URBAN FARMING GUYS wrote -
Update!!! A $70,000 matching donation pledge just came in for January! ALL DONATIONS DOUBLED all the rest of way to the GOAL of 200k to launch the makerspace!!! The "Significant Impact Giving Group" is matching all donations in the month of January in $5,000 increments. Every additional $5,000 we raise they are doubling $5,000 all the way to our $200,000 goal. Our next $5k match is almost here at $75k to make it $80k, then $85k to make it $90k all the way up. Best news of the Year! We can do this! Tools & Equipment also count toward this goal.
Who we are:
“The Urban Farming Guys” are a passionate band of pioneers working and living fully immersed in one of the most dangerous inner city zip-codes in the U.S. 64127 in the urban core of Kansas City. Beginning with no money, & no buildings , we began to pour our lives into hundreds of youth within walking distance of our inner-city homes, and something great began to emerge. Our organization has been informally working in the inner city of Kansas City for over eight years but we were officially established as a 501c3 in 2012.
Our home base is in an area of the city that is plagued with hopelessness and more than half of students not graduating high school in the first four years. Many children with only one parent and a serious lack of mentors and role models within reach. We are at a very catalytic moment in our history. In the last few years, our organization's efforts have come into full bloom. Many people within walking distance of our home base have joined the cause and are now deeply involved in our daily operations to help others. Young people from the neighborhood are receiving 40 hours a week apprenticeship training as a part of our Internship to Ownership Program! Individuals who have become notorious for crime and destruction are beginning to turn their lives around. Some of the best folks from our team have come right from the block, talent & beauty growing right out of the ground around us.
We serve the poor of the earth and the next generation by raising up indigenous leaders. Our mission is to help establish sustainable communities in the most difficult places on earth. Our services include building community gardenings, after-school programs, and an Internship to Ownership Program that is designed to reintegrate ex-cons and drug abusers right from our streets into dignified and productive lifestyles with the added opportunity to take full ownership of their own micro-businesses that are birthed out of the belly of UFG including a fish hatchery that ships fish all over the US, a CSA that sells healthy produce, a worm farm that produces up to ten thousand pounds of worm castings (organic fertilizer) every month, a webstore that is just about to launch with over 100 products, and a youtube channel that pays some of the bills . We have also built a thriving fish farm at an orphanage in both India and Mexico.
Eight years ago UFG Founders answered the call to help the inner city youth. We quickly realized that the only way to win the streets was to fully immerse ourselves and become part of the neighborhood by relocating our very lives (families, jobs, social circles) among the people we wanted to see thrive. Since then the line has completely disappeared in our minds between us and them, we are now one. And now story has gone worldwide with our videos being watched over a million times, inspiring people from many nations.
Today something is brewing that will multiply our impact ten times over, taking our work to the next level and to other cities. Something that will reach hundreds of kids in our neighborhood. It is a huge space, a 20,000 square ft building, owned debt free on a main street on our block. In this space we will scholorship many kids from within Lykins neighborhood to grow in their skills and talents and even entrepreneurship. It is a place where community classes will be going on every night of the week. Utilizing our strengths of entrepreneurship and an army of several hundred volunteers throughout the year, we are launching a “MakerSpace” also described as a community-innovation-DIY space. Recently purchased we are renovating this place into a place where the people can come to create, only limited by their own imagination. This space could include the following: robotics, art, woodworking, 3d printing, computer lab, welding, sewing, recording studio, etc. Imagine an incubator that spawns new entrepreneurs and businesses by fostering mentoring relationships with young people in our community. True transformation comes from within and works its way out; we’ve seen this model work and it is the antithesis to gentrification by going to places too dangerous for investors to follow, too far beyond the fringes, while empowering people from within the community to become catalytic within their own community and have the greatest possible impact.
One of the greatest aspects of this plan is that it will be financially self-sufficient and will be maintained and grown from its own success. Currently, we own the building debt free and future funding for other projects will come from a subscription model (like a gym membership). We anticipate a few hundred people willing to pay a monthly fee to gain access to the space and the tools this environment will offer, making it possible to scholarship kids from the neighborhood. We already have commitments from three different wood shops and metal shops who are willing to donate tens of thousand dollars worth of tools to help us get started. Other people are dropping off computers and equipment every day.
We believe this place will become a destination location, a spawning ground for innovation, a creative laboratory within reach of the people. All of the right ingredients and inspiration in one accessible place. Many many bright people will come to pour their lives into the youth here in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country, spawning hundreds of programs in the future.
The projects that will result from your funding will make a difference in the lives thousands of people across the planet through the multiplication of our videos, but most importantly it will intercept the path of our urban youth for good and set forth a strong model for urban transformation from the inside out: The project will take 6-9 months for launch time and $200,000 to fully launch out in a sustainable way. A project budget has been prepared and the following concrete results are expected:
-A non-profit financially sustainable “makerspace” launched within 9 months and have over 100 paid members in the first year.
-200 youth scholarshipped and engaged with mentors in the makerspace
-30-50 adult mentors engaged with 2-5 youth within the makerspace on a daily to weekly basis.
-An inner city robotics team formed within 2-4 years.
-10-20 legitimate inner city businesses spawned out of the makerspace within 3 years. 100’s over time
-An informal skilled trade school that will likely become formal over the course of the next 3 years.
-Financial Strength from within to begin to launch the model into the next broken neighborhood and city.
-Hundreds of low tech DIY solutions for third world countries prototyped, tested and improved upon in a open source online library of downloadable plans and systems such as the fish farm we built in india, to the biogas system we built to provide cooking fuel for 4 families.
-And Lastly a source of hope for the next generation.
We are experiencing a momentum here that is steady and earthshaking with a “never-say-die” attitude that separates our team of urban pioneers from other organizations with more-adequate funding. We invite you to research our organization and mission via our web site or over a personal visit to our campus. We will be glad to submit a full proposal with additional information for your further review.
Also see our 2013 year in review here: http://bit.ly/PrzoXg
Ultimately, the building is a tangible injection of hope and opportunity into an uninspired community, plagued by obscene dropout rates and criminal activity. The opportunities that will be provided through the renovation of this space will drive education, entrepreneurialism, and economic sustainability. We appreciate the opportunity to work together.
The Urban Farming Guys 501c3
1121 Myrtle Ave
Kansas City, MO 64127