This month we take to 2 wheels in celebration of National Bike Month. May showcases the bicycle, the world’s most widely used and economical mode of transportation. Riding your bike doesn’t have to be a thing of the past, use tomorrow to make cycling a bigger part of your future.
Friday, May 17 is Bike to Work Day, so inflate your tires, polish those rims and hit the streets! Rides and events are taking place all across the country to embrace a collaborative environmental consciousness that promotes wellness and social awareness. Since the largest source of air pollution in the U.S. comes from automobiles, consider adopting cycling into your commute and reduce the 3.6 pounds of pollutants per mile emitted to the atmosphere by cars. Charles M. Shulz said, “Life is like a 10 speed bicycle, most of us have gears we’ve never used.” Plant With Purpose wants to encourage all of us to explore the “gears” not used, and together we can support a healthier environment.
Be safe. Have fun. Check out these links:
Bike safety and maintenance:
ABC Quick Check
Make sure you’re following the law:
Rules of the Road
San Diego Resources:
Register and be entered for raffle prizes, check out businesses that are hosting Pit Stops, learn about taking public transportation for free at iCommute.
Image of a boy riding his bicycle in Burundi. Originally posted May 2012.
What do you appreciate about your mom? At Plant With Purpose, we see mothers around the world and across cultures, providing for, tending to, and loving their children. These actions remind us of our own mother’s selfless love. Today we want to celebrate our mothers by showing you some proud faces of women who are creating a better future for their children.
Smiling moms in Burundi
A grandmother after a Village Savings and Loan Association meeting in the Dominican Republic
Haitian women saving for better futures
A mother and child’s love in Mexico
A mother and her daughters in their garden in Tanzania
Creating business opportunities through handicrafts in Thailand
Confirm the values your mom instilled in you by giving a gift that will allow these women to create a better future for their families and their communities. All it takes is fifty dollars to plant a family garden which will allow a mom to provide her family with meals for an entire year.
Show a little love by giving a little love this Mother’s Day!
Captured giggles, hope-filled eyes, and plants coming to life. These pictures are worth a thousand words.
Last month, world-renowned surf photographer Aaron Chang traveled to Haiti and the Dominican Republic to capture the work of Plant With Purpose. The dramatic images he photographed show the beauty and hope that is present in places too often characterized by their poverty alone.
On Saturday night from 7:00-9:00pm, the Aaron Chang Gallery in Solana Beach will be bursting with people eager to get a glimpse of these photographs and excited about the launch of a new giving program from Sundance Organics, which will benefit Plant With Purpose.
Sundance Organics is rolling up its sleeves to help the farming families that Plant With Purpose partners with. Their new Buy 1 / Grow 1 campaign will allow your purchase of any Sundance Organics fruit from one of their retail partners to support the efforts of smallholder farmers worldwide. A portion of your purchase will help plant a fruit tree in a developing country. And that one tree can provide thousands of pieces of fruit for families in need over its lifetime.
It’s not too late to make plans to join us for a festive evening at the Aaron Chang Gallery! To RSVP and find out more details go here.
“There are so many people in need in this world. I have witnessed crushing poverty and human suffering in many places. I think that as Americans it’s hard to know where to give and when to help. Having witnessed firsthand the effect that Plant With Purpose is having to alleviate suffering and give hope to families, I can wholeheartedly endorse them. They are good people who are making a difference in this world.”
- Aaron Chang
Photographs used with permission. To see additional images from this trip, visit Aaron’s blog.
I love my mother as the trees love water and sunshine—she helps me grow, prosper, and reach great heights. — Adabella Radici
What’s the most important lesson your mom ever taught you? It probably wasn’t how to tie your shoes or what to say on a first date (although we owe them thanks for those lessons, too). A mom’s greatest gift is her ability to teach wisdom, grace, and perspective as we grow. Learning from the hands of our moms connects us to the past while preparing us for the future.
Mothers around the world are unified by a heart to see their children fed, educated, and equipped for the brightest future possible. Plant With Purpose moms are known for working hard to feed their families, improve their land, and earn an income to see these desires fulfilled.
