Celebrating the Old and New

Celebrating the Old and New

Welcome to 2019! It’s an excellent time to both look back and look ahead at the many things worth celebrating and anticipating. Last year was one of our strongest yet- we are planting more trees, working in more communities, and putting more of your generosity to good use than ever

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Parenthood vs. Poverty

Parenthood vs. Poverty

Being a parent means wanting the best for your children. This simple desire is present in parents no matter what part of the world they live in, and it allows parents from California to the Congo, from Haiti to Hollywood to relate to each other.
While all families want these

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The Pride of Aleaulwa

The Pride of Aleaulwa

Poverty is a serious threat to many families
Millions of families around the world live in poverty, but their hopes are pretty similar to the hopes of most other families. Parents want to be able to put their kids through school to get a strong education. Children hope to grow

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The significance of a social fund

The significance of a social fund

Savings groups help rural communities grow out of poverty through their own resources. As members gain the opportunity to save their money, that money is then lent out to reinvest back into the community through small businesses, livestock, education, and other means.
Alongside that activity, however, groups also gather a

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This is what gratitude looks like

This is what gratitude looks like

At the end of each year, many of us try to turn our focus towards gratitude. We reflect on what really matters in our lives. We take inventory of blessings. We go around the table at Thanksgiving to share what we are thankful for, then reinforce our gratitude in family

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Here’s what families hope for in Tanzania

Here’s what families hope for in Tanzania

35,958.
That is the amount of families currently working directly with Plant With Purpose across eight countries. As we seek to grow and expand, its important to look at what families experience on an individual level.
A typical family in Tanzania is a good representation of the hopes and worries

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Grateful and sustainable: keys to a sustainable holiday

Grateful and sustainable: keys to a sustainable holiday

Many people associate Thanksgiving with consuming large amounts of meat, the heaviest travel days of the year, and spending most of the day recovering from overeating by watching sports or TV shows.
Nothing about that is very sustainable, yet gratitude and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Being a wise steward of our

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Say hello to Señor Cheo

Say hello to Señor Cheo

In his village, there were no banks. And that was a big problem.
Palmarito is in the rural Dominican Republic. Like many rural parts of the country, the community lacked banks.
This wasn’t just an inconvenience. Having somewhere to save your money makes a big difference in economic wellness. Having

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Eat more sustainably. Eat every part.

Eat more sustainably. Eat every part.

Eating every part of produce items is a valuable habit to help reduce food waste.
Just about every person is guilty of it in some way or another; we waste a lot of food. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household in the United States tosses out about

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A new outlook- and a new look- in La Represa

A new outlook- and a new look- in La Represa

In the central hills of the Dominican Republic sits a community that has been part of the Plant With Purpose family for many years. La Represa has become an exciting example of what kind of change is possible when we invest in holistic change.
Once they faced a situation familiar

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A STORYteller’s notes

A STORYteller’s notes

A couple weeks ago, our team had the opportunity to go to STORY Gathering in Nashville, Tennessee. As far as the conference goes, it’s so unlike other conferences that it’s a bit hard to describe. In short, it’s a place for people who believe that a well-told story can change

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What is silvopasture and why does it matter?

What is silvopasture and why does it matter?

What is silvopasture?
Silvopasture is a farming method that has the potential to relieve some of the planet’s biggest environmental problems. Estimates suggest that has the capacity to reduce carbon dioxide by 31.19 gigatons of and the potential for over $650 billion in economic savings.
Millions of rural farmers around

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The Eye of Water

The Eye of Water

It started with a different vision.
About twenty years ago, a visit to the community of Ojo de Agua, “the eye of water” in Mexico’s Mixteca region would have looked quite different. The steep hillside would have been brown and dry.
For years, the people of Ojo de Agua relied

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Why diversify? Just ask Arfanio

Why diversify? Just ask Arfanio

Diversify!
Visit any farmer field school across Plant With Purpose’s international programs, and you’ll find people enthusiastic about why you should diversify your crops and income.
Why? To put it simply, diversity is strength.
In many developing countries, farmers have been encouraged to over-invest in a single cash crop.

