Meet T'Liza Kiel: 2017 Volunteer of the Year!

Volunteer Coordinator
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T'liza farm.jpgWe are excited and honored to name T'Liza Kiel the 2017 Volunteer of the Year for Recipe for Success Foundation. T'Liza connected with Recipe for Success Foundation through her work at Hope Farms with The Mission Continues 4th Platoon. T'Liza immediately connected with the Sunnyside community, which reminded her of La Marque, Texas, her hometown. Sunnyside's similarity to La Marque, as well as the fact that Hope Farms allows access to fresh produce to an area identified as a food desert, increased the significance of her service. As the Veterans Behavioral Health Director for Mental Health America of Greater Houston, T'Liza recognizes the positive effects fresh produce has on physical and mental well-being. Because the subject of mental health still carries a stigma, her work on the farm can serve as a conduit to open conversations with peers and community members concerning how a healthy diet positively influences mental health. For T'Liza, the urban farm exists as "a world of impact in one place".

In 2016, The Mission Continues Platoon learned their team could help make a big impact at Hope Farms. Not knowing the farm wasn't in full production, T'Liza was surprised upon her first visit to the farm to see an open field without crops. She remembers looking at Chief Agricultural Officer, Justin Myers, asking, "Where's the farm?" When he responded, "with that big Justin grin...'You're looking at it' ", T'Liza then understood their team truly had the opportunity to make an impact. She appropriately named their first service project "Breaking Ground". Since then, T'Liza and her team have watched the farm grow to fully operational with Saturday Farmers Markets, cooking demonstrations, and a weekly farm share program.

Aside from the good feelings derived from her service on the farm, T'Liza continues to volunteer because if organizations such as The Mission Continues and Recipe for Success Foundation existed during her childhood, it would have positively affected her life. "Volunteering is a humbling experience and since I am no longer in the Military, this is my continued way to serve my community," she says.

Outside of volunteering, this busy full time working mom of a three year old also cares for her sixteen year old sister and amazingly still finds time to nurture her passion, writing. "I aspire to be a bestselling author one day!" She also enjoys completing home projects with her husband of five years including starting their own home garden.

On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, Recipe for Success Foundation will honor T'Liza for her service to the foundation. As Justin Myers says, her "genuine enthusiasm and passion for service and her work with Hope Farms made a tremendous impact in mobilizing and uniting her fellow The Mission Continues volunteers. She first came to the farm when it was a mere field and over the course the year, she played a critical role in helping to shape and build the farm into the reality of today. Her positivity and commitment to the farm and mission of Recipe for Success as left an everlasting and valuable impact."

Thank you, T'Liza!

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This page contains a single entry by Volunteer Coordinator published on November 17, 2017 11:35 AM.

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