21 February 2021Awesome Ottawa February award to support basketball-and-plants project for kids struggling during pandemicAlea de Castro is the recipient of Awesome Ottawa’s February grant for basketball-and-plants project for kids struggling during pandemic.February’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Alea de Castro to support a creative project for kids who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.“The project connects my love for plants, basketball, the arts, and community building with underserved communities who need a creative outlet right now,” says Alea.Since December, Alea has been running a business called The Pick and Grow, selling hand-made planters made from real basketballs. Now, she wants to create a set of white ones that kids in Britannia Woods can paint with supplies she’ll provide, offering these kids a chance to take care of and grow a plant.“This project may seem simple,” says Alea, “but the pandemic has taken a huge toll on everyone, particularly these kids and their families. Many kids are not using their creativity, are not moving as frequently, and are not being stimulated – especially by anything relatable. By connecting with basketball and providing art supplies,” she explains, “these kids will be given the opportunity to stay creative and practice responsibility during the pandemic.”Grown-ups into basketball and plants can purchase Alea’s planters through her website.Alea is a Registered Nurse, a multidisciplinary artist, and the founder of Moov Ottawa Dance.About Awesome OttawaAwesome Ottawa is part of a global movement of self-organizing chapters forwarding the interest of awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time. At each chapter, ten or so “trustees” each contribute $100 every month, and review short applications received online to decide on the recipient of the pooled funds — usually a local project, but occasionally a particularly awesome one far away from home. Globally, over $5 million has already been awarded – $136,000 of that by Awesome Ottawa.For more information, visit http://www.awesomeottawa.ca.