South Park – North Park – Golden Hill

Friday, December 5, 2014

FIRST FRUITS NEWS - December 2014

December 2014
"A Quality Fruit Company Committed To Bearing Fruit...Fruit That Will Last" (John 15:16)

It's Christmas time again! It's when we especially remember the time that God decided to come down to earth, be born as a baby and live with a specific group of  people, in a specific place for a few years, to show us how to love and care for one another. The baby Jesus grew up learning from his foster father Joseph, how to work as a carpenter so that they could take care of their family while also learning how to love God and neighbor. 

We believe that God has also called Broetje Orchards into being in order to provide jobs for people so we can take care of our families while growing in the ability to love God and one another in this place we all take care of together. As we grow in understanding to do that, Jesus lives in us and reaches to those near and far with that powerful, life-changing spirit of love, healing, restoration and reconciliation that knows no borders. In Christ, there are no foreign born or citizens, no documented or undocumented, no exclusivity of men or women, no PhD's or GEDs...We are all one in his beloved community. This Christmas message is that we are beloved. As we are. Wherever we come from. Accepting that truth changes us. And living out that truth can change the world. You are living fruit of that truth. 

Thanks be to God and Merry Christmas! By: Cheryl Broetje

Over this past year, our local elementary and daycare programs have been working to implement a trauma-informed approach to the care and wellbeing of our students.  Research has determined that children who grow up in circumstances of trauma experience physical changes in their brain development.  The trauma referred to in these studies refers to three areas: 1) abuse; 2) neglect; and 3) household dysfunction.

In sum, the more trauma a child experiences, the higher the risk of serious, long-term health conditions.  In our schools, these conditions may dramatically affect the ways in which children are able to learn and interact with others.

While it is clear why our schools need to understand trauma, it is equally important for us as a business.  As managers, those who are victims of abuse or trauma may be those we supervise.  Have we ever wondered why some people react so differently to a request, a consequence or something that we are trying to teach?

In a recent study in California, they found 61% of adults have experienced at least one qualifying trauma, while over 16% have experienced more than four kinds of trauma.  This research helps us to understand why servant-leadership as a management philosophy is so important to us.  Learning to understand others in the context of their lived experiences can make the difference between success and failure for them (as well as their families). 

Key to ensuring a student can overcome trauma is having access to one caring adult relationship.  As we reach out to our fellow employees, let us bear this in mind and seek to understand them better.  The more care we receive, the more we are able to care for others. By: Roger Bairstow

The Power of Partnerships
Christmas Season is upon us and we'd like to share a powerful story of Kervenson, a 5 year-old boy whose life was saved through the power of partnership.
Earlier this year, we traveled to Haiti to celebrate 150 graduates of Fonkoze's "Pathway to a Better Life" program. This program works to empower Haiti's poorest women with business training, improved housing, health services, and support.  
After the graduation, we visited with Elsie in her home. We learned that her son was not able to go to school due to severe back pain that made it impossible for him to sit still. Soon after, Fonkoze took the boy to Partners in Health (PIH), where a visiting cardiologist diagnosed him with a congenital heart defect.
Without surgery, the condition would be fatal, so PIH worked with the Haiti Cardiac Alliance to schedule a surgery in the United States. Heart Gift Louisiana sponsored the stay for Elsie and her son in New Orleans; American Airlines donated plane tickets. Kervenson's operation was a success! His mother says "He's like a new boy - he runs, he plays, he does everything." Thanks to each of the five organizations for their part in weaving a web of support around this family.  Kervenson will now go to school and his mother is empowered to sustain him. For more info on Fonkoze's amazing work see:

School Project in Miramar, Oaxaca, Mexico
Thanks to the efforts of more than 200 Broetje Orchards employees, a total of $ 6,518.10 was raised to support a school library in Miramar, Oaxaca, Mexico. Vista Hermosa Foundation matched these employee donations 1:1, bringing the total to $13,036.20. 

The library - built by parents, school employees and the Civil Partnership COPPFUMIR - will now be equipped with books, puzzles, educational videos, a projector, computer equipment, microscope, stereo recorder, camera, shelves and more. 

These materials are going to make a big difference in the quality of education that children receive. Their smiles are unforgettable. For more information on how you can participate in this program or how to recommend a new project, please stop by the office to see Melanie Lopez Grewal, or call her at (509) 749-8178.

December: Upcoming Events
3-4: HSL & CTP Warehouses: Safety Meeting 7:00am
17: Orchard Safety Meeting 2:00pm
25-27: Broetje Orchards: Office & Warehouse Closed 
22- Jan 2nd: Vista Hermosa & Prescott School Closed for Holidays

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