Australasia's most trusted garden care business Yates, has today introduced a fresh and healthy new fundraising initiative called Yates® Raise A Patch™.
Raise A Patch is all about providing a way for kids to raise much-needed funds for their school, sporting club or community group, while also having fun growing things in the garden and learning about healthy food choices along the way.
Angie Thomas, gardening expert and Horticultural Communications Manager at Yates, said this of the initiative:
'As a mother of school age kids myself, it can be challenging steering kids towards healthy eating options. Yates will be helping address part of the problem by offering a healthier way for schools, sporting clubs and communities to fundraise."
Enter Yates with Raise A Patch, a healthier alternative for fundraising which focuses on selling seeds for veggie patches, herb pots and flower gardens, and one which raises twice as much money for schools or sporting clubs that they would normally earn.
Television personality Grant Denyer is supporting the initiative. 'Straight off the bat, the whole Yates with Raise A Patch campaign was an absolute no-brainer for me to get involved with," said Denyer. 'School kids selling sweets never sat right with me as a parent. So the idea of them fundraising with seeds instead, getting out and about in the garden to grow veggies for their own dinner table, makes sense on so many levels.
'Not only that, but the fact that schools and sporting clubs make double the money than they would selling lollies or chocolates really seals the deal for me."
To help seed the message, Denyer has teamed up with Yates' new puppet ambassador Cedric the Gnome to star in a series of funny kid-friendly videos. The videos are all about spreading the Raise A Patch philosophy, explaining how the initiative works, and provides gardening and fundraising tips. As Denyer says, 'The initiative works, because it gives kids all the information and tools they need to make healthy choices, but in a really unique, amusing way."
Cedric, however, has completely different ideas about why Raise A Patch is so important. 'Did you know that 86% of gnomes are homeless?" he splutters. 'Not only that, our native fairy population is almost extinct! That's why we need human children to help grow gardens, make homes for gnomes and save the poor endangered fairies!"
Thomas says that while the silliness of Cedric's personal agenda is a fun way to promote the idea to kids, the goals of Raise A Patch remain important. 'The initiative helps provide kids with an opportunity to learn about where their food comes from, encourages healthy eating choices and gets more children into the garden whilst also raising awareness of sustainable living – all while raising double the money for important projects and helping families save on grocery bills."
Yates® Raise A Patch™ packet seeds can be purchased in packs of 25 for $40 or 50 for $75, valued at $100 and $200 respectively, the profits of which can go straight towards the new facilities for schools and clubs.
For more information on Yates® Raise A Patch™, including how to kick start a fundraiser for your school or community, visit fundraising.yates.com.au and watch Cedric the Gnome in action at https://youtu.be/4LQLXi2CVG8
Question: What is Yates Raise A Patch?
Angie Thomas: Raise A Patch is a new initiative from Yates that helps kids get involved with gardening and at the same time raise much needed funds for their school or sporting club.
Question: How does the Yates Raise A Patch initiative work?
Angie Thomas: Schools, community groups and sporting clubs can sell packets of seed and raise twice as much money than selling chocolates or sweets.
Question: Why did Yates create the Raise A Patch initiative?
Angie Thomas: It's so important for kids to re-connect to the outside world, learn how plants grow and where their food comes from. Encouraging kids to get involved in gardening and grow some of their own food is a great way to do this, and at Yates we felt that we could help through Raise A Patch.
Question: How does the initiative allow children to raise much-needed funds for their school, sporting or community club?
Angie Thomas: Packet seeds can be purchased in boxes of 25 for $40 or 50 for $75. They can then be sold for $100 and $200 and the profits can go straight towards things like new equipment and facilities.
Question: Why was it important for Yates to create an initiative that supports the local children but also promotes healthy eating?
Angie Thomas: At Yates we're all about helping people create thriving gardens and encouraging people to grow some of their own food. If you have a vegie patch, you're more likely to have a healthier diet because the fresh produce is right at your back door. And we want healthy Australians, young and old, so the more people we can encourage to get their hands dirty and grow some of their own food the better.
Question: How do you hope this initiative tackles the sugar endemic?
Angie Thomas: Parents and schools, through healthier lunch boxes and school canteens are trying their best to reduce the amount of sugar we give to kids. However we send a mixed message by encouraging them to sell chocolates or sugary foods to fundraise. It doesn't make sense! So by giving kids the opportunity to fund raise with Raise A Patch seeds, instead of filling our pantries and lunch boxes with unhealthy treats through traditional fund raising, we can encourage kids to grow their own healthy treats like carrots, strawberries, baby spinach and tiny tomatoes. And when kids are involved in growing their own healthy food, they are much more likely to eat it! There's nothing like going out to the vegie patch to pick your own fresh produce. I know from personal experience that my own 2 young boys are much more enthusiastic about eating vegies that they have helped grow and pick themselves.
Question: Why did you choose Grant Denyer to support the Raise A Patch initiative?
Angie Thomas: Grant was a natural fit and wanted to create change in this space.
Question: Can you tell us about Cedric the Gnome's involvement in Yates Raise A Patch?
Angie Thomas: Cedric is the spokesperson for the grow a gnome a home and save the fairies foundation. He wants to bring fairies and gnomes back into our gardens but he can't do it alone. Which is why he is asking kids to spread seeds and create new homes where fairies and gnomes can flourish.
Interview by Brooke Hunter