Planting trees as a solution to climate change

Generosity and partnership make all the difference

Our work over the past year is a testament to your contribution.

Plant With Purpose has just unveiled the fiscal year 2019 edition of its Annual Report. The report is a summary of program results, successes, and outputs over the past fiscal year. As a publication, it serves as a measuring stick of outcomes, a summary of our organization’s financials, and a reminder of why we do the work we’re doing.

It also serves as a giant thank you card, because none of these results would have been possible without your partnership.

The past year was Plant With Purpose’s most successful year by many measures. Your generosity was bold and essential. Churches, small businesses, concerned individuals, students, families, philanthropic foundations, and other communities rallied to bring in over $5 million worth of contributions towards reforestation, community empowerment, spiritual renewal, and sustainable agriculture.

Those funds helped partners achieve unprecedented outcomes.

We’ve expanded the number of families we work with to add nearly another 2,000. We were able to plant five million trees. Despite challenging climate, heatwaves and drought in many of our partnering countries, and moments of global uncertainty, our partners planted more trees in less time than ever before.

Our team and partners in Tanzania have planted over 1.4 million trees. 3,000 indigenous families in Mexico and Thailand received training on how to protect their land and manage their community forests. Despite having only been launched last January, our brand-new Ethiopia program has already mobilized over 300 families to plant over 40,000 trees as part of a mission to conserve and expand sacred Ethiopian church forests.

Partnership and collaboration have been key to the success of each of these programs. Excitingly, your generosity enables them to learn from each other and get stronger as a result. As CEO Scott Sabin writes in the Annual Report, “One of the effects of the growth with which Plant With Purpose has been blessed the past few years is that I no longer get to visit each of our individual country partners as frequently as I once did. In addition to having more partners, my time and our donor resources are often better spent elsewhere. We have an expert team, far more qualified than I am, dedicated to ensuring that our work is world-class.”

Plant With Purpose supporters on a visit to Haiti
Plant With Purpose supporters on a visit to Haiti

Your generosity has made communities stronger in spite of difficult circumstances. 

While the above results put us in a celebratory mood, we still recognize that the present moment is a time of urgent ecological concern. The effects of climate change, food insecurity, and natural disasters have had a severe and harsh impact on many of the communities where our work is based.

Thailand has been critically depleted of water and soil health due to a persistent drought. Food insecurity continues to threaten the well-being of our partners in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, and beyond. Global calamities, including the recent Amazonian and Australian wildfires have reminded us why our work of fighting deforestation and preserving biodiversity is crucial.

Many have touted the next decade as a make-or-break time in terms of our planet’s future outlook.

Researchers have laid out the importance of cutting down the amount of CO2 we release into the atmosphere.

Reports have also listed a million species as at risk of extinction.

Despite the challenges of our present time, and the hardship of our partners’ lands, you’ve helped them build resilience. In our Annual Report, our Haitian community member Saul highlights how, “The land is very poor here, but when we plant trees, we have a better crop. We have stopped the erosion on our land and I’ve even been able to rebuild my house.”

This resilience allows our partners the capacity to do two things: to respond to the urgent needs of today, while positioning themselves and their children for a brighter tomorrow. A partnering pastor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pastor Kategere exemplifies this perfectly. He says, “I just planted more than 820 trees. I know these trees cannot benefit me now, but they will be useful for later generations.”

A community member in Tanzania plants a tree
A community member in Tanzania plants a tree

Every contribution has planted and nurtured hope around the world.

As God teaches us through nature, every part has a purpose. No element of an ecosystem is here by accident. We learn from this example. We remember that every participant in our work contributes something of extreme value.

Our vision for the planet is ambitious in scope. We pursue competitive grants and large funding opportunities, and we set goals like reversing desertification across Ethiopia. This isn’t easy work. We believe that our call is to bring a God-sized vision to the work in front of us. That said, God’s vision places an extreme value on even the smallest contributions.

We remember that the grand transformation we hope for will come about because of the involvement of everyday actors, whether it’s the widowed mother in Tanzania who has just learned how to plant along contour lines to prevent soil erosion, as well as the college student on a budget who contributes $5 a month to plant a few trees.

While the numbers tell the story of our ambitious goals of restoration and the targets we set for ourselves, other parts of our report will tell another important story: The sense of ownership that each of our partners share over our work.

Their excitement causes us excitement.

We are thrilled to share about Eleuterio, our partner in Mexico who leads off the letter with a greeting. “I teach people that they have opportunity. That God has a purpose for them. That now we have this role to work the land. It is how we provide for ourselves. So now what I am doing is helping others to learn how to provide for themselves. It makes me really happy,” he shares.

Thanks to partners like Eleuterio, partners like the college students who’ve ran summer fundraisers to plant trees in the Congo, and partners like you, we’re seeing lives transform one village at a time.

And at a time like this, it’s a very encouraging sight.

To help empower the communities we work with, your gift of $22 will allow them to receive training, knowledge, and opportunities in tree planting, forest management, and community solidarity. Make a donation by following this link.

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