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Why a better floor indicates a better future

Why a better floor indicates a better future

A typical decision made by rural families:
Imagine this scenario: You are a parent living in rural Burundi. For years you’ve struggled to earn an income of about 80 cents a day. With five children to feed, things have never been easy.
Lately, however, things have started to look a

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The Way of the Problem Solver

“We will be known by the problems we solve,” says Jeff Shinabarger, the founder of Plywood Presents.
Plywood Presents was a gathering of nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, and purpose driven creatives in Atlanta that our team had the opportunity to attend. The gathering’s strong focus on solving the problems that

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Statelessness, Status, and Solutions: A unique challenge in Thailand

Statelessness, Status, and Solutions: A unique challenge in Thailand

Statelessness is a serious issue for many populations in Northern Thailand.
Last month, the world’s attention turned to Northern Thailand, as a difficult and bold rescue operation sought to free a boy’s soccer team that had been trapped in the Tham Luang Cave for over two weeks. After surviving for

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The climb up Kilimanjaro and out of poverty

The climb up Kilimanjaro and out of poverty

A team from Plant With Purpose recently climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

About a month ago, a group from Plant With Purpose took on the challenge of climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The group included Executive Director Scott Sabin and Board Chair Cindy Outlaw, along

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The changed life of Pablo

The changed life of Pablo

Ruta 1 transects the Dominican Republic from north to south. While it is a major road, an hour away from it sit a number of communities that are quiet. Rural. Often overlooked.
Maizal is one of these communities.
Here, you won’t find any banks, any grocery stores, or any major

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What is environmental freedom?

What is environmental freedom?

Environmental degradation rids farming families of their ability to make choices
The connection between people’s freedom and the environment isn’t one made very often. For an overwhelming part of the world’s population, however, the ability to make decisions hinges on the health of their ecosystems.
Freedom is the ability to

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How to support local communities while traveling

How to support local communities while traveling

Does tourism help or harm local populations? That answer is as varied as the list of places to go and things to do.
Do a couple of quick searches on Google, and you’ll find lots of examples of locals bemoaning instances where tourists have trashed nearby natural spots or

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There’s a reason God placed us right where we are.

There’s a reason God placed us right where we are.

Our homes are no mere coincidence.
How often do you think about the reasons God has placed us in the physical locations where we live? Some of us might think about this quite a bit, especially if we’ve undergone a major transition or if we felt led to our current

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Environmental solutions come from leaders who listen

Environmental solutions come from leaders who listen

Five voices we should listen to as we take action to care for creation.
Good leaders are good listeners.
We don’t always listen like we should.
Noisy conversations online and in the media show that people are anxious to be heard. The demand for good listeners is high, the

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How a healthy environment can keep fathers with their families

How a healthy environment can keep fathers with their families

Fatherhood is extremely important.
This Father’s Day, we’re taking the time to remember the importance of dads.
Studies make it pretty clear that the presence of a father or father figure plays a big role in a child’s eventual success. Children with involved fathers, stepfathers, or father figures are far

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For Julius, sustainability protects a family legacy

For Julius, sustainability protects a family legacy

Julius’ farm is one of the most vibrant sites in his village.
The village of Rombo sits high atop of its Tanzanian watershed. In one of the highest parts of Rombo, you’ll find a large farm growing bananas, sugar, cabbage, amongst a variety of other crops. The area surrounding the

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Results, processes, people: All of it matters

Results, processes, people: All of it matters

When working with teams that cross different cultures and other boundaries, it’s important to value results, processes, and people.
Plant With Purpose values constant learning and continual improvement. With the goal of learning and improving our internal processes, we recently conducted a staff retreat in Southern California.
One of the

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Keys to a sustainable summer

Keys to a sustainable summer

Summer gives us an opportunity to develop and strengthen sustainable habits.
For many of us, this has been a long awaited moment. I’m talking, of course, about the beginning of summer. Whether that means freedom from the demands of a school year, more opportunities to leave your jacket behind at

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Rising up to face the three big threats

Rising up to face the three big threats

Plant With Purpose exists to respond to three of the biggest threats that face our planet right now.
Environmental degradation. Poverty. Spiritual despair. These three crises aren’t just concepts, but active threats to the lives and well-being of people all around the world.
These three issues are so deeply connected.

