Monthly Archives: March 2010

HOUSE NEWS: Spring, volunteer field trip, and sweat shops

Riley sprinkles a little "worm poop" on the bean seeds

For more information on what’s happening at the Green House this week, please click here.

After a long, long winter, it seems like Spring is actually here! Farmers have been donating twice as much food to the house, and the seeds we’ve planted for our tiny front yard garden are sprouting. In addition, the intrepid Bob the Gardener is committed to hauling water to grow a few things in our former empty-lot garden. Our friend Karen regularly brings by homemade casseroles and healthy desserts for the coffee houses. Folks eating at the house really appreciate the community effort involved in the food we serve. And it tastes really good…

We have some extra help rolling in this week, too, in the form of high school volunteers on a field trip to Dorothy’s Cafe.  Friend and supporter, Deidre Houchen, is accompanying a group of her P.K. Yonge students who will help prepare the soup and bread as well as serve for the first hour and a half. They read in class the book Same Kind of Different as Me, a bestseller about the friendship between a well-to-do family and a homeless man. I read it this winter as well and was impressed by the depth of humanity the book was able to give both parties.  In our small way, we hope that experiencing Dorothy’s Cafe offers something of that to folks who come to serve or to eat.

Time and time again, we’re reminded how important it is to actually know our neighbors, especially when our decisions affect them. The healthcare debate has brought this into sharp focus (more on this later). Choosing what we purchase also draws us into connection with people we may never see but whom our decisions affect greatly. UF student Emily Flynn’s group “Gators for a Sweatshop Free Campus” is hosting two former garment factory workers, Gina and Lowlee, who used to produce clothing for Nike. Come hear their story on Wednesday, March 31 from 7-10pm at MAEB 211 on campus and/or come meet them in person on the Plaza of the Americas earlier that afternoon between 11:30 and 1:30.

May this Holy Week be one of blessing, insight, and caritas.

HOUSE NEWS: Kairos, Garden Plans, and Project Help

For more information on what’s happening at the Green House this week, please click here.

We had a great visit from the CIW last week and really appreciated the work they did to bring the Modern Day Slavery Museum to town. We kept getting the same response from people visiting the museum or the house: “There have been real slavery convictions here in Florida recently?!?” If you didn’t get a chance to tour the museum while it was here, check out this article in the St. Petersburg Times.

KAIROS RETREAT: If you are a young adult, it’s not too late to register for the upcoming Kairos Retreat which will be held at the house on Saturday, April 3.  Check out the Facebook page for more info.

GARDEN TIME: While the parking lot garden does not look like it will materialize this spring (although we are hoping to do something in the median areas), Kelli’s son Joe pulled out some of the bushes in the front yard to make room for more veggies. That space plus window boxes (and perhaps some guerrilla gardening) should keep us busy and in vegetables during this beautiful spring. We’ll need some willing workers, so let us know if you’re interested.

HELP!  John was in DC this week for the immigration rally and for Pax Christi-related work, so…. Kelli will need extra help to keep the regular projects flowing. If you’re available to help out let us know when!

  • Help prepare, serve, and/or clean up at the Cafe (Wed), Breakfast Brigade (Fri) or Coffee Houses (Tues and Thurs) – see “this week” for schedule.
  • Bake a healthy casserole or quiche (or homemade pastry) for the coffee houses or fresh bread for the cafe.
  • Donate fair trade coffee or lightweight blankets (we’ve had several people stop by for blankets today).

Thank you!

Kelli and John

HOUSE NEWS: Modern Day Slavery Museum, Roundtable on Suicide, Upcoming Kairos Retreat

CIW friends during their last visit

For more information on what’s happening at the Green House, please click here.

We have a full schedule this week! Highlights include the a visit from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and our monthly Roundtable. It’s also time to register for Kairos, a day of reflection for students and young adults which will be held here at the house on April 2.

THE CIW’S FLORIDA MODERN DAY SLAVERY MUSEUM is coming through town on March 17th and 18th. It’s housed in a cargo truck outfitted as a replica of trucks used in recent slavery operations, accompanied by displays on the history and evolution of slavery in Florida. Focusing on the phenomenon of modern-day slavery – its roots, the reasons it persists, and its solutions. The exhibits were developed in consultation with workers who have escaped from forced labor operations as well as leading academic authorities on slavery and labor history in Florida. Some of the CIW members accompanying the museum will be staying at the house. We’re not sure what their commitments are for meals at this point, but we’re hoping to be able to share some with them. Let us know if you’re interested in helping out here – or eating with us.

