Midtown Magazine

Page 78

Chickens for Charity Ninth Annual “Tour D’Coop” to Raise Thousands for Urban Ministries By dan bain


hey bill it as a “parade of combs”, and this May 18th event might just be the most unique homes tour you’ve ever experienced – because these homes are for the birds. Specifically, chickens. The “Henside the Beltline” Tour D’Coop started in 2005 as a shared event between a few chicken-raising neighbors, wanting to show off their hens and coops. Since then, it’s grown into a day-long event wherein thousands of visitors pay to see about two dozen urban chicken coops, their surrounding gardens, and of course, their colorful and amusing gallinaceous residents. The coops are organized into several neighborhood groups on a circuit across Wake County, and visitors flock to the event to see the whimsical and/or artistic themes under which they were designed and built. There are plenty of surprises to discover on the tour, including bee hives, frog ponds, vegetable/fruit gardens, fascinating inventions and architectural elements, a multitude of chicken breeds, and a spectrum of egg colors. It’s a popular tour among adults and children alike, and the cause it supports is anything but fowl. 78 | midtownmag.com

Proceeds go to Urban Ministries of Wake County, a private, non-profit human service organization that provides healthcare, food, employment assistance and shelter to more than 24,000 people per year. More than 82,000 people live in poverty in Wake County, and Urban Ministries does what it can to help as many of them as possible. Last year, the Ministries’ Open Door Clinic had more than 9,000 visits, providing medical and pharmacy services to uninsured, low-income patients during all of them. Its Food Pantry distributed 240 tons of food – more than 400,000 meals – to 8,290 families in need. The Crisis

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