Noah Curl is always looking for ways to help in the community. But he’s particularly drawn to causes with a lot of drive behind them.
That’s why he decided to get involved with Grow2Give, a new student organization at the University of Illinois. Grow2Give’s mission is to create accessible green spaces on campus, as well as provide affordable produce to the surrounding community.
“After talking with Grow2Give’s president, Sydney Curts, about what she was trying to accomplish for the community, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of,” says Noah, who is a relationship banker at INB’s Champaign office. “Not only did the project and community involvement make it rewarding enough for me to join, but getting to see someone who is so passionate about helping the community have her vision come to life was one of the best feelings you can have.”
INB Supports Employee Involvement
Noah didn’t stop at personal involvement, though – he asked INB to get involved too, with a monetary donation to help the organization put down roots.
“Grow2Give was trying their hardest to reach their goal to start the project. After explaining the organization to INB and getting approval for a donation, the Grow2Give board and I were so excited,” Noah says. “Being an employee at INB and getting to donate to something I believe in made me feel valued as an employee.”
Currently, Grow2Give has two garden beds on the University of Illinois campus, and they hope to expand in the coming seasons. This season, the students are growing okra, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, collards, swiss chard, leaf lettuce, kale, and a variety of herbs.
“Upkeep of the gardens is pretty time-consuming, but well worth every second!” says Sydney. “Harvest season is in full swing for us, and we have been able to donate to Solidarity Gardens and the University of Illinois Food Assistance and Well-Being Program, and are continuing to expand our donations through the season.”
Pandemic Brought New Challenges to a New Organization
Starting a new student organization means jumping through some hoops and garnering a lot of support. That was especially complicated during the COVID pandemic.
“Thanks to our supporters like INB, we were able to overcome the many adversities we faced in the first few months of the startup. Businesses like INB are truly the reason we are able to start up an organization like Grow2Give,” Sydney shares. “As we continue to grow, we’re looking to foster more relationships both on campus and in the Champaign community.”
Noah looks forward to seeing the fruits of Grow2Give’s labor throughout the community.
“Growing produce around campus helps the environment, adds natural beauty to the campus, and offers homegrown food to local foodbanks, homeless shelters, students and more. I was drawn to Grow2Give because not only does it help the community but the board of students involved are all so passionate about their goals and are determined to see it through,” Noah says.
Interested in helping Grow2Give? Contact the organization at email@example.com!