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Urban Roots Recognized for Innovative Volunteer Engagement

The Foundation recently announced Urban Roots as the 2018 recipient of the Jordan Award, which recognizes a Central Texas nonprofit that effectively leverages the time and talents of volunteers to create positive change in our community. Created by Dr. Wylie Jordan in 1999, the Jordan Award provides a grant of $6,000 to a local nonprofit, annually. 

Urban Roots is not your average nonprofit. They use food and farming to transform the lives of young people and to inspire, engage and nourish our community. Using a 3.5-acre farm in East Austin, Urban Roots unites diverse youth through three paid leadership development opportunities. 

Volunteers play a unique and crucial role at Urban Roots. From the moment a volunteer steps onto the farm, they begin providing a meaningful opportunity for the youth in the Urban Roots program to develop their leadership skills. Urban Roots youth leaders welcome and orient new volunteers, teach daily tasks, and help everyone celebrate a hard day’s work! 

The farm sees over 1,200 volunteers per year, which aids in the production of 25,000 pounds of food, annually. 40 percent of this food is donated directly back into the youth community Urban Roots serves, and 60 percent is sold at the farmer's market stand run by Urban Roots youth. 

Urban Roots has truly cultivated a creative volunteer program that not only engages our community but also provides real-world experiences for the youth they serve. We couldn’t think of a better fit for this year’s Jordan Award! 

Now in its 18th grant cycle, the Jordan Award has granted over $85,000 to organizations across Central Texas who rely on their dedicated volunteers.