An unfortunate reality of today’s World is that far too many people must take up what they can carry and seek better lives free from persecution, famine, or war. According to recent estimates, upwards of one million refugees globally require immediate resettlement. Someone has to help put the pieces of these lives back together, and that’s where Katherine Raz from The Fernseed in Tacoma, Washington, does her part with the significant help of World Relief Seattle. As it turns out, charity work is business as usual for Raz and her team.
World Relief aids refugees in a number of ways, says Raz, from collecting and distributing donations, to setting up apartments. A lot of organizations focus heavily on gathering basics, but it simply isn’t doing enough to offer the bare minimum, she concludes. World Relief goes the extra mile to create a sense of home, adding the pillows, rugs, curtains and plants that evoke that feeling. These aren’t frivolous. They’re essential.
Raz would know. She first opened the doors of her store, The Fernseed, in July 2019. It’s a home decor boutique turned plant paradise, she tells us, but we suspect it’s a lot more than that. The Fernseed is a reflection of all the good Raz has worked to create. When earlier this year we launched Plant-a-Seed -- LBE Design’s program to help local retailers donate our seconds to charities of their choice -- The Fernseed was our first retail partner to get behind the idea.
We sent The Fernseed some of our perfectly imperfect planters, which she paired with plants and sent on their way to World Relief Seattle. Raz works through The Fernseed to aid various charities in and around the city by donating gift cards, home goods, and time. Although The Fernseed is heavily plant-oriented, donating plants can be tricky. According to Raz, not everyone wants to be gifted a plant.
“The last thing I’d want to do is burden someone with a plant to take care of,” says Raz, which is why she wanted to donate to someone who shared a passion for gardening and would enjoy the gift of a house plant. When she found out that World Relief supports an ongoing community gardening project she knew the group would be a perfect fit.
It was with the hope that our first Plant-a-Seed endeavor would blaze a trail for continued positive change. We see this change spread plainly on the faces of those impacted by the Fernseed’s donation. Not unlike planting a seed, we hope to see this program grow to inspire something great: perhaps a movement, or as Raz has modeled, a way of living.