Bayer CropScience & Passage Home Brighten Raleigh Community
Friday, July 12, 2013
Passage Home, a Raleigh-based nonprofit, has been fighting poverty and homelessness in the area for over 20 years by providing a hand-up, not a hand-out to those in need. Passage Home works to break the cycle of poverty with housing and support services, neighborhood revitalization, economic development and youth development. Bayer CropScience has been a proud supporter of Passage Home for many years through donations of employee volunteer time and funds to support their community programs.
In April, the Bayer USA Foundation awarded Passage Home a $600,000 grant and reaffirmed its commitment to the Raleigh-Durham area. The four-year grant is earmarked for the development of a new community garden in the Brown Birch neighborhood of South Raleigh and for increased support of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education for students involved in Passage Home’s after-school and summer school programs at the neighborhood’s Safety Club.
Dr. Mae C. Jemison, astronaut and Bayer's longtime national Making Science Make Sense® spokesperson joined Bayer CropScience and Passage Home for a ceremony announcing the grant at the site of the community garden. Jemison commented that the gardens were a perfect introduction to the sciences.
Bayer employees lend a hand
Bayer CropScience volunteers kicked off the community beautification program last month when over thirty-five team members headed to Passage Home to clean up the grounds of one of the organization’s apartment communities, building raised flower beds, spreading mulch, planting flowers and shrubs, and planting rose bushes donated by Bayer. As one child arrived home from school, she was overheard exclaiming, "Look Mommy, they planted flowers everywhere!" A second project involved assembling care bags for Passage Home’s children’s summer camp program and for those displaced in the local neighborhood.
It’s a pleasure to see the faces of Passage Home children who are enthralled by science lessons, the smiles of Passage Home community residents admiring their new garden, employees laughing as they get their hands in the dirt planting flowers and Passage Home employees excited for new opportunities. Passage Home is an organization that other communities around the country can use as a model to build their own neighborhoods, and we’re proud to support them on this mission.