Set among 80 acres of lush open landscape, Grace Farms preserves the experience of the four distinct seasons of Connecticut, enhanced by views from the SANAA-designed River building. While a multitude of colors fall from the more than 900 trees on site each fall, we find ourselves enveloped in the serenity of the winter, where the River building often truly disappears among layers of snow. It is this opportunity for peace, and also for community, that inspires me to create annual holiday opportunities that bring people together at Grace Farms and give joy to others in meaningful ways.
In the spirit of giving and gathering together, Grace Farms Foundation commits each holiday season to providing tangible and immediate opportunities to serve the local community. We support our not-for-profit partners through community volunteering events like Pura Vida of New Canaan’s Mailbox Brigade, where the whole community is invited to create holiday mailbox decorations, the proceeds from which support their work serving orphaned, abandoned, or trafficked children. After our December Community Dinner, families and friends came together for Gifting for Good, assembling packages of blankets, toiletries, and other essential items that were distributed to local refugee and immigrant families through CIRI, the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants.
This year, we started our Season of Light on Thanksgiving weekend, where individuals and multi-generational families shared meals together, listened to improvisational music in the Sanctuary, toured with birdwatching experts, made prints with children in the Art Studio, supported local not-for-profits with hands-on projects, or simply sat by the fire and played chess.
This weekend was followed by programs that paired our initiatives with service-oriented opportunities, including our Season of Light Concert with Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble, Roomful of Teeth. The concert, which included new works developed on-site, also highlighted our Giving Tree, with opportunities to purchase holiday presents for newly resettled refugee children in Connecticut. By the end of the night, all the cards were off the tree.
Wishing you and your families a joyful and blessed new year.
Chair and President, Grace Farms Foundation