The Bus and I are humbled and honored to be the recipients of the 2013 Community Service Award, presented by the American Herbalists Guild. I am grateful that in my life I have had the chance to serve my community, that I actually had something I could offer to them. I am also grateful to this herbal path, which has taught me so many lessons and surrounded me with amazingly creative and compassionate people. Being an herbalist allows me to serve plant, person, and planet, and it is an honor.
Thank you, AHG, for having considered our little Bus for this award. There has been so much community support to help this project succeed and now we feel yet another set of hands lifting up our work, that of the Guild. Thank you. We will continue to do our best to spread the health by putting herbs in the hands of the people.
The Herb Bus stops at the Open Door Community on the first Wednesday of every month. In this month’s issue of Hospitality, their regular newsletter, they gave a shout out to the Bus and our efforts to spread the health and happiness through herbalism. And I would like to give a shout-out right back for the wonderful work the Open Door is engaged in on the daily.
The Open Door is a residential community dedicated to resisting war and violence, dismantling racism, sexism, and heterosexism, abolishing the death penalty and building a stronger and more loving community by nurturing all members of our community including the homeless and prison inmates. They open the house several days a week and offer many needed services such as soup kitchen, showers, phones, and medical care. There are 4 different free clinics at the Open Door — basic medical, foot care, women’s, and for the past year herbal.
I have been fortunate to have spent close to a decade of Wednesday evenings surrounded by this dynamic and caring group as I serve at the Harriet Tubman Foot Clinic, a free foot clinic for our friends on the street. The members of this community have been a tremendous influence on my work and my heart. Their encouragement and support allowed me to take on the challenges of promoting an integrative approach at the foot clinic and also to dare to dream of a free mobile clinic we now call the Herb Bus.
There is a saying at the Open Door, “We’re gonna do the best we can until we can’t.” These are simple words that make a profound point. When we are facing what seems a difficult journey, when we don’t know how we can achieve the change that we know needs to happen, this phrase reminds us that we don’t have to have all the answers, we just have to do our best. And while we are out there, giving what we can, we will be creating the community that is capable of even greater things.