A Day in a Pair: How $100 Can Grow Community Spirit

Brought to you by Levi's. Silver Lake, L.A. resident, Bruce Chan shows us how he spent a day and $100 on furthering a local community garden.

Bruce Chan straps on his helmet as he prepares for the day in front of his Silver Lake apartment.

This content is produced by GOOD, with support from Levi’s®

GOOD and Levi's are teaming up to bring you the "A Day in a Pair" contest, which will award one lucky reader with $100 to use towards doing good in one day. (And as an added bonus, Levi's will be giving the winner a $150 Levi's gift card, too.) Submissions are open now, so if you've got a great idea to make $100 count in your community, sendit to us now for a chance to win.

And to help you get inspired with some cool ideas, check out the first installment of our three-part photo essay series. Each Wednesday for the next three weeks, we'll be featuring one inspiring person in the GOOD community and sharing their unique way of giving back.

First up: meet Bruce Chan, an architect and community activist living in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Like the best of community ambassadors, Chan knows the ins and outs of the neighborhood, and every week, he sends out a newsletter known as Bruce's Buddies with a round-up of the best hyperlocal things to see and do. Not only does it connect like-minded neighbors with each other, it's a great way for Chan—and all of "Bruce's Buddies"—to get together for adventures in their community.

Armed with new gardening supplies this past Labor Day, a squad of ten of Bruce's Buddies biked to help out at Solano Canyon Community Garden, located atop the 110 freeway in Los Angeles. The five-acre garden has plots tended by community neighbors and an on-staff farmer, as well as restaurant-supported agriculture plots which provide freshly grown, locally sourced ingredients to nearby eateries. See how Bruce's Buddies used $100, a little of bit of elbow grease and a lot of fun to help out a thriving community garden.

On the way to the garden, Chan stops at Sunset Nursery, a local family-run store in Los Angeles, and uses his $100 to get two shovels, a pitchfork, a hoe, and a hand trowel.

After meeting up at the Los Angeles Union Station, Bruce's Buddies head out towards the Solano Canyon Community Garden in Chinatown.

Bruce’s Buddies arrive with much needed garden tools at Solano Canyon Community Garden.

Al Renner, founder of Solano Canyon Community Garden and president of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council, gives Bruce’s Buddies a tour of the hillside plots, which includes raised beds of chard, purslane, herbs, and other greens.

After helping a farmer from Oaxaca harvest stalks of sugar cane, the Buddies indulged in the sweet treat, and packed some up for later.

Rows of chard plants fill the garden.

Chan takes a break from helping out and inspects his handy work.

Victoria Vu, a member of Bruce's Buddies, stands in the garden’s citrus orchard taking in the view over looking the 110 freeway.

Chan, Renner and India Laduena, the president of Solano Canyon Community Garden, hold the tools Chan purchased for the garden.

Read more about the "A Day in a Pair" contest here. Then tell us how you'd spend your own day doing good by clicking here. Entries will be accepted through September 26 and winners will be announced on October 1. Only U.S.-based individuals are eligible to apply and applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Read all the rules here.


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