As a Member of the Board of Directors, I am very proud of what Tigermountain Foundation has accomplished to help teens-at-risk in a poor neighborhoods of South Phoenix by engaging them in cultivating vegetables in four, at present, community gardens that are located on formerly vacant lots. In addition, TMF has helped many former prisoners learn some job and life skills with part-time work on landscaping contracts. The recidivism rate for former prisoners in this neighborhood is 81%, but almost none of the former prisoners who have worked with TMF have returned to prison.
Tigermountain Foundation just rented space at the Brooks Community School, a former elementary school in the Roosevelt School District. That space is now being used as an office and a meeting room. The next step will be to engage a large group of neighborhood teenagers to build and cultivate a large new vegetable garden on what used to be the athletic field of that former school. TMF has applied for two grants to finance the initiation of that garden.
The sale of vegetables from the TMF gardens to a local restaurant and at several Farmers Markets brings in over half of the revenue that TMF needs to continue operations since it was founded in 2007. But donations and grants have played an important role in funding after-school gardening programs and other classes for the local children and teenagers.
St Luke's Health Initiatives offered and signed an agreement with TMF in 2014 to serve as the Fiscal Sponsor for TMF. This has already opened the door for TMF to apply for more grants.
TMF has recently received a $100,000 grant (distributed over 5 years) by coming in first place in a "Fast Pitch" competition hosted at Arizona State University. TMF manages 4 urban gardens, representing more than 10 acres, in the Phoenix Roosevelt School District. I was amazed to see the community support and large numbers of volunteers, myself included. It is amazing to see how much gets done with so little financial support. The volunteers cover the spectrum of races and ages, ex-offenders, previous gang members, physically challenged, the list goes on. We come to the gardens to put our hands in the soil to care for and withness the maturation of seeds into edible fruits and vegetables. This is an organization that is truly engaging the community like few foundations do. With more than 200 volunteers annually and no full time employees yet, TMF is an organization to watch.
Review from Guidestar