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This community in Haiti is a hub of entrepreneurs

This community in Haiti is a hub of entrepreneurs

When you think of hubs where entrepreneurs and start-ups are birthed, places like Silicon Valley, Austin, or Manhattan may come to mind. In rural Haiti, however, is a village where new economic opportunities, innovation, and empowerment have enabled a community of entrepreneurs to create better lives for themselves and their

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Celebrating the moms who have it the hardest

Celebrating the moms who have it the hardest

We remember the moms in places where raising children is extremely difficult.
There are some places around the world where motherhood is extremely difficult. In many of the communities where Plant With Purpose works, moms have to overcome poverty, food insecurity, disease, and conflict in order to make life better

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DRC: The urgency of unity

DRC: The urgency of unity

Right now is a volatile time for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In February, The Economist issued a magazine cover picturing a Congolese soldier with the headline Heading back to hell: Congo in Peril.
This is a headline nobody wants to see.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

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Time to do something

Time to do something

The environmental threats to our Earth demand that we do something and take action!
Every year, the Earth loses enough forest to cover land the same size as the country of Panama. At this rate, it will be less than a century before its forests are gone completely.
The needs

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Environmental stewardship is a spiritual calling

Environmental stewardship is a spiritual calling

Sustainability isn’t a chore, it’s a calling
Future generations will be living the world we shape through our actions. Today, there are many reasons to be concerned.
People all around the world are consume resources that are disproportionate to their population size. A recent study done by Washington State University,

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The people behind the purpose: Sophie

The people behind the purpose: Sophie

One of the most exciting things that comes with growth for Plant With Purpose is adding new people to the team. Recently, Sophie Casmano joined our team to help strengthen our fundraising efforts. Sophie brings a passion for sustainability and some impressive baking skills to our San Diego office. We

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The Earth Can’t Wait

The Earth Can’t Wait

The time to take action is right now
Deforestation is a crisis that isn’t talked about nearly enough
Every second, one and a half acres of forest is cut down.
Half of the world’s tropical forests have already been cleared.
At the rate we’re going, there will be no more

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Three ways to celebrate Earth Day

Three ways to celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22, 2018
Go outside
What better way to celebrate creation than to spend some time deeply immersed in it?
Our desire to worship swells whenever we find ourselves in awe of something beautiful.
After all, God took time to admire the world after creation.

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The WHY behind our website

The WHY behind our website

You may have noticed we’ve got a new look.
If you’re reading this post, you are most likely on the new plantwithpurpose.org.
This month, we re-launched our digital home. Our new look is meant to bring you closer to our programs all around the world. We believe strongly in the

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The world’s poorest communities dispel a major myth about the environment

The world’s poorest communities dispel a major myth about the environment

Environmental conversations aren’t only about major players.
In most ongoing conversations about the planet’s environmental issues, you’ll frequently hear the names of major actors: The United States Government, the Vatican, the oil industry, and the United Nations. These usually-controversial entities often stir up the debate of what should be given

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Address root causes

Address root causes

There is no shortage of causes around the world to care about. Every year, thousands of new nonprofit organizations file paperwork to start programs. For people wanting to make an impact, often the problem isn’t finding opportunities to make a difference but choosing one!
The Plant With Purpose team has

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Sustainability means giving beyond our own lives

Sustainability means giving beyond our own lives

Jah Cho has seen how hard life can be.
In Northern Thailand you’ll find dozens of small villages where several ethnic minorities live. Many tribal groups have never been granted national citizenship. Many have faced persecution from the state. It isn’t uncommon to find older adults willing to talk about

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Farms, Food, and Family: Khamsee’s Transformation

Farms, Food, and Family: Khamsee’s Transformation

For years Khamsee was unable to put food on the table.
Much of Thailand has grown internationally familiar as the country has boomed as a tourist hot spot in recent years. Cities like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai see the bulk of visitors. Many of the country’s rural areas, however,

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Global change requires empowering locals

Global change requires empowering locals

Solutions that really last are the ones driven by locals.
When people are full-fledged participants in the process, lasting change begins. There are many cases where an organization or think-tank enters a village with a technology-driven innovation that seems guaranteed to eradicate disease, prevent droughts, or halt poverty. The local

