The April Share the Plate recipient is Piedmont Environmental Alliance, a non-profit started right here at the Fellowship that brings together people, organizations, businesses, schools, and government agencies to build a more environmentally sustainable community.
In 2005, the Fellowship gave a $1,000 micro-grant to a small group of UUs to host an earth day celebration. Those funds were used to establish and host the first Piedmont Earth Day Fair. Shortly thereafter, the non-profit Piedmont Environmental Alliance was founded. The first Board of Directors was made up almost entirely of UUs and ALL the volunteers at the first couple Fairs were UUs.
On April 13th of this year the 14th annual Piedmont Earth Day Fair will be held at the Fairgrounds. This event, which started in our parking lot, has grown to one of the largest in the state, with attendance regularly between 8-10 thousand.
Piedmont Environmental Alliance has grown too, from an all-volunteer organization, to an established and recognized community leader with three paid staff members and a Board full of highly talented and accomplished sustainability professionals.
The work of the organization has expanded beyond the fair and workshops and into the local schools. For the last few years, Piedmont Environmental Alliance has been going into 7th grade WSFC classrooms with a hands-on interactive program called Energy Explorers, which teaches kids how energy is created, its effects on the environment, and the importance of conservation. And, now they are going into 9th grade classes with a program call Every Drop Counts, which teaches the key characteristics that make water so crucial to our survival. The program gets rave reviews by both the teachers and the students.
Educating our youth is so important and we should all be very proud that Fellowship members through their contributions and their volunteer hours helped to establish this important community organization.
This month PEA is our community partner. That means when we pass the baskets all cash, checks with “share” in the memo line, and all text-to-give contributions will be split 50/50 with PEA. Let’s SHOW THEM SOME LOVE! Be generous.