As Mother’s Day approaches, consider investing in a mom in honor of your own mother. By giving the funds to plant a family garden, a mother who Plant With Purpose walks alongside will be able to provide her family with meals for a year.
Your gift will empower women to bring happiness, health, and a hope-filled future to families worldwide.
Happy Mother’s Day!
P.S. Don’t forget to download and print the special Mother’s Day card.
During staff devotions last week, we read and reflected on the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6.
“… Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Jesus’ prayer reminds us to be agents of change in bringing about God’s kingdom in the here and now. Today on the National Day of Prayer, we pause to lift up the United States. Tomorrow, the first Friday of May, please join the Plant With Purpose international community and pray over the following requests. Thank you for investing in the Kingdom.
We praise God for:
- A successful meeting with the governor of Cibitoke (a province in northwest Burundi) for potential partnership opportunities. If this partnership materializes, it will allow Plant With Purpose Burundi to expand into the Cibitoke province.
- Providing for our needs so that we can continue serving the people of Burundi, including most recently a functioning truck.
We pray for:
- Peace as the security situation in Burundi has been hampered by threats of terrorist attacks.
- Governors visiting our activities in all the provinces we are working in.
- The launch of our cassava processing initiative. The machines to process cassava are being installed this month, and we hope they are a beneficial resource for partnering farmers.
- A strong end to this fiscal year. We hope to balance all of our accounts and have additional funds come in.
- The family of one of our partnering farmers, who was killed two weeks ago. Pray for her husband.
We praise God for:
- Healthy Bible study groups and their dedicated leaders, who are effectively teaching the Word of God.
We pray for:
- The opportunity to grow a variety of coffee that is more resistant to disease.
- The community of La Verde as they are trying a pilot project with bananas. Pray that it will be a blessing and will help to improve the financial conditions for the families involved.
- Rain. Pray that we will have enough for the normal growth of crops, fruit tress, and timber in the central and border regions.
- Communities that are strongly involved in executing work in the upper half of the Ozama River.
We praise God for:
- Technical director Bob Morikawa’s safe and fruitful trip.
We pray for:
- The health of crops as the rainy season has been delayed.
- Our promoter Jeannita, who gave birth to her first baby.
- A quick recovery for Jean Claude and Jean Robert, who broke their legs during a motorcycle accident.
- A safe trip for Doug Satre and the ministry team from Minnesota later this month.
We praise God for:
- His grace and blessings as He cares for us daily.
- His provision as we continue serving communities through development work.
- The health of Mrs. Adela, our promoter from Carrizal. Her health has improved.
- Our colleague Adriana’s sister, who delivered a healthy baby boy. We’re praising God for his life and no complications.
We pray for:
- Rainfall in La Mixteca. Currently there is a drought, and the intense heat has started to affect communities. Fires are damaging the forests that our communities are striving to protect.
- Our field staff. Pray that the projects planned for this quarter are implemented without any problems.
- Program officer Milmer Martinez’s upcoming visit. Pray that it will be productive and enriching. Pray also that God would guard and protect him during his travels.
- The continued strength and health of the mother-in-law of our colleague Carlos.
- That the pastor in La Canoa will find strength and encouragement as his wife recently passed away.
- God to guard and protect our new office and our office caretaker, Don Leobardo.
We praise God for:
- The great excitement within our communities. In the last 8 months, community members planted 1.5 million trees at their homes, churches, schools, and in the steep hillsides near streams and water sources. This is almost 500% more trees planted than we have witnessed in any previous year!
- Change within communities regarding the restoration of critical watersheds and the area surrounding Kilimanjaro National Park. Much of this is possible due to strong emerging partnerships with churches, schools, and other community groups.
We pray for:
- Some of our communities are experiencing challenges as they work on the protection of watershed areas due to land ownership conflicts.
- Continued peace and reconciliation within our communities as we make large steps forward in replenishing forests in shared spaces.
- Our Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) facilitators. This group of 19 community members volunteers their time to teach the VSLA program within their communities. Many times the facilitators travel long distances to spend time and share with neighboring communities. We want to lift them up, give thanks for their time and dedication, and pray for their families and homes.
