Monday, March 13, 2017

Miracles happening all around us: The River Road District Community of Eugene, OR is flourishing

Maria Teresa De Donato, Ph.D.,
Traditional Naturopath, Homeopath, Life Strategist, Author

Miracles happening all around us:

The River Road District Community of Eugene, OR is flourishing

It’s true: we are living in a quite challenging world. We have been witnessing the collapse of the monetary, financial and economic systems along with the trembling and sunset of our greatest democracies.  Millions of people have lost their jobs, their homes, and have been compelled to relocate to other countries; sometimes fleeing from their homeland and leaving behind all their belongings when not even their beloved ones for one reason or the other.

And yet, despite this quite devastating scenario, we have also been seeing plenty of miracles taking place in the world, all around us. Hundreds of millions have finally gone back to one major understanding of all times, hallmark of all ancient and native cultures and civilizations, that is, that we – humans, wildlife and environment – are strictly related and connected to each other. We aren’t but only one big family. We all come from the same Source and we all need each other. It’s not only a matter of pure survival. It’s a matter of live a Life worth to be called as such.

As consequence of this understanding, initiatives of all sorts are coming to life all aiming at helping individuals, when not even entire communities, to survive the inevitable crises we are all faced with, some way or the other. All these initiatives are based on the willingness, determination and joy of sharing, supporting and working together for the common good. One of these amazing initiatives is taking place right now in the River Road District of Eugene, Oregon where an initial project aiming at “working directly with mentally challenged kids in the form of teaching skills in a small bakery/restaurant” has notably extended to the point of including “support to community projects and gatherings, Elders’ food needs, and slow food development (urban gardens).” They now run also “a free lunch for Elders once a week and are planning a Community Garden to both support this project and create a place where kids and Elders can work together, share, learn, teach grow basic skills in urban gardening and permaculture.”

Michael Vasquez, a River Road District Community activist, organizer and foundraiser has summarized the mission of this project as follows:

“This program is a natural extension of activity that is happening in my neighborhood. We have connected to each other and formed a resource-sharing and Human relations that have just opened up into a larger inclusiveness. The focus of Reality Kitchen was initially to work with kids/people with mental challenges (reflected in their website), which began to extend to Elders and neighborhood “characters” and those in need of some kind of basic connection. The Elders’ Lunch was born from a Man who decidedly grew enough vegetables to support a large number of weekly meals...; Reality Kitchen owners stepped up and matched his efforts and the Elders’ Luncheon Was born from these people’s efforts. I was so inspired by this that I decided to carry it on as my dear friend needed to move along after 20 years of carrying this community support, a true community leader he is, and is now called to a new community to continue his work. So I am just trying to unify folks to carry on as I understand that it takes a community to support a community, thus my efforts to bring this to a Reality of sorts... .”

So now, you might all be kind of curious and wondering … “How has this community responded so far?”
And the answer is… “Wonderfully!” Everybody has been trying to help and fully support the whole project the best they could. A small used Greenhouse has been donated, which however still needs some TLC, new plastic for recovering, PVC, and some miscellaneous parts.  The Community has been blessed with enough volunteers of all ages and walks of life, all supporting the project and working together to make this dream come true.

In the meantime, the ongoing fundraising campaign aims at reaching at least $2,000 that will be needed for

-         Irrigation tape and fittings
-         Seed stock
-         Straw bales for raised beds (1st year garden, 2/3 of an acre)
-         Compost
-         Top soil
-         Greenhouse construction and parts

Whatever your ability and means…we are inviting you to join us in our efforts to make this Community’s dream a reality. If you live in the area, you will always be welcome to give the Community a helping hand. If you don’t or cannot physically join the many volunteers taking part to this project, please take into account the possibility to contribute to this great initiative through a donation. Whatever amount you are able to donate will be very much appreciated and help the project to keep moving forward.  It is also my hope that the “Idea”, though not a new one, will inspire folks to join together a create similar urban gardens, food forests and shared slow food neighborhood garden plots.

IMPORTANT!!! If you feel the need for more information, please get in touch with me at or contact directly Michael Vasquez at

Thank you in advance for your help, support, kindness and love.

Maria Teresa De Donato, Ph.D.