When Angela Pao-Johnson stepped onto MERCI’s campus as the new executive director, she was met with a vision as vibrant as the people she would come to serve. Program manager Christina Cisneros and board member April Dominguez painted a picture of transformation: the spacious courtyard evolving into a community garden where MERCI residents and participants could cultivate alongside their neighbors. This vision, a physical manifestation of diversity and inclusion, ignited MERCI’s spirit and became the driving force behind its latest endeavor.
Partnering closely with Food Ed, a nonprofit organization dedicated to collaborating with San Gabriel Valley communities and schools to promote edible education, MERCI set out to bring this vision to life. Together, they embarked on the journey to create MERCI’s Unity Garden, a space where individuals of all abilities could come together to grow, learn, and thrive.
The first phase of the Unity Garden is set to open its gates at the end of Quarter 1 in 2024, marking the culmination of months of planning, collaboration, and hard work. This milestone represents more than just the physical transformation of a courtyard; it symbolizes the power of community, resilience, and hope.
None of this would have been possible without the generous support of the Cathay Bank Foundation and individual donors, whose contributions have fueled this project’s progress every step of the way. Their belief in MERCI’s mission and vision has been the cornerstone of our success, and we are deeply grateful for their unwavering support.
As we eagerly anticipate the grand opening of the Unity Garden, tentatively scheduled for the beginning of April 2024, we invite you to join us in celebrating this momentous occasion. Together, let us cultivate unity, nurture growth, and sow the seeds of a brighter future for all.
Stay tuned for updates and announcements on our website and social media channels. Together, we can cultivate a garden of unity and inclusivity that blooms for generations to come.