We praise God for:
- The successful meeting with the leadership of Thailand Karen Baptist Convention and other Christian organizations. The purpose of the meeting was in regard to a community-based holistic development program, which promotes the role of local churches.
- A new long-term partnership with Tearfund United Kingdom.
We pray for:
- The Holistic Ministry Conference in Chiang Mai in May. Pray for the 300 church leaders and pastors who will be coming together to share their best practices in doing holistic ministry.
- The preparation of Plant With Purpose Thailand staff as we enter the new target area in Omkoi (western part of Chiang Mai). Continue to pray for people in the area who are facing difficulties due to land rights and citizenship issues.
- The Palaung network and its leadership, that they are able to take better roles in responding to issues among Palaung villages through the assistance of Plant With Purpose Thailand.
- A upcoming training focusing on watershed management, forest management, and agroforestry.
We praise God for:
- The chance to share about Plant With Purpose during Earth Day events and publicity opportunities, which include partnerships that are promoting Plant With Purpose’s mission and vision.
- His faithfulness as we’ve reached 10,000,000 trees planted worldwide!
- The honor of being awarded the Good Steward Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. Doug Satre traveled to Nebraska to accept the award on behalf of Plant With Purpose.
- Our spring interns as they end their time with us. We are so thankful for their service!
- Board chair Cathi Lundy, grant writer Beth Luthye, and the “Oaxaca Wahines” had a great visit to Mexico.
We pray for:
- Our next board meeting on May 4. Pray that God would grant wisdom to our leadership as they set the course for growing our work.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support! We are deeply grateful for your partnership.
April was an exciting month at Plant With Purpose! From hitting the milestone of 10 million trees planted, to being published in State of the World, having our story shared on both RelevantMagazine.com and our local NPR affiliate, KPBS, to winning the votes on the Dollar Per Month campaign…Earth Month has been a blast.
And the fun isn’t over. We invite you to continue celebrating changed lives around the world with a Party With Purpose! As of this week, all the resources that you need to host a Party With Purpose are at your fingertips thanks to a downloadable, printable kit.
Our Party With Purpose advocacy kit includes everything you need to host a gathering. The goal of the party is to share about how Plant With Purpose’s work is changing lives, as well as your own involvement or interest. Best of all, your support simply means enjoying a meal with friends and family.
Plant With Purpose is working to transform the lives of families living in rural poverty, and you can help transform lives too as you gather with friends to dine with greater purpose. It’s an undeniably fun way to ensure that poor, rural families can put food on their own tables.
What are you waiting for? Let’s throw a party!
Today is Arbor Day, a day focused on planting and caring for trees. On Earth Day, we shared the news that Plant With Purpose has officially hit the milestone of planting 10 million trees in an effort to reverse deforestation while improving the lives of the rural poor.
This year alone, our program in Tanzania has planted over 1.5 million trees! According to Richard Mhina, Plant With Purpose’s country director in Tanzania, planting trees is becoming critical for those involved in Plant With Purpose programs because of collecting fuel for cookstoves, lessening the effects of climate change, and improving soil conditions for farming.
The efforts of Plant With Purpose farmers internationally inspire us. Today we celebrate with them the following accomplishments and articles.
Good Steward Award, Arbor Day Foundation
Tomorrow, the Arbor Day Foundation is awarding Plant With Purpose with the Good Steward Award in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The Good Steward Award recognizes organizations whose creativity, outlook, and accomplishments exemplify wise stewardship practices and sustainability on private land from which others can learn. Plant With Purpose’s director of development, Doug Satre, will be accepting the award on behalf of the thousands of farmers Plant With Purpose partners with internationally.
Why Planting Trees is Kingdom Justice, Relevant Magazine
“On Arbor Day, we look at what trees have to do with Christ’s coming Kingdom.” Take a minute to reflect on how tree planting is kingdom work as written by Plant With Purpose’s development department intern Annie Battles.
