– by Stacey Terry
Well my green smoothie go-getters, I hope you’ll agree that our BiG Believe in Green Blendtec Ripple-Maker winner was definitely worth the wait! In celebration of International Green Smoothie Day in August, we raised over $10 000 for The Lower East Side Girls Club with the help of passionate green smoothie and green environmental enthusiasts like the lovely Ada whom I’d like to introduce you to today!
Not having a glorious green machine like a Blendtec herself, Ada borrowed a blender in order to spread the green smoothie ripples. Over the course of her many demonstrations, she managed to serve green smoothies to nearly 100 people, not to mention the other hundreds of people she either e-mailed or showed off her green smoothies to. That kind of passion, that kind of belief in a better world just can’t be measured!
Ada will never have to borrow another blender. She’s soon going to have THE ultimate green smoothie ripple-making machine… a gorgeous Blendtec blender!
I hope you’ll delight in reading Ada’s story and seeing all the green enthusiasm she put into her project. Be sure to send her a comment below to keep that green enthusiasm shining and reaching out!
And now, on to Ada’s letter…
Today is the grand finale of the BiG 10 day Green Smoothie Challenge! Bravo! In finish line spirit (and I’m confident the other 200 needed are fast following) I got up and dawned my green smoothie garb:
Figure 1- Green Smoothie Style!
As we camouflage those greens in our delicious smoothies daily, you’ll notice I start blending into my natural habitat:
Figure 2- The Green Smoothie Oasis
You couldn’t find me but for that HUGE smile on my face…
Figure 3- Hurray! We did it!
So that is me today. Feeling GOOD. Even going for a full day of smoothies. But where did it all begin, and who has been touched along the way? I probably won’t ever fully know, and that is the message of the ripple, never can quite tell whose shores you reach.
When Believe in Green reached the shores of my inbox and the BiG idea sunk in, I was inspired. Not entirely by the blender (though that was/is a great motivator and incentive…makes the kale a little easier to swallow) but more so by the fact that this challenge held BiG benevolence. Every single one of my $10 and those of everyone else would be going to support the Lower East Side Girls Club. $10 ain’t that much people. Plus I spotted a few familiar faces (Kris, Julia, Majora and Paedra) and gathered with their repute I might like to hear the others as well.
It was a no-brainer for me. I’m passionate about the environment of our bodies, our communities, and our planet…1+1=
Where the brains were needed was to tackle this notion of community outreach. I have been living in Ireland for some years now (you see I just can’t get enough of that green scene) but am at present staying with my parents in the town that I grew up: Wenatchee Washington, otherwise known to some as the Apple Capital of the World (sorry New Yorkers). Whilst still my home and a place of many family and friends, my connections here aren’t what they used to be.
I felt a bit stumped by where I would go to do this said ‘outreach,’ how I might be received, and a little overwhelmed that I only had 10 days to do it. At first I thought, it would be brilliant if I could just do one thing. I surprised myself and did more.
That first Sunday I went to church with my dad. They are doing summer services in the park and it is a really nice and relaxed environment, many people of all ages, etc. Sparks flew. I got up the guts to ask the pastor (who is really very warm and approachable) ‘Have you ever heard of Green Smoothies?’… ‘well there is this challenge’… ‘about health and the environment’ … ‘and, well, you think I could come next weekend and make green smoothie samples for the congregation?’ She was receptive, I had a taker!
Then Monday rolled round. I had a consultation at a nearby gym that I was looking to use for the few months I’m home. As I went I had toted my 2nd day’s green smoothie in hand. The owner Jenny immediately asked about it, wondered if it was from the nearby coffee shop (who also serve up the green goodness).
I said no I made it…then brought up BiG and how these taste awesome and what a good thing and would she like to try. At the end of the meeting I said, ‘Erm, eh, would it be cool or weird if I came after one of the workouts this week and made some green smoothies for people?’ (remember this is our first ever time meeting). She said, ‘Yeah, it’s weird and cool. That’s just our thing.’ I knew I liked this place! Needless to say I joined. Great vibe. See you Thursday.
So I had a few options, that was exciting! I thought, great, I can reach people that are involved in their own personal fitness, nutrition and well being through the gym – natural fit. And then I chuckled thinking, if you Believe in God, why not Believe in Green? The church would reach young and old (especially old in my church’s case), and particularly those who care about service and social justice – also a natural fit. Plus, regardless of your religious beliefs there remains an immense connection (which some might feel is a spiritual connection) between our planet, our bodies, our beliefs, and our food.
With all of that underway, I still really wanted to reach people who work in the world of health or with those whose health is compromised. I truly believe if those that work in or are helped by this system knew about green smoothies and juices etc., the ripples could stretch far and wide. This is powerful healing stuff, especially for the vulnerable.
Luckily my mom works at the hospital, so I asked if she could hook me up. Unfortunately, especially in her department, the OR, diets for patients are strict and it’s a sensitive emotional environment for patients and their families anyway. So giving green smoothies to patients was a no.
However we did get thinking outside the box and it just so happened a staff meeting would be happening that Friday morning. Early! Well, no matter the hour, I thought it would be worth it. Smoothies are great in the morning and this would be a centralized place to have impact on a whole range of staff who HAVE to be there. Muuuhhahahah.
I figured I could leave more information with them to put up in the hospital and they could spread the stories of their unexpected little cups of green goodness to patients and co-workers alike.
