The Ruth Project

July 2023

The Farm is Truly a Refuge!

The Ruth Project vision of creating a refuge at The Farm for foster families has become a reality! This summer we introduced Family Support Events that gather foster moms, dads, and kids for meaningful connection, new friendships, and intentional fun. After one “Pause & Play,” one mom said it all when she shared, “I am feeling so blessed and refreshed.  I feel like I could take on the world!”  

Each event is meticulously planned to encourage families in multiple ways. At our last Pause & Play, moms were joined by “older and wiser” women (“Grandmas”) for a meal. After the moms openly shared personal joys and heartbreaks, these Grandmas shared their own struggles and how the Lord carried them through. What encouragement! Everyone left with new friends and renewed hope! Meanwhile, their kids learned all about becoming a new creation in Christ through the awe-inspiring journey of butterflies, which were then released into the Greenhouse. What a beautiful picture of God’s grace and mercy – we’re praying they remember Him every time they see a butterfly! 

Another highlight is “Grandpa’s Workshop,” a fun and lively woodworking experience for kids and their parents. With the help of Lowe’s in Sycamore, kids receive their very own tool kit to keep at The Farm for return visits! At the first Workshop, energetic pounding filled the air as kids quickly learned how to use their hammers under the direction of mentor dads and grandpas and other dedicated volunteers. Each child built Home Depot’s “fish tank” kit – complete with three tropical (wooden) fish! Afterward, all were individually awarded a Certificate of Achievement and a pin for their efforts. What a sense of accomplishment! 

Intentional, purposeful, and meaningful. This is how Ruth Project Family Events support foster families, spur them on, and help them feel like they too can “take on the world!” 

Our Volunteers Rock!

We never tire of acknowledging how The Ruth Project would not exist without you. We also never tire of thanking you for being so generous with your skills and time at both the Elgin Storehouse and The Farm – in so many ways, seen and unseen.  

Our newest volunteers at The Farm are the Greenhouse Team and the Animal Care Team. With the addition of our animals, we needed a dedicated team with the interest and availability to regularly care for these sweet creatures! Ruthie the Donkey, Rudy the Cow, and Tela the Sheep all need brushing, cleaning, and petting. The chickens need their coop cleaned, water changed, and feed freshened. The ducks need cleaning too! As always, the Lord provided you – willing servants to step in to fill these roles. He is so faithful – and so are you! 

The Greenhouse Team has also just been formed. You can’t believe all the veggies and flowers filling the Greenhouse that need attention! Watering is most important. Our volunteers take turns making sure the soil is moist and there’s no wilting. This team has also begun to help with harvesting – strawberries, onions, basil, mint, arugula, lettuce. It’s all thriving and it’s all delicious! And – it takes many hands to make this sweet spot on The Farm remain such a highlight. 

These are just two of our newest teams. Make no mistake – ALL our volunteers, whether groups or individuals, no matter what you tend to or how long you’ve been serving, you are invaluable.  

Let’s marvel together at how the Lord nourishes your hobbies and interests in very personal ways as He continues to build out The Farm for our foster families! And consider joining other volunteers on Saturday, July 29 as we continue serving our families by making The Farm the best it can be.  Register below!

The Activity Path is on Its Way

One of the features at The Farm we are most looking forward to offering our families and visitors is an Activity Path.  This path has always been a key part of the vision for The Ruth Project Farm – even before the Sycamore land became a reality.  And now it’s on its way, thanks to the generosity of two very special donors! 

The Farm Activity Path will encourage kids and parents to adventure around the perimeter of the land.  The initial main path will be 1400 feet – that’s about a 1/4 of a mile – and will meander through the land features such as the north maple tree nursery and surrounding fields.  The adventure happens at spots along the way to stop for a learning experience, physical challenge, or quiet time – maybe even a nap!   

One adventure will be a “Bird Spot,” for bird watching with access to binoculars, bird identification facts, coloring sheets, and materials to make bird treats for our feathered friends. Another will be the “Sound Spot” to make music with oversized, outdoor instruments such as a xylophone, metal drums, and organ pipes. Other ideas include a wooden obstacle course, a playground, library box, hammock, and campfire s’mores spot. 

Two weeks ago, the actual path-building began!  This is thanks to Phil Bartholet, of Bartholet Concrete Construction, who is donating the path excavation – and using the dirt for backfill needed for the Farmhouse addition.  Many thanks, Phil!  Then, Steve Clausen of Clausen Landscape & Design obtained donations for the landscaping fabric needed to line the path before finishing.  Many thanks to you too, Steve!

Anyone can be involved in finishing the Activity Path and its adventure spots. Consider financially sponsoring an entire spot, a specific piece, or even the signage! The possibilities are endless to help make the Activity Path materialize! 

Upcoming Events

> Family Fun Day at The Farm - There will be activities for every age! Registration coming soon.
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Hosted at The Farm
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Dash & Dine Meals
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Abundantly Loved

Meal Team

Meals are such a wonderful way to provide instant and practical relief to our families on a hard day (or just a busy one)!

Once you’ve cooked to your heart’s content, choose a date and time below to drop off your meal(s) at The Storehouse in Elgin.

Some details:
- All items in meal must be frozen. We love sides and dessert options as well.
- Kid-friendly and comfort meals are encouraged.
- Please avoid allergies (ie: peanuts, shellfish).
- If you have gluten/dairy free recipes, we also accept those!
- Please attach a separate sheet with details instructions for cooking and recipe (including ingredients)

Thank you!
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Farm Landscape Team

The Farm Landscape Team will help keep The Farm grounds looking beautiful for our families. You are welcome to come anytime within the listed hours!

Routine tasks may include: Weed-waking, weeding, mulching, watering, and gathering flowers for bouquets.

(We are looking for four zero-turn drivers to help mow once a month. If you, or someone you know, would like to help with mowing - please email us below!)

If you have any questions, please email us at Info@RuthProject.com
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Animal Care

Calling all animal lovers!

Love and snuggles from our variety of farm creatures is important to our children. This Animal Care Team will help feed, care for, and train our farm animals.

This includes our donkey, highland cow, chickens, ducks, and pup! Routine care will be assisting in feeding, grooming, and spending time with the animals to ensure friendliness. Training will be provided, no experience necessary.

Thank you so much!
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Greenhouse Care

Do you have a green-thumb?
We’d love your help in keeping the Greenhouse alive!

By assisting us with watering, weeding, planting, and nurturing the flower and salad beds, you will be apart of creating a calm and peaceful place for our foster moms to enjoy!

Don’t worry, we will make sure to provide you with all the instructions you need when you arrive.

Greenhouse Care only needs completed once a day - so you are welcome to come anytime between 9am-6pm (the earlier the better)!
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