Laurel Hardin is the chairperson of the Earth Justice Ministry at UUCP. Being retired, she has and takes the time to attend meetings of many environmental groups in the community. She also co-chairs, with Gretchen Reinhardt, the Cherishing Creation Collaborative of AZ Faith Network (the CCC of AFN).
At one CCC meeting, a member shared that the Navajo people had problems buying food and supplies at the one Basha’s store on their reservation. So they began slaughtering (to eat) their horses. That member had organized a feeding operation called Nourish Our Nations AZ. One of the pick-up points is Operation Big Serve in Mesa AZ where Laurel lives. They prepare food boxes for the homeless and for Nourish our Nations AZ.
In her walks for exercise around her neighborhood, Laurel saw a lot of food (citrus fruit) just hanging on the trees. So she and her husband, Mark, picked her own and took it to Operation Big Serve, and then called neighbors to pick theirs. In the process, she learned about young women doing missions for the Mormon church in the neighborhood. They were happy to have a connection to do some service work. So the team has picked oranges and grapefruit six separate times to give to either native americans or the homeless. It’s nice to contribute healthy food that would otherwise have gone to waste!