Andrew decided to promote and support Westchester Community Partners through a special pack of craft chocolate bars. Ben decided to raise awareness and support Backyard Sports and Backyard Sports Cares through a special pack of bean-to-bar bites.
In the spirit of balance and equity, they decided to total the sales generated from both the bars and bites and then equally split the proceeds. We thank them for demonstrating economic equity.
Westchester Community Partners organizes community service programs to improve literacy and education for children in the area. This includes mentorship programs such as Reading Buddies that pair children with student volunteers to create meaningful bonds as well as helping with academics.
Backyard Sports and Backyard Sports Cares aims to unify and bring together communities using athletics as the medium. They strongly believe that all kids, no matter their background, deserve to have the opportunity to run around, play with their friends and be kids.
We thank Andrew and Ben for helping develop and launch our social action program, MyPod Grows. Through the artistic, emotional, and environmental qualities of chocolate, they been able to explore their values, practice self-care, and consider social injustices faced by marginalized communities locally and throughout the world.
As next generation leaders who are passionate about food, nature, self care, community engagement and social justice, their input regarding personal and professional development programs that will best serve their peer group has been invaluable. It has been eye opening to watch them dig deep, recall and discuss varied emotions and then try to draw parallels to others’ situations.
We all agree, there is nothing more important than self love. We must discover our voices and make choices that keep our lives moving in the direction of our values. When times get tough, and they will, we need to reach for the tools that lift us and keep us pointed in the right direction.
Ben and Andrew flexed new muscles and explored how nature, cacao and artistic expression can be part of their tool box. For that we are grateful. Our wish is that they recall and reach for these non-traditional tools. We hope these tools continue to serve their personal growth and support the building of meaningful human connections.