My Great American Heroes

Tonight Great American Country will air an episode of ‘Great American Heroeswith Trace Adkins featuring Katie’s Krops. I am beyond honored that they would consider me a hero but the truth is I am just following my heart, following my dream to end hunger one vegetable garden at a time. The real heroes are my friends, my family, my grantees and my supporters who believe in me and my dream.

Who are these heroes? My heroes are Miss. Lisa my Master Gardener who has been by my side teaching me everything I know about gardening since I was in the 4th grade. Mr. Bob & Miss. Linda who have opened their farm and the hearts to me and to Katie’s Krops. They have even allowed a 48 foot greenhouse to become part of their landscape. There are the wonderful people at Summerville Baptist Church who, a year ago, took a chance on a young girl and her friends who said they wanted, they needed, to feed people in need in the community by hosting free healthy meals. They agreed and opened their kitchen, their Fellowship Hall and their hearts to Katie’s Krops and the community and now we feed over 100 people in need in their church every month.

Miss. Cory, my former 6th grade science teacher is my hero. She left her job and followed her heart to Katie’s Krops where she is now the Direction of Education for Katie’s Krops. What do we pay her? Miss. Cory gets paid in smiles and hugs. She is my hero for being so courageous.

There is Mrs. Jewel, who one night sat back and watched as her son finished volunteering at a Katie’s Krops Holiday Dinner. She loved what she saw and stepped up to help the very next day. She has not stopped since and has become a very important part of the Katie’s Krops family.

My friends at Bonnie Plants are my heroes for starting the ‘Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program’. Your tiny cabbage seedling started my dream. You are my hero for allowing kids across the country to grow.

Mr. McNeill, the Director of Food Service at Pinewood Prep, is a hero to us all. Two years ago he agreed to help me and my friends with our very first Katie’s Krops Dinner. We started by feeding 40 people and now we are feeding over 140. He guides us in the kitchen and has taught us all how to be amazing chefs.

If a school can be a hero than Pinewood Prep, my school, deserves that honor. They took a chance on a 4th grader who had a big dream and granted her a plot of land the length of a football field to start a garden to feed people in need. Four years later that garden is growing strong and producing a beautiful harvest for our community.

My grantees, kids ages 9 to 16, who took up the challenge to start vegetables gardens in their communities to help feed their neighbors, their friends, the families who are struggling to eat in these challenging times, they are my heroes. I know firsthand how much time and energy it takes to grow a garden but these kids do it and they do it with a smile on their face. Why do they grow? Because they too share a dream, a dream that kids can end hunger one vegetable garden at a time.

My heroes are the people who make donations to the not-for-profit of a young girl with a big dream. We couldn’t grow without you. We are thankful for the people who send a $5 bill in the mail, to the wonderful people at Fall Creek Farm & Nursery who sent 700 blueberry bushes. I am overjoyed at the children who forgo birthday gifts at their parties and ask for donations to Katie’s Krops instead. I so grateful that their are wonderful men in Colorado who would pack up a semi truck with a 48 foot greenhouse and 18 pallets of MojoGro and fly to South Carolina to meet that truck and help us build that greenhouse. Thank you for supporting our efforts. You are my heroes!

Mr. Don is my hero. He heard me speak at an event at Epcot, The Magic of Healthy Living the Weekend, and did not just listen to what I had to say he took action. He connected Katie’s Krops with a support system that has allowed Katie’s Krops grow and grow. Thank you Mr. Don for not just listening but for stepping up to help. You are my hero.

My amazing friends are my heroes. I love them with all my heart. They grow with me, cook with me, laugh with me and make my dreams a reality. I have the very best friends a girl could ever dream of. The best part…their parents are right there, by their side, helping us plant, helping wash dishes at every Katie’s Krops Dinner, and since we are all too young to drive they make sure that we have rides to every garden, every dinner and every soup kitchen. To all of my friends parents, you are my heroes.

Lastly there is my family. How do I describe how grateful I am to have such an amazing family! My parents always work so hard, going out to work in the garden at crazy hours of the morning. My family goes to every dinner, every garden work day and could not be more supportive. Without all the hard work my family puts in Katie’s Krops would  be entirely different. Without their belief in my dream, Katie’s Krops would not be here today.

There are so many more people who are my heroes. They are the people who believed in a little girl with a big dream and never said, ‘she is too young’ or ‘she wants to do what?’. These people said ‘how can we help’ and did. You are all my heroes and I hope you all you all know how much I appreciate your support and your help. These are the people who are My Great American Heroes!