Sustaining Way is a community based nonprofit that uses education, collaboration, and advocacy to create sustainable, caring and equitable communities for current and future generations. In order to accomplish this mission, Sustaining Way’s demonstration and educational site, Annie’s House, is located in the Nicholtown community at 60 Baxter St, Greenville just off the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
Current programs and projects include:
Annie’s House demonstrates the feasibility of living more sustainably. Food and energy costs create a burden for many. Sustaining Way seeks to leverage partners to improve food access, education opportunities, and home energy efficiency, bridging the gap between people care and environmental stewardship. This demonstration site is our base of operations and food grown here is distributed through our programs.
Community Coordinator Program
Community coordinators are in rotating positions and live at Annie’s House and lead programs. During their time at Annie’s House, the coordinators develop relationships with residents and work to understand and meet community needs in a sustainable manner. They do this either through direct support, such as giving away or selling produce at a discounted price or by connecting residents and community organizations to other partners.
Steward Youth Program
The Steward Education Program provides a sustainability-focused leadership curriculum for youth. Coordinators facilitate opportunities for topic experts to teach and mentor participants. The Steward Fellowship Program provides paid development opportunities for high school-age youth at Annie’s House and within the surrounding community. Additionally, our Steward Leader Program is an intensive program that provides hands-on education and mentorship to the youth that has a passion for sustainable community development and desire to drive change in their community.
Community & Backyard Garden Program
Sustaining Way launched a Backyard Garden Program to increase local, fresh food access in Nicholtown. Backyard gardens can address accessibility and affordability concerns related to healthful, seasonal, and culturally significant foods. Through a living classroom of a backyard garden, individuals learn experientially about the environmental benefits of a more localized food system. Individuals also can attend Gardening Workshops that will connect them to other participants. This network of Backyard Garden participants fosters a culture of sustainable gardening and a strong community network of resource sharing
Covid 19 Response – Meals and Masks Distribution
As the economic fallout of COVID-19 took its toll on the Nicholtown Community, Sustaining Way teamed up with the Nicholtown Neighborhood Association and Project Host, a nonprofit that feeds the hungry in Greenville, to provide emergency assistance to residents. Our collective efforts work to ensure that any community member in need can pick up a free nutrient-dense prepared meal, fresh produce, staples and face masks.
Energy Home Visit Program
Sustaining Way launched the Energy Home Visit Program to support residents in Nicholtown in reducing energy bills and energy consumption. This program offers free home energy efficiency evaluations and basic upgrades to homes. Those in the program are also advised and connected to additional resources to further reduce energy usage.
Sustaining Way’s asset mapping project is an engaging, visual display of the community resources and assets serving the Nicholtown community. The map developed in collaboration with the Nicholtown Neighborhood Association will include resources for small businesses, faith, food, housing, crisis assistance, education and employment, health, recreation, financial, social justice, environmental and energy resources.
Additionally, Sustaining Way offers monthly open house educational events and weekly volunteer and service learning options. With over 60 community, business, academia, and other philanthropic, non-profit partners, Sustaining Way is working to improve the lives of residents in under-served communities.
Sustaining Way is the 2021 recipient of the ForeverGreen Award for Environmental Equity and Justice and has received the 2019 “Angel Award” by South Carolina Secretary of State for fiscal stewardship. To read further, visit our website at www.sustainingway.org.