Man oh man were things looking up! Still I wanted to reach more people. I thought, my sense of community isn’t limited to where my physical body resides at present…and many people a part of my work and personal life care about these things too (or rather, might not have a clue, so this could trigger an ah ha moment…a change in their lives I might never know). Why not extend that community awareness raising out to all of them?
So I wrote a big ole wordy letter (much like this report) to all the members of the project I work on back in Ireland (http://www.7thgenerationproject.ning.com). I didn’t want to barrage them with something random and out of touch, but as the project looks at the interwoven layers of social, environmental and economic sustainability, I figured they might be into it.
I put a blog up on our website, shared my passion and solicited people to join me. This alone reached nearly 250 people from many countries (Guatemala, Israel, Ethiopia, UK, Finland, and on and on), many of whom wrote back saying they would join, or try it or that they hadn’t thought of that. Who knows how many said nothing but acted anyway.
…aaaaand then I barraged all of my other e-mail contacts (who aren’t part of 7th Generation) anyway. I only had one person ask me to remove them from my email list Again, it is hard to know the effects of this. But I do know as a direct course, my sister and her children are now drinking green smoothies in New Jersey, my best friend is sipping that green goodness in Belfast, and my boyfriend (who is at present far away from home) is even juicing green tonics in Shanghai. How’s that for dedication?
Figure 4- Community outreach commence!
So all this prologue…how did it go you ask? Well I went to CrossFit Cashmere on Thursday evening. There were 8 people there who graciously tried the mysterious green goulash and listened to me spiel on about BiG etc. They were a captivated audience (2 of which couldn’t stay for a photo) and it was a nice way to ease into the experience. Though a little surprised, they really liked the taste (especially the wee banana head you’ll see in the pics) and we got into a long discussion about how helpful this could be for people that are sick etc.
…You know I didn’t want to feel like a saleswoman, that is not the point, there is noooo pressure here people. So I felt very encouraged by the fact that two women donated $20 each based on my conviction of BiG and the Lower East Side Girls Club. I left some info up on the community board (including my favourite green smoothie recipe) and was on my way.
Figure 5- The ready and willing…
Figure 6- Wee banana head! Look below to see BiG’s picture perfect poster child…
Friday morning. 6:30am I’m out the door to Central Washington Hospital. I set up shop and ended up serving 30 plus surgical healthcare workers green smoothies. I was a little surprised of all places to get grossed out looks (there were a few) and hesitation. But unless for dietary reasons, most everyone tried, inquired, and read my signs (a few even came for seconds!).
As I was packing up the nicest cleaning lady came by and we ended up chatting. She expressed that her family cares about the environment, took some of my papers and said she would give it a try. Bingo! More health for the hospital.
Figure 7- Can you tell I’m still waking up?
Figure 8- Ummm…what’s in this again?
Figure 9- Drink up Doctor!
Figure 10- A toast to good health!
That afternoon we had an impromptu lunch at my house. While not many could come a good family friend joined us…and my parents finally tried one of my green smoothie concoctions for the first time!
Just look at those happy faces…
Figure 11- before…
Figure 12- during…
Figure 13- after…!
Then came Sunday. It was windy! My signs didn’t have a chance! However it was a smash hit. Everyone had out their lawn chairs/visors and I think really appreciated the crazy chair to chair waitress offering a little pre-worship warm-up. There were 50 plus people there, many of whom tried their first green smoothie. Reactions were wide and varied. Curious, excited, surprised, skeptical, cautious, generous. Almost everyone required knowing what was in it before taking the jump. One little boy loved it (he was the only one to get seconds)! And many of the elderly people were just delighted. People came up to me to chat after the service and a couple of people even donated.
Figure 14- My make shift smoothie station
Figure 15- First takers…the music makers
Figure 16- On the move…
Figure 17- Curious ladies and Pastor Julie encouraging them to try
Figure 18- My Godmother…ever daring!
Figure 19- He donated! Thank you kind sir…
Figure 20- These people Believe in Green!
So it’s been an eventful journey. Even in trying to express what these past 10 days have held I realize just how much of myself I put into it (and just how many pages). As well as how many people helped out along the way…allowing me opportunities to share, forwarding e-mails, spreading the word, and especially many thanks to my parents for donating all the food for samples and letting me use their high powered blender.
We are all interconnected. We are all in this together. And it’s worth every bit of the effort. Funny note, on Monday I had a rehearsal practice for an upcoming musical. Though my scheduled community outreach was over, I found myself packing my green smoothie to go…just so I might catch someone’s eye or start a conversation. And of course I did. 25 people did a double take and had something different to walk away thinking about (this stuff is contagious!).
In big ways and small ways, obvious and unknown, I feel through this challenge I’ve made a difference (to my life, my family, friends and even strangers). I exercised my own creative power, I’ve looked for ways to connect, I’ve had fun. So thank you for bringing BiG into the world and encouraging all of us to Believe in Green. I think with our efforts combined, quite a few more people now do. And I think those young ladies at the girls club will feel the good vibrations of our support and carry the blender for years to come.
All the best, onward to $10,000!
Adela (Ada) Ketchie
p.s. look who else is getting all green smoothie giddy!
Figure 21- He’s not lying, it IS a green smoothie
Figure 22- Polly wanna smoothie?
Hey hey, I was drinking them too…
Figure 23- Use leftovers for a green smoothie mask… this is Cucumber & Papaya
Figure 24- ‘Let Love Grow’ says the shirt
Happy trails & happy blending, Ada