As I’ve gotten involved in the Bremerton Farmers Market, I’ve been asked pretty frequently “what do you DO?” Well, I’m not a vendor. I’m the president of our board of directors, but what that means is that I’m really just a big time supporter or our market, similar to lots of other folks in our community. I’m a lover of all things good for Bremerton, and the market just so happens to embody a lot of the things that I think will make Bremerton a better place. The BFM involves supporting local small businesses, healthy food grown by Washington farmers and the overall sense of COMMUNITY that comes from being at our local market.
What is the best part of being president of the Bremerton Farmers Market? Working with truly incredible people. Some of these are our market members and vendors, or our amazing manager, for example. These are people that spend countless hours creating or growing their products, making displays for their booth, often managing a website to market their business and then additional hours managing their both at the markets each week. These are the people that put in the hard hours and show up each week to vend for you and bring you a fantastic market.
I’ve also encountered people that have supported the market from the outside as community participants – people like City Council members Leslie, Nick, Greg and Roy. These are people who pick of the phone to have a call about a market issue, or have even joined our committee meetings held at board members homes to connect about how to make our market better. Or take Bremerton Mayor, Patty Lent, for example. She has far surpassed my expectations in terms of communicating with us regularly and also jumping in to support where she can. I can remember being at a Washington State Farmers Market Association strategic planning meeting earlier this year, and I got multiple calls from not only City Council members but from Mayor Patty Lent regarding a hot topic affecting our market. These are people that care and people that are making a difference by being deeply involved and showing up with action to support us. These folks go above and beyond in supporting market initiatives, responding to our questions and encouraging us along the way.
What do all of these people have in common? They DO. They show up, they put their words of support into action. That being said, although I am pleased with the support from community members, I can’t say that I’m surprised. You see, I grew up in a family of DO-ers. I grew up with parents that volunteered in my elementary school, that coached soccer teams and lead Girl Scout troops. I grew up with grandparents that volunteer at libraries and manage county political campaigns, and give their love and artistic talent back to their community. I grew up in a family where it is normal to give and DO, to enrich the lives of others and our communities.
So, what do I DO at the market? I join the others and I give – my time and energy to an organization I care about. I DO this market, because I believe in this market, and the good that it does in our community. I encourage each of you to give – your own time and your own energy to the things you care about. What do you want to make better and what do you want to give back? Don’t just think about it, DO it. I tell you this not only because its fun and it feels good, but because our community needs it. It needs help! We need people like you to step up, to volunteer, to make a difference, to make our community better. We need more people to take action on the things they care and talk about, we need more people to DO.