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One of the hardest working people you’ll ever meet

One of the hardest working people you’ll ever meet

Emma provides the world with a valuable crop – coffee.
As a farmer in Tanzania, she produces between 300,000 and 400,000 vegetables each week. Emma works extremely hard, digging trenches and harvesting her crops by hand. Chief among her crops is one that millions of people around the world find

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Violence disrupted her family; now she’s fighting it by the roots

Violence disrupted her family; now she’s fighting it by the roots

Violence plagued the village of Poblete, and disrupted Juana’s family.
Juana, her husband, and their three children lived in Poblete, located in one of Mexico’s poorest areas which suffered from widespread violence. For years, the village experienced tension and crime. When environmental damage caused its farms to produce less food,

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When trees go up, poverty comes down

When trees go up, poverty comes down

Without trees, the rural poor are often stuck in a cycle of poverty and environmental loss.
The conditions of poverty create a strain on land, and exhausted land threatens the livelihood of the farmers who live there.
This was a scenario that challenged Eleuterio, a seed producer in Coatecas Altas,

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Motherhood is difficult. In DR Congo, it’s simply daunting

Motherhood is difficult. In DR Congo, it’s simply daunting

The Democratic Republic of Congo is among the worst places to be a mom.
Each year, Save the Children releases an annual motherhood report that determines the best and worst places to become a mother. In 2012, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reached the very bottom of that list.

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The earthquake that changed everything and nothing

The earthquake that changed everything and nothing

Plant With Purpose committed to showing up.
Few events stand out in the memory of Plant With Purpose’s executive director Scott Sabin like the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. As news broke on that Monday in early January, the organization had to quickly figure out how to respond to an

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Save money. Find something you’re good at

Save money. Find something you’re good at

Marcos and Maria are a couple full of joy. 
The community of La Joya is nestled an hour away from Piedra Blanca in the Dominican Republic. Those living in living these rural areas often lag behind the rest of the country’s economic development. As the Dominican Republic experiences economic growth,

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Empowerment writes a different story in the hills of Haiti

Empowerment writes a different story in the hills of Haiti

Good intentions often produce harmful results in Haiti. 
Haiti is a hot spot for charity organizations and well-intentioned people wanting to help. The country is often recognized by its poverty as the poorest in the Western Hemisphere and the victim of natural disasters. Unfortunately, the presence of these good intentions

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Putting the world’s biggest problems in reverse

Putting the world’s biggest problems in reverse

Poverty and deforestation are harsh on vulnerable populations.
For generations, the community of La Joya in the Dominican Republic relied on farming. Good production of coffee and graperfuit allowed pig and cattle farmers to produce enough for their families and people. This all started to change as deforestation began and

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What would people think of me if they knew I was in an armed group?

What would people think of me if they knew I was in an armed group?

Sometimes people go to war. But in some cases, war comes for people.
Africa’s Great Lakes Region is no stranger to conflict. Its past few decades have seen attempts at ethnic cleansing, the conscription of child soldiers, and tribes turning against tribes. The natural beauty of the area contrasts alarmingly

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A Farmer’s Purpose

A Farmer’s Purpose

Like much of the world, Andres relied on land to provide.
Getting to Andres’ farm from any of the Dominican Republic’s main roads takes a series of dusty streets and switchbacks. The closer you get to the farm, the more and more it starts to look like the Garden of

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What is poverty, anyway?

What is poverty, anyway?

Understanding poverty can be complex
Plant With Purpose strives for a world without poverty, where all people have the opportunity to thrive. That requires understanding the obstacles people face. We are constantly improving our own understanding of poverty to empower individuals and communities. 
Thanks to your support, we’ve

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The brutal connection between poverty and deforestation

The brutal connection between poverty and deforestation

When you live off the land, trees are critical.
In order to care for those affected by poverty, it’s important to understand what poverty really looks like. You may envision an overcrowded urban slum. Globally, however, 85 percent of the world’s poor live in rural settings and rely on agriculture to

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THANK YOU! Discover how your generosity made such a big impact this Giving Tuesday!