It is always a balance and a juggle on social media when we serve at risk folks and people that are often exploited for one reason or another. We are here to support those often excluded, marginalized, and left out of health care, especially herbal health care. So we don't always share every single thing we do to protect those we serve, and because we are doing this work to support communities. And, to support the coordinators in communities. But we realize we do need to share more.
People often think we are a giant organization, but we are very grassroots. Here at HWB we have two core central people that coordinate almost everything for the day to day of HWB. So that means not only the accounting and management, social media, training calls, website updates, blog posts, graphics, emails, management, outreach, education, and more...but also working to provide resources to member and Coordinators around the world.
It seems whenever we move to launch something new to support members and keep folks engaged, something else also happens that requires a lot of time and energy! The past few weeks we have launched course scholarships, opened the Seed Grants to all Members and Coordinators in the US, are hosting a Coordinator Call/training, have 4 new Chapters to onboard, worked to support Queensland as they experience catastrophic flooding, and worked to support Coordinators and herbalists throughout Europe as (now) 2.2 million people have fled Ukraine into Europe.
That is a lot for a full staff, let alone two people with other work! We have done it, though. Here are a few updates from the past few weeks:
We updated the whole website with some of the latest news and links.
There are new Chapter images on the main chapter page.
The Coordinator portal now has Canva templates for Coordinators to use.
We have packed and shipped Seed Grant boxes to dozens of Chapters and projects/gardens.
We launched the scholarship application - go see the last blog post for more details.
We added another few dozen resources into the member portal.
SE Queensland has a microgrant to get support to those experiencing catastrophic flooding.
HWB Athens mobilized and received funding to get herbal and first aid supplies heading to the border of Ukraine.
We are launching national sub pages for chapters coordinating national networks.
We worked with another NGO this week to help get support to college students who fled Ukraine in the middle of the night with only the clothing on their backs, and we are coordinating with a few Berlin herbalists from the previous HWB Berlin Chapter (THANK YOU TO THEM!) to get the students connected to local resources (food, clothing, shelter, computers, legal support) and from there, hopefully get some additional herbal support going for the huge influx of people sleeping on the floor of train stations and at shelters and camps in the region.
There have been slack messages, emails, zoom calls, facebook messages, and coordinating and connecting folks in various parts of the globe to a unified goal of supporting refugees. We are mobilizing funds to get more microgrants to Chapters supporting folks so that they can get more supplies, more herbs, more containers, reach more people. We have been communicating with folks interested in donating so that they know what we are doing to support the huge efforts in Europe. We have had zoom calls with people around the globe to see who has what, where, how we can assemble resources into central information threads, and connect mutual aid groups in different locations doing this work. We will be sharing the resources lists as we have them.
More work ongoing:
We are working on creating a series of garden templates people can download for free for different types of gardens and zones/climates.
We are working on creating a master recipe database for all Coordinators to use when they respond.
We are creating a whole new Chapter/Clinic/Project Manual to keep everyone up to date on the latest changes and requirements we must adhere to.
We are working to get a color printer to one of the Africa Chapters so that they can provide people with handouts at events and clinics.
We have a seed starting and medicinal herb growing webinar in the works.
We have trauma informed practice webinar in the works.
We are bringing back the podcast and will be launching new interviews and trainings on the podcast.
We continue to intake donations to our US Donation Distribution Network and share supplies out to free clinics and for community outreach around the US every day.
We may be small, but we are mighty, and we are always on the ground with our ear to the floor, listening for other areas that need support. We always have huge goals to get support to those on the ground doing the work in their own communities, while we are also on the ground doing the work in our own communities. Our volunteers are amazing, inspiring, and dedicated.
We may not be as loud as other groups, but that is because we have our heads down and we are working to get as much done as possible, supporting folks and mobilizing funds, hands, clothes, food, herbal support, people, allies, resources, and more to far reaches of the globe. We are so appreciative of all of our members and donors that allow us to do this work and that make such a big impact.
So, we hope to spend some more time this year updating folks on what we are doing here at the core, and not just what the Chapters are doing, as we work to organize, manage, and support people around the world, and train folks on how to do this work under our 501c3.
With that goal in mind, we will be posting more frequent updates on the blog here, so people can keep up with everything we are doing, and to share all of the new initiatives and programs as we have them.
Thanks to everyone out there working on the ground, doing this work. We know it is invisible and thankless, and we see you.
Keep up with the latest!
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HWB is a 501c3 NGO nonprofit. Our nonprofit is a global member network of of herbalists, medicinal plant growers, herbal educators, alternative holistic modality practitioners and others dedicated to herbal health access for all, medicinal plant conservation, health justice and more.
HWB: Serving Communities Since 1995.
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