Walnut Way’s 20th year is on the horizon as we approach 2020. As we close this decade, I’m reminded of how far Lindsay Heights has come together to build a stronger community. It’s also a time to reflect on the health, employment and economic challenges we face. There are many solutions at hand that Walnut Way works towards under the umbrella of our Wellness, Work, and Wealth Programs. I would like to thank you for your continued support on our collective journey. It can’t be done alone.
I am always struck by the people I meet and the incredible leadership within our community. I was recently moved by getting to know Anomalous Campbell and her story which continues to evolve and grow as she strengthens her personal and economic well-being.
Anomalous came to know Walnut Way while searching for affordable activities for her and her daughter. She joined our Growing Healthy Soil for Healthy Communities program that offered gardening workshops. There, she learned that there were extremely high lead levels in her backyard soil. Higher lead levels in soil is a disparity that affects Lindsay Heights and other central-city neighborhoods at a disproportionate rate than others in Milwaukee. Out of concern for her daughter’s safety, Anomalous had her lead levels tested. On a scale where 5 micrograms per deciliter is very serious and requires action, her daughter tested at 7! This is where Anomalous’ journey through our Wellness, Work, and Wealth begins…
Wellness Jeremy, our Environmental Stewardship Specialist, installed a raised garden bed in her backyard with fresh and uncontaminated soil. Anomalous said that, “gardening offered the gift of food, tranquility, and togetherness,” for her family. Anomalous joined Walnut Way’s Healing Circle which helped her care for her own needs and form healthy friendships with other women.
Work Anomalous worked as a janitor for Milwaukee Public Schools for 14.5 years. But, she longed for more time with her daughter, especially after her diagnosis of lead poisoning. As she shared her dreams to cook full-time with the women of the Healing Circle, they asked her to make a meal for the group one night. The reviews were remarkable!
From there, news spread of her delicious cuisine, and her name was passed along across the community for catering events. Thanks to support from American Cancer Society, Walnut Way was able to hire Anomalous in 2019 to teach our monthly Neighbor Night classes which focus on healthy cooking and eating.
Wealth With the support from the Healing Circle women and demonstrated success with catering clients, Anomalous has taken the step to be a full-time entrepreneur! In addition, she joined our Community Wealth Building Program which aims to leverage one’s skills around economic opportunities. This has allowed her to be a healthier, happier mother full-time. Her catering business, Anomaly Catering has served clients like the Medical College of Wisconsin, City of Milwaukee, Metcalfe Park Community Bridges, Alice’s Garden, Fresh Empire Milwaukee, Pearls for Teen Girls, America’s Black Holocaust Museum and, of course, Walnut Way.
We are excited by Anomalous’ new path and inspired by her leadership. This summer, she shared her story to a community of peers at the Growing Healthy Soil for Healthy Communities capstone event with Ex Fabula. This is how you remove barriers to wellness, work and wealth: with vision, support, and opportunity. Since Walnut Way’s founding in 2000, this has always been our approach. Through it all, our most important partner has always been you. We are so grateful for your support – as a volunteer, neighbor, partner, and donor.
As we move into 2020, I’m asking you to consider making a generous gift this holiday season. Here are a few examples how your gift can help:
- $50 helps preserve the harvest by providing supplies at one Volunteer Canning Night.
- $150 pays for the fees of one instructor to facilitate a Neighbor Night, where where neighbors gather to cook, and learn about nutrition and healthy eating.
- $500 pays for technical training courses for one Blue Skies Landscaping staff to develop their careers in green infrastructure landscaping.
- $1,000 pays for a month of Women’s Healing Circles, a safe space for women of color to gain skills in self-care through social support, meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques, and more to help them face life’s challenges.
- $3,000 provides the support and training for one Growing Youth Leadership intern, which engages local teens in urban agriculture, education, leadership development, and job training.
This holiday season, we are asking for your continued partnership and financial support.MAKE A GIFT TODAY
Thank you for your generous support and partnership. Together – you, us, and Lindsay Heights residents and stakeholders – are transforming the economic, environmental, and social landscape of our community.
Antonio Butts, Walnut Way, Executive Director