Imagine for a moment that every family in Snohomish County has a roof over their head, fresh, healthy food on the table and are able to pay their bills. Several years ago, this was only a dream for Zsofia and her family, who were living in poverty and could barely afford their basic needs.
Zsofia’s life changed dramatically when she was accepted into a United Way initiative that provided classes on money management, saving, and how to create an effective business plan. The program helped her to start her own landscaping business that eventually provided income for Zsofia’s family and 17 employees.
During the recession, Zsofia’s business struggled greatly. But instead of falling back into poverty, she used the skills that she learned in her financial training classes to adjust and continue to thrive.
Today, Zsofia is back on her feet and giving back to the community in remarkable ways. She is still a landscape business owner, and now a horticulture instructor at Edmonds Community College. Zsofia has also founded a nonprofit organization that promotes edible gardening as a way to address health and hunger in Snohomish County.
“I grew up in Communist Hungary, and learned to rely on my garden to stay healthy during even the worst economic times. During the recession in 2009, my family was still able to eat fresh, healthy food because of my garden,” says Zsofia. Through her nonprofit, Zsofia is empowering the most vulnerable members of our community to take charge of their own health and nutrition.
“It’s so amazing to see people’s lives change through their gardens. Thanks to United Way, I’m able to do my part in strengthening the community, one garden at a time.”
“Thanks to United Way, I’m able to do my part in strengthening the community, one garden at a time.” –Zsofia