Sierra Harvest could not do all of the things we do without the help of our wonderful volunteers. I caught up with one of them, Jacquie Weills, in between all of her different projects, and got to know her a little better.
SH: How did you become interested in volunteering for Sierra Harvest?
Jacquie: I just love gardening and I like to be of service. If I’m going to be of service, I want to be working in the garden with children. I’ve always been a teacher, a class teacher, a handwork teacher, a garden teacher, a yoga teacher. One of the most important things we can teach children right now is to be with the earth, and to raise their own healthy, clean, organic food and know the difference. It’s important that they know that we have to take care of the earth, and it’s nice to see Sierra Harvest teaching that out there in the schools, because they don’t get that in general education. We need to teach our children life skills, not just head skills. Plus I love Malaika and Carlyle, what they’re doing is great. (Malaika and Carlyle are the co-executive director and office manager at Sierra Harvest.)
SH: What do you do as a volunteer for Sierra Harvest?
Jacquie: At the office, I’ve been putting things on the computer, entering survey information. I help Carlyle, the office manager – I’ll go pick up the fliers or run errands so that she can stay and work. I help my granddaughter’s class with the third grade garden at Yuba River Charter School as well.
SH: What do you like about the work you do for Sierra Harvest?
Jacquie: I’m a community-minded person – for me, it’s not all about having a job where you make money. We all need to pitch in with our time in areas we love. I love cooking, I love having good healthy food. It’s really important to me that people know what they are eating. Having children discover this at an early age is truly beneficial.
SH: How else do you support the local food movement in our community?
Jacquie: I volunteer at First Rain Farm – I help with the harvest, I cook lunch for all the people who are helping with the harvest. Everybody brings something, crème fraiche, bread, etc. I make the soup for them. I love it.
SH: What do you do when you are not volunteering for Sierra Harvest?
Jacquie: I work in the garden at BriarPatch, and I work in my own garden. I spend a lot of time with my grandchildren. I am doing some end of life care, two days a week. I also volunteer in my granddaughter’s hand work class every week, teaching crochet. I love kids, I’ve always worked with kids. They are our future, and we don’t pay enough attention to that. Gandhi said: “If we are to have real peace, we must begin with the children.” Teaching them to love the earth is a great place to begin.
SH: Thank you, Jacquie, for doing all that you do!