have since learned that some of the women are then sending their earnings directly back to their starving families in their native countries, even though they themselves may need the money, too. When you buy from them you are directly helping their families in different countries.
Donating to the Hilliard Food Pantry
We partner with the Hilliard Food Pantry in multiple ways. We have collected items from the community that the pantry has specifically requested. Also, our produce and fruit vendors have the opportunity to donate any leftover food. The farmers greatly appreciate that they don’t have to waste any unsold produce and that it will go to those who may not have access to healthy foods on a regular basis.
Collecting Books for Little Ones
The last two years, we have collected children’s books to donate to Books in Little Hands. They get them in the hands of children who may not have access to books, to increase literacy and spread love to the littlest ones in our community.
Faith Finders Collecting Produce
We have provided space for our middle grades youth group, the Faith Finders, to collect extra vegetables and fruit from the community during the market, to then donate back to the Hilliard Food Pantry. They are also becoming more confident in talking to other people and are learning the joy that comes from helping others selflessly.
Mentoring Young Entrepreneurs
We are providing mentor space for young businesses to bloom. A couple of high school students asked for an opportunity to sell their hand-stitched items. They are building confidence in themselves as well as learning how to run their own business and provide for themselves.
I am also impressed when a couple of our vendors send their children to run their stalls for them. They are showing their children how to run a business for themselves. They are also showing them and our community where our produce and fruit come from. That bridges the gap between consumers and farmers and shows the community just how important farmers are to our survival.
Making Community Connections
We are also providing spaces for connections within and throughout our community. We have Boy Scouts and high schoolers that volunteer and give back to their community. We partnered with the Hilliard Kiwanis Club to provide thank you meals for our vendors and volunteers as well as to sell food to the community. That money is then put right back into feeding our students in the Hilliard City Schools.
Watch the Ripples
I don’t point out these things to brag or show off. I point them out because never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined these things to happen. These are just the ripples that I have seen, and I am sure there are more that I just haven’t seen. It just goes to show how powerful God’s will and love is even when you don’t notice it is there.
If you are struggling to see what the point is in your job or program or service, take heart, because you may never know where your influence may change a life down the line.
If you are a teacher and are struggling to find motivation to deal with difficult children, down the road they may say you were their favorite teacher because you actually talked to them like a person and not down to them.
If you are an overworked nurse and are again struggling to make it through your days, you could be the person who helps someone get clean and change their life for the better by just treating them with dignity and respect.
It is so hard to see the bigger picture sometimes when we are stuck in the difficult times or even in just the mundane routine things. God has a plan for those things even if we ourselves never see the end results.
I pray that these words would give you hope and that maybe by watching for the ripples we can see God’s love spread through the world.
Farm Market Manager