The museum is free and will be on exhibit at the Plaza of the Americas (UF campus) from 0am to 4:30 pm on Wednesday, March 17 and from 9am to 4:30 pm on Thursday, march 18.

The museum will also be at First Assembly of God (2025 NW 39th Ave) rom 5:30pm to 9pm on Wednesday the 17th, and at the Mennonite Meeting House (1236 NW 18th Avenue) from 5:30pm to 9pm on Thursday the 18th.

ROUND TABLE: Thursday, 6-7:30 – “SUICIDE: Dispelling the Myths and Activating Compassion”, – see this week for more info.

REGISTER FOR THE UPCOMING KAIROS RETREAT, April 3 9:30 – 4:30 pm at the Green House. For more info, click here.


  • Help prepare, serve, and/or clean up at the Cafe (Wed), Breakfast Brigade (Fri) or Coffee Houses (Tues and Thurs) – see “this week” for schedule.
  • Bake a healthy casserole or quiche (or homemade pastry) for the coffee houses or fresh bread for the cafe.
  • Donate fair trade coffee or lightweight blankets.

Thank you for all of your support!

Kelli and John

HOUSE NEWS: Spring Break: We KNEAD you!

For more information on what’s happening this week at the Green House, please click here.

We are going to carry on much the same as usual this week despite having lost the majority of our UF volunteers. So if you’re around, come on over and get your hands dirty – or doughy.

VOLUNTEERS:  We’d love to have your help with any of this week’s projects – but we anticipate needing help especially during the Breakfast Brigade (Fri, 4am-7am) and the “cafe”  on Wednesday. Instead of our regular sit-down dinner/lunch, we’ll be handing out veggie pockets at the front door during normal cafe hours. The ceiling over the downstairs hallway is being ripped out and some ductwork repaired – and it’s going to be a mess. If you would like to help prepare the veggie pockets (10-12, and possibly beyond) or help distribute them (12-5), give us call or email and let us know when you can come over.

OTHER HELP: We normally try to keep things healthy; there’s so much unhealthy food available to impoverished people and so little good stuff.  At the coffee houses we have been serving baked potatoes – and left-over soup or salad when we have it.  I have also made scones a few times, in spite of nutrition, trying to create the coffee shop ambiance.  If anyone has a hankering to bake something, or prepare a pretty salad or simple casserole for the coffee houses, let me know. We usually have 15-20 men and women on Tuesdays and 5-10 women on Thursdays.

Have a wonderful Spring Break, wherever you are. The weather here is lovely!

Kelli and John

HOUSE NEWS: No mass this week, but a lot of other things

For more information on what’s happening this week at the Green House, please click here.

Unfortunately, we are discontinuing mass at the house for this semester. As much as we wanted to make it happen, John’s travel combined with all that is going on at the house has made it hard to schedule. Prayer – what a thing to drop during Lent…

There are still a lot of other projects brewing, and we would really appreciate it if you would email us if you can help with any of them this week. We particularly need extra help for the Tuesday Coffee House from 1-3. We always seem short-handed there, especially at the beginning.

The Ladies Coffee House had a few more takers after several friends made and wrapped delicious cookies that we gave out with invitations. So we’re going to keep going with it for  now. The women who come seem to really enjoy it, and so do we.

And thank you for the blanket donations! I think we’ve about wiped out everyone’s linen closet this year! With more cold days coming down the pike this week, give us a call if you would like to drop by any more.  Also a special thanks to Erika Henderson and her father Warren, orange growers at the Saturday Farmers Market. In addition to giving us great deals on delicious oranges all winter, they have regularly collected blankets and warm clothes. It’s made a difference and folks really appreciate it. When we can, we try to tell people where things came from – who made them, grew them, or donated them. It’s a pleasure to point out the connection between us, present in these concrete gifts of food and warmth.

We hope to see you this week. We also hope you are able to get out and enjoy some of the beautiful weather. We recently took a short bike ride to beautiful La Chua Trail and saw scores of alligators (over 100 between the trailhead and the lookout tower). We highly recommend it!