Lee Third Grader Spreads Seeds of Hope

“I was really excited. I didn’t know exactly what they were going to do,” said Norah after she was called to stand up in front of the crowd at the gathering.

Norah, wearing her “Live United'' t-shirt, said her work helping give away gardening seeds to others started in the spring of 2021.  Barry County United Way was given an over shipment of garden seeds from WalMart. United Way teamed with Blue Zones Activate Barry County to figure out a way to get the seeds into the hands of families in need. With Norah’s help, they created packets that included 10 packs of seeds, information from MSU Extension on gardening, and information from the United Way.

How Norah got involved, she said, was just a “coinkydink.” She and her mother, who is the director for Blue Zones, were in the United Way office one day and Norah saw all the seeds. She immediately wanted some of her own to take home and start her own garden.

“My mother and my grandmother garden and I wanted to have my own garden,” said Norah. She was pleased when the beans, carrots, peas and flowers started popping up.

“I thought it was really fun watching everything grow,” she said.

With her own love of gardening, helping  send the seeds to other people was something Norah wanted to do. “I put 10 seed packs in each packet.” The packets were placed in Blue Zone mailboxes around the county and available to anyone who wanted them.

In all, Norah helped prepare more than 250 packets and those seed packets allowed people throughout the county to grow their own fresh food. “I felt happy for the people who got the seeds,” said Norah. “What’s most happy is being with family and you could grow a garden and eat the food with your family. So that’s even more fun.”

Norah said she likes helping others. “When I see someone sad I try to help out and make them feel better,” she said.

When she’s not busy spreading her seeds of hope or helping make other people happy, Norah said she loves playing soccer and 4-square. “Sometimes I just like to play with my friends and we just do whatever we all want to do  - or just be together. That’s what makes me most happy – being with my friends and my family.”