San Diego Group Celebrates Planting of 10 Million Trees, KPBS
“Much of the world’s poverty is concentrated in small villages where deforestation has affected not only the environment, but also the economy. As land in farm-reliant places such as Tanzania, Burundi and Haiti is flattened, the main source of income for residents of those areas also diminishes. It’s a lose-lose situation that Plant With Purpose has tried turn around for more than 30 years.”
San Diego friends, be listening this afternoon to All Things Considered or watch Evening Edition for the audio version of this story.
These accomplishments have happened because of people like you who have a heart for the environment and those who dependent on it for survival. If you’d like to plant a tree to celebrate with us, donations can be made here.
Happy Arbor Day!
This Earth Day, we’re excited to announce that Plant With Purpose has hit a huge milestone with 10 million trees having been planted internationally in the effort to reverse the effect that deforestation has on the rural poor.
The result of these trees going into the ground has been significant. Take for example, Charicia Exalus, a 68 year-old-widow who lives in Fonds-Verrettes, Haiti—a country where only 2 percent of the original forest remains. Thirteen years ago, the land Charicia owns was a barren hillside full of rocks and without trees. She utilized the training received from Plant With Purpose and began composting, building soil protection barriers, and planting trees. Charicia says, “Today, I am able to give fruits (oranges, avocados) to anyone who asks. I am a widow. I live with little. But in truth, we always have something to eat that comes from my home.”
Planting trees is changing lives! If you’d like to plant a tree in honor of this accomplishment, donations can be made here.
Thanks for celebrating Earth Day with us.
Yesterday we introduced you to Mary and Greyson Msafiri and heard how Village Savings and Loan Associations are changing their future. During her training with Plant With Purpose, Mary has also learned about the importance of planting trees.
Women like Mary in Tanzania spend many hours a day collecting firewood to be used for cookstoves. In fact nearly 3 billion people—about half the world—rely on cookstoves fueled by wood or charcoal to make meals and boil water. Up to half of the trees being cut in developing countries are used for fuel wood, creating rampant deforestation with devastating effects.
One of those effects is that land becomes less productive which directly harms families such as the Msafiris who are depending on their crops to feed their families and provide income.
Mary has joined in on the effort to plant trees in Tanzania. During this past rainy season, she planted 115 trees on the slopes near her farm. She saw such a high percentage of these trees take root that she’s preparing to plant an additional 150 trees come the next rainy season.
The Msafiris are planning for the future and are setting goals to reverse deforestation. By planting trees, Mary is working towards reducing desertification. She also wants to see a reduction in the time that women spend gathering fuel wood for cooking. With all the time they could save, her neighboring women could produce more crops, invest in additional businesses, and change the future of their families and the village of Malindi.
In preparation for Earth Day, why not join with Mary and plant some trees to restore the land and plant for all of our futures!
You can help other families like the Msafiris by Sponsoring A Village.
On the slopes of the Pare Mountains in Tanzania is the village of Malindi, which despite the physical beauty is one of the poorest regions in the country. Mary and Greyson Msafiri are parents to three children between the ages of 6-19 years old.
Prior to their involvement with Plant With Purpose, the Msafiri were not able to pay their oldest son’s school fees or provide three meals a day for their family. Every time they saw the headmaster, the Msafiris would give him whatever cash they had on hand but it never added up to the full tuition. Worried that their son would not be able to finish his education, something had to change.
Mary joined one of Plant With Purpose’s Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA). She started meeting consistently with this group and made the sacrifices necessary to save the weekly amount. It was really difficult at first but Plant With Purpose helped the group members figure out how to make this savings possibly. Mary learned about entrepreneurship, growing backyard organic gardens, and better management of banana crops.
Mary took the risk. She borrowed a loan from her VSLA to buy grains in bulk and then repackage them in smaller sizes to sell in her mountaintop village. The business paid off! They’ve also seen household costs reduced because much of the food her family eats is now grown in their backyard garden.
With excitement Mary expressed that now her family never needs to choose between tuition or lunch. And the headmaster shared that the Msafiris paid the school tuition in one lump sum and that families who are involved with Plant With Purpose are much better at paying tuition.
The Msafiris’ son is in school and food is on the table. What more could a parent ask for!
Tomorrow we’ll share about the environmental efforts that Mary is making in her community.