Seed Packing: Making a Difference


My husband, Rick and I participated in this year’s Celebration of Hope Seed Packing. Assigned to table 24, we began our task of filling packets with cucumber seeds. As I glanced around our table, I noticed it was filled with people of different nationalities and ages—adults, children, individuals, and families. The fact that people did not know each other did not stop  the conversation. In fact, complete strangers joked with one another, encouraged one another, and applauded one another.

Reflecting on this unexplained community, we wondered if the secret ingredient was a commitment to a common purpose. Despite the differences in our make-up, we acted as one.

Each One Matters

Particularly inspiring were the videos of gardens flourishing in Zimbabwe. It was as though we could see ahead of time the impact our serving could have. In one image, a woman with a baby strapped to her back leaned over to tend her cabbage. In another image, a seed packet was attached to a stake in a row of spinach. Other pictures showed smiling faces and grateful hands full of vegetables. Looking at the tiny seeds flowing into the seed packs, it was hard to believe they could produce such bounty. It was also hard to believe that seeds packed in South Barrington would flourish in Zimbabwe. Knowing that the seeds meant food and self-sustenance for those receiving them, the room buzzed with people fulfilling different roles, including stampers, runners, seed packers, baggers, and counters. We were instructed to save any seeds that somehow missed the packet and fell into protective plastic trays because every seed mattered. I thought about how this concept mirrored the whole seed packing experience—everyone matters.

I must admit we questioned our sanity in overlapping the seed packing event with the five-day food and water challenge. Yet this became another bonding factor among those of us who were together packing seeds. And it enhanced our empathy with those we were serving. Because we were hungry, seed packing took on significance beyond merely helping our friends abroad; it became a necessity. For Rick and me, this year’s seed packing event marked the beginning of seeing life differently.

Category : Celebration of Hope

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