Author Archive

A Gift of Love Every Year

May 14, 2013

Laura and Michael Cook

 Photo courtesy of Shanna K. Patterson

Mike and Laura Cook, Ventura, CA, with their original certificates in 2006

Mike and Laura Cook honor each other every year on their wedding anniversary by planting 100 trees through Trees for Life. Here’s their story as shared by Laura:

“For our wedding anniversary each year, we purchase 100 fruit trees from Trees For Life. We understand fully that there are several amazing ecologically supportive, disease/hunger fighting projects being carried out by Trees For Life. Our monies go to Trees For Life and are spent as only Trees For Life could. Each project is beyond worthy, but this married couple has found a way for romance to be held up by disease fighting, hunger abating, ecology sustaining, and so much more. These projects are done around the globe where it is needed most. We will likely never visit a fruit tree that is providing shade and food while stabilizing a river’s bank with its roots. But each year, we buy another 100 (trees). And around our own neighborhood in this world, we can gaