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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Hummingbird Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, International, International Agricultural Development, International Relief, Urban & Community Economic Development

Mission: The Hummingbird Project works for social justice through ecological regeneration and community empowerment around the world.

Results: The Cleveland Seed Bank works with individuals, urban farmers, schools, and libraries we lead efforts to properly grow, save and share seeds. This alliance develops a resilient, locally adapted seed supply - building resilient and sustainable local food system. Internationally, THP focuses on two core projects. The Living Soil Saves Lives program provides training for rural Indian farmers on the soil food web and various composting techniques with the goal of assisting their transition back to natural, organic farming methods. And the Sustainable Schools initiative in Kenya provides education and infrastructure to impoverished schools, allowing students and communities to become working models for sustainability.

Target demographics: Grow Regenerative Communities

Direct beneficiaries per year: Distribute 25,000 packets of Seed through our 13 Seed Libraries.

Geographic areas served: Locally and Globally

Programs: The Hummingbird Project was inspired by the belief that a coalition of individuals, each working for positive change, can have a profound impact on the world. Founded in 2010, THP works for social justice through ecological regeneration and community empowerment initiatives. We envision a world in which people, inspired by nature, create and maintain healthy and abundant livelihoods that enhance biodiversity and regenerate healthy ecosystems.

Community Stories

144 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Jonny Imerman     CLOZTALK    ImermanAngels

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GREAT mission, GREAT team! the CLOZTALK team is honored to call this org a partner & promote its good work!

CLOZTALK team
>> Jonny Imerman, co-founder

Jill Stephens F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cleveland Food Bank provides free seeds to everyone in the city. Most of my seeds were heirlooms to boot. Due to the pandemic, the seeds were even delivered right to my door!

Myrna C.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great program to help everyone feel able to start growing from seed. Thankful for the free seeds, information on how to plant, harvest, and save seeds for future use. I would have never known about the beauty of the milkweed plant let alone grown any to help with the natural habitat for the monarch butterflies. Look forward to dropping my seeds off and what goodies you have next year.

Sarah L.14

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’ve gotten seeds from the Cleveland Seed Bank two years in a row and I love it! Free heirloom seeds you can pick up at a local library or have mailed. I’ve grow sunflowers, pumpkins, zucchini and a lot more!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Absolutely devoted to both Humanity and the Environment!!! This is an organization that produces results that benefits many communities. They are progressive, supportive and are visionary’s.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We received some seeds from the Cleveland Seed Bank (The Hummingbird Project is the parent company) in late spring. We planted zucchini, brussel sprouts, and sunflower seeds that I had received. This being our first year growing a garden we were not sure what to expect. In the end, we were extremely pleased with the results, in particular the sunflowers. They brought constant joy and smiles with theIt dazzling yellow heads attracting rarely seen golden finches and humming birds for us to enjoy! We are excited to expand our garden for next summer, thanks in large part to the world of gardening that Cleveland Seed Bank introduced us to. Thank you!

Brooke C.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

this was an awesome experience for myself and my special needs daughter, this was our first time planting so it was a learning experience, hopefully next year we can get some more seeds because we will be better prepared. thanks so much.

Marla C.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Cleveland Seed Bank for several years now. This organization is wonderful in their drive and dedication to saving and sharing seeds with people of all walks of life in the Northeast Ohio area. Their annual seed swap is by far one of my most anticipated events. I stock my supply with just about all of the seeds I will grow for the coming spring. I love this opportunity and I love this organization. Great job!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Hummingbird Project facilitates several public initiatives I've taken advantage of, including their Seed Bank - I look forward to the Seed Bank launch every year and especially this past year, when garden centers were overwhelmed in the pandemic, the Seed Bank was a huge ally to food security in our city. I'm really proud to be part of a community that has an organization like the Hummingbird Project!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family Loves the Cleveland Seed Bank. They sent us free seeds monthly in the mail that we were able to plant in our new garden! We saved some seeds to plant next year. So excited.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to see this amazing group grow over the years. It was actually my introduction to the world of non-profit work, and I have been involved with them and other non-profits as I have realized the difference that can be made when a common goal for greater good is organized and acted upon.
The people that started it, along with so many other inspiring people along the way, have contributed to the success of THP, and continue to remind us to push ourselves to make the world a better place.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Come one Come ALL! Donation NOT required but Appreciated!
Love this Organization and share their mission of saving our heritage seeds.
I'm so glad I found them and have been spreading the word to everyone I know.
I believe that everyone should have an edible garden!
Even if it's just a little cherry tomato plant in a 5 gallon bucket on your front porch balcony like I started with. Now I have dozens of different fruits, veggie plants and herbs.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have taken two of their workshops and have used their free seeds given away at our libraries. I now teach friends how to save seeds.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The heirloom seeds were beautifully packaged and all germinated! The variety chosen truly enhanced my garden this past season. I appreciate all the work behind the scenes that made this project a reality. To have such a mindful heirloom product delivered to my house during a pandemic, made my life that much safer and improved. I doubt I could have found better seeds anywhere this year.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wonderful folk doing wonderful things for wildlife, humans, this planet, their community, plants and trees, and flutterbys!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cleveland Seed Bank is wonderful. They provided me with free seeds this past spring. It really helped me to ease my stress by planting after I lost my job due to the Covid. I planted basil and was able to share it with friends. I am very grateful for this program.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Cleveland Seed bank is amazing. We were able to select our own seeds, they shipped them so fast, and we had absolutely delicious food this summer. What a fantastic organization. Thank you.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I walked into the spring Seed Saver Event and was simply overwhelmed with seeds of all kinds and lovely folks to help explain how to plant and care for my selections. I am growing Loufa in my garden this year with seeds from Seed Saver. Isn't this a hoot! Who knew it was a plant.
I now look more carefully at dried veggies and plants to harvest seeds to plant next year and give away. I learned about how to do this with lively conversations and literature offered.

How cool to be part of a community that supports re growth!

Client Served

Rating: 3

Cleveland seed bank does a professional job of distributing seeds. Makes you interested in planting a garden in your yard.

Anastasia P.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hummingbird Project's annual seed swap has fueled so many personal and community gardens and urban farms, including providing seeds for Trinity Cathedral's Urban Farm which raises food to feed hungry people in the city. In addition, this event brings growers of all types together to network & offers them access to people providing services and products to improve their harvest.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cleveland Seed Bank's seed swaps provided our urban farm (Trinity Cathedral Urban Farm) with fuel for our harvest, all of which goes to feed hungry and homeless people in the urban core. This year, thanks to the plethora of radish seeds we got from them, we had a healthy harvest in the spring of 150 pounds, our largest raids harvest ever, and our fall harvest is just starting. We were also able to add a lot of diversity to our bean crop, thanks to their seeds.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Obtaining free seeds really helped our garden thrive this past summer! Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I contacted The Cleveland Seed Bank (part of the Hummingbird Project) about giving them some milkweed pods I had harvested as I had many more pods/seeds than I could use. They were very responsive and followed up quickly on all of my questions and comments. They seemed very committed to their role in our community. I got the milkweed pods to them and feel the pods are in great hands and I am very thankful that they were there to take my seeds and feel confident they will be used to help the Monarch population.

Rosie Mary H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ALWAYS EFFORTS TO EDUCATE AND FACILITATE
Good publicity
Available locations

Client Served

Rating: 5

As cancer patient it’s very necessary for me to have best, most nutritious food possible on my limited budget. Hummingbird Project’s Cleveland Seed Bank, provided the best organic seeds for my little organic vegetable garden, as well as, edible leaved and flowers organic nasturtiums for salads.
I wouldn’t have been able to have my organic garden this year without the Hummingbird Project and their Cleveland Seed Bank’s free organic seeds. All the more necessary during this pandemic! Thank You all very much.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have known Cleveland Seedbank since their start. They used to leave seed packets at book stores, coffee shops etc. Their relentless activism for their free distribution of heirloom seeds has made our beloved city of Cleveland a better place, without a doubt. I hope that they can continue their work and be an inspiration to other places and other peoples for generations to come.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The process of obtaining seeds was extremely easy. My plants turned out great! Can’t wait to do it again next year.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Cleveland seed bank is a true Cleveland treasure. Thanks for all that you do!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Enjoyed selecting, planting seeds and eating results

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first heard about the Cleveland Seed Bank at a free seminar they held at the library. The seed libraries are well put together and they adapted well in 2020 to follow pandemic safety guidelines.

Client Served

Rating: 5

CSB delivered great seeds for my garden. It encouraged me to try new vegetables and to start saving my own seeds.

Charles B.7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I enjoyed the selection of seeds at the Carnegie(Fulton) and the helpful librarians. Keep up the good work. I got many of the butterfly seeds and I hope you can keep them coming. It is a good idea. I also wonder if there are seeds you can plant between stones or ricks that can feed butterflies as well. Thank you.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have worked at the Cleveland Public Library for 5 years and we offer patrons free seeds through the Seed Bank. Patrons of all ages love it. The Hummingbird Project is a wonderful nonprofit!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I loved discovering new types of vegetables. And the cost is phenomenal—free. Great deal and great for the garden. Thanks for the opportunity.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing organization! I started borrowing seeds through their seed bank initiative this spring and it was such a cool experience. I learned so much, and look forward to participating more in the future.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I ordered organic seeds and they quickly arrived! Highly recommend supporting this group.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In the past, Shaker Heights Public Library has hosted a Seed Library provided by the Hummingbird Project and collaborated on related programming for our community. This year, our Library closed to the public for the pandemic a couple weeks before we were due to receive the seeds and make them available. While we and our patrons were disappointed to not be able to participate by having the seeds here and doing more programming, the Project kept us informed and we were able to point our patrons to the by-mail service they quickly set up. We are hoping to host the bank again in 2021. It has been a big hit with our community and has fit in well with our other community engagement activities.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family and I are so THANKFUL to have been introduced to the Seed Bank! We are learning how to plant and sustain our own garden.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an amazing group! Anytime we can share and save seeds from plants that aren't GMO or modified any other way - we should take the opportunity. Everything from them grew well and thrived. I love the fact that we are keeping these plant lines strong and healthy - the way they are intended to grow.

Kim T.6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thanks to the seed bank and partnership with our local library, my family with two young children were able to plant a successful garden that we harvested this fall! We will be using the Seed Bank again next year to diversify our plants even further. Thank you!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

These seeds given to me by my Aunt, Sister Annemarie Kall SND, were a delightful addition to my backyard garden in Lakewood ,Ohio. The flowers were beautiful and prolific. The marigolds bloomed over and over and filled many vases with their late summer blooms. The edible flowers mixed with our ground cover alongside the house were breathtaking pops of color in an otherwise dull bed. The greens were harvested just this week with the cold snap and were delightful. This was a really fun and enjoyable project for our little backyard. Thank you! Loretta Caja

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Hummingbird project and the Cleveland Seed bank are effective and inspiring. They actively brought together and built a regional community of urban, suburban, and rural gardeners and farmers for seed saving and knowledge sharing, including seed libraries, seed swaps, workshops, and outreach to ensure that people can be actively involved. Amazing people and an amazing organization.

Kristine G.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I work for Elyria Public Library and we have been a Cleveland Seed Bank library for the last few years, and it has been a wonderful collaboration from the start! The seeds have been a great draw for patrons and the CSB has been helpful with programming, finding sponsors, and providing seeds. Working with the CSB has been incredibly rewarding, and we have really enjoyed the experience. Every year we start a garden here at the library with their seeds and we give to patrons all the produce we harvest. They have been an invaluable resource and I hope to continue working with them for many more years.

DavidStack

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cleveland Seed bank is such a great non-profit. They go above and beyond to educate the community about the importance of saving seeds. They also build strong community with their fun seed-swaps which I look forward to each year. Lastly, they give away free seeds which is such an amazing resource and so helpful and appreciated. I love the fact they have it tied in with local libraries as well. Thank you and keep up the great work!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Cleveland Seed Bank is a great organization. The seed saving book they gave me has helped teach me the right way to save my own seeds. I also enjoy going to their yearly seed swap and have gotten many seeds from the seed bank they offer at my local library. Thank you for all that you do!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cleveland seed bank provided seeds for me to grow veggies in my garden!! I♥️the seed bank!

Christa E.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I enjoy learning about native plants and celebrating community at the seed swaps. During Covid the Seed Bank was very adaptive and sent people sent seeds to their homes. I grew zucchini thanks to the seeds they sent and shared bread and veggies with my neighbors and friends.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I went to my neighborhood public library and got some New England Pie Pumpkin seeds this past spring. The vines grew really well and flowered quickly. Tried the spinach and collard seeds, too. Unfortunately the ground hogs ate up my plants before they had a chance to thrive. Doggone ground hogs! The Cleveland Seed Bank, part of the Hummingbird Project is an excellent way for me to get seeds for my garden. I appreciate that I can get seeds when I go to the library! Actually got two pumpkins from the vines before the leaves succumbed to fungus. Next year I will try again with the pumpkin, collards and spinach. But this time I will arm myself with organic antifungal spray and a poultry fence to keep out those darned ground hogs!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cleveland Seed Bank has educated and served many residents in Cleveland. At a time when seed saving is important to learn and do on a community level more than ever, The seed bank has lead the way in my neighborhood. I attend the annual seed swap, participate in seed grow outs, pick up seeds at the library down the street, and have consulted with the staff about seeds in my garden. I am planning to host a seed saving workshop at the community garden I co manage in the future. They also host important events such as the seed school in a day event last week. I am lucky that their office is right down the street and I feel I can contact them about seed saving as the staff are supportive and friendly and enthusiastic about helping people save seeds for a future of seed/plant diversity, food security, and ultimately human and other species survival. This Non Profit is more than worthy!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have received free Heirloom seeds for 3 years in a row.
I believe the small amount of money saved ( by myself) , has motivated me to grow more.
Thank you

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I first met with the Hummingbird Project when my husband met Chris and Marilyn in a permaculture design course. Since then I have been a strong supporter of the work they do both locally and abroad to help bring understanding and enthusiasm to the work of sustaining food availability and plant diversity. Every year at their seed savers seed swap I am impressed by the number of young people who crowd the tables to take advantage of the huge variety of seeds they can add to their plots no matter where they garden. And the difference The Hummingbird Project has made in the lives of the people they work with overseas can't be overstated.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm very grateful to the Hummingbird Project and the Cleveland Seed Bank for providing high quality seeds and education. I've used and shared the seeds and seed saving strategies in my community garden. The gift keeps on giving!

1 Ronald K.2

Donor

Rating: 5

These folks really do a tremendous job getting seeds into the communities hands, for free! We have grown many awesome varieties of produce from the seed bank stock and they also gave us free milkweed plants this year!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A couple years ago I attended The Cleveland Seed Bank seed swap event in Oho City. I was very impressed with discovering the large crowd of people and the variety of seeds on tables everywhere! There was music and delicious food snacks and some friendly and knowledgeable volunteer hosts and hostesses around the room to help me navigate the event with ease. Then at a certain point, we were all ushered from the church hall to the church where a speaker presented a timely speech including some really fascinating information. The whole experience was so amazing that I look forward to the next event possibly this coming Spring. The Cleveland Seed Bank needs to stick around forever as their work is truly valuable!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I absolutely love everything about the Seed Bank. I work at the Cleveland Public Library, where we have a Seed Library. I did not know about it before seeing it here. I love that the seeds are free here, not only for myself but also for the community, as there is the opportunity to generate food at a very low cost. And of course, I found that growing plants from seeds is super-fun and rewarding! And the veggies taste 1,000 times better than grocery store veggies. I really hope more people will take advantage of this program. I am always very happy when I am at a location with a Seed Library and people "check out" seeds. It is a real blessing to the CPL patron base, often from low-income areas. It is also great to promote eating healthy foods like the seed veggies, another issue in our patron communities, where often there are limited healthy food choices available or healthy foods are too costly to buy.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was a fun project to collect flower seeds for future use. I enjoyed meeting other volunteers.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We talk a lot about food security, food deserts, and poverty. We talk about ways to improve food access, increase independence and create sustainability. The Hummingbird Project has found a very basic, yet incredibly effective way to help address these issues. One subsidiary; The Cleveland Seed Bank is based in a city with high poverty rates, economic disparities, and crime rates. Yet they set up workshops in neighborhood libraries and offer seeds. Seeds for food and seeds of knowledge. They share information with everyone who attends these free and fully accessible sessions. Most attendees are new to growing, but some are garden-knowledgeable and the info sessions become inter-generational trainings of best practices to become somewhat self-sufficient in the inner city. One could argue that seeds are now available to everyone; they are within purchasing guidelines for SNAP, so that means they are without financial restrictions to even those in the most need. This, however, is not the case. To a family already struggling financially, the $10-20 necessary to purchase seeds & start a garden could be equivalent to a week’s worth of dinner. The Cleveland Seed Bank eliminates that issue by providing free seeds to all. No income check, no background check required. This organization is incredible. The altruistic nature of giving just to make the world a better place, by teaching people to become a bit more self-sufficient in order to help solve the food insecurity issues, is just amazing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Cleveland Seed Bank has done a great job of local education on saving seed and gardening. A Seed Bank session I attended was at a library near me, and the organization has actually enlisted many Cleveland-area libraries in the effort. Many branches have their own little bank of seeds from the organization that people can take and plant in their own gardens. What's more, Cleveland Seed Bank's early spring seed exchange has grown to become a well-attended, delightful, fun, and educational event. Kudos to them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It's hard to quantify the impact in my life that the HP has made because it is truly immense. Their education and work has led me down many fruitful (literally) paths. I now tend to a massive 14 acre food forest with my friend harvesting fruits and forest medicine such as apples, walnuts, ginseng and more. I've planted and started many 'beyond organic' gardens with all the soil building techniques I learned from them.
The most important thing they have always provided though is their kindness and attention.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Cleveland Seed Bank holds many informative classes a year enabling residents to learn the best ways to gather and save seeds. It makes it easy to exchange seeds holding exchanges in various easily reachable locations.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been getting seeds from the Cleveland Seed Bank for years and love it. Beautiful flowers and vegetable plants grown! And the staff at the library is wonderful! Thank you!

Donor

Rating: 5

I first encountered The Hummingbird project and its incredible founders, Chris Kennedy and Marilyn McHugh, during a permaculture design course in 2015. The story of the Project's origin and its subsequent work completely enthralled me. Over the years since then Chris and Marilyn have become close friends. As I've watched and learned from them I've seen the unswerving sense of commitment and personal dedication they bring to The Hummingbird Project and ancillary efforts like the Cleveland Seed Bank. In the early years, when grants were few and hard to come by, they routinely financed the Project and the Seed Bank out of their own pockets. The work they focus on is always geared toward providing healthful, sustainable life opportunities for those who often are forgotten or ignored. And through the Hummingbird Project they have quite literally changed the lives of people in small communities in Africa and India as well as those in urban "food deserts" in the US. The free Seed libraries they have created with Cleveland Public Library make organic heirloom vegetable seeds available to residents of Cleveland's inner city neighborhoods for free and have facilitated the formation of neighborhood community gardens and urban farms across the city. Through the classes and workshops they conduct in India with Dr. Vandana Shiva, they have trained hundreds of farmers in basic sustainable farming practices like composting and growing healthy soil through applying permaculture methods. My wife and I have been fortunate in being able to provide a small measure of financial support to the Hummingbird Project over the last few years and, quite frankly, we wish we were able to do more. We've never encountered a nonprofit more deserving of support where every single dollar they raise is directly used to better the lives of those in need.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The hummingbird project is doing amazing work making a huge difference one drop at a time. ✴️

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cleveland Seed Bank is a valued part of the Cleveland community and the greater community of seed savers around the world. I'm so thankful to have connected with them and to have partnered on the Seed Steward project. They are facilitating extremely important work and have helped to educate the public about how essential seed saving is to the continuation of a diverse ecosystem.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hummingbird is a great project. Chris and Marilyn are teachers who inspire their students with their works. More power to this organization.

Review from Guidestar

1 Robin Lal S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Chris & Marilyn of THP are such wonderful inspirational teachers plus curious learners themselves! Their openness, compassion, depth of wisdom & experience is so vital for our present times to usher us into an organic sustainable natural wholesome living. Through THP and their impactful projects/trainings, I see many countless lives & communities being touched and transformed for a better today & tomorrow. It's amazing & heart-warming to see such dedicated and passionate beings collaborating with so many people on so many fronts to make a positive change! Guiding lights!!

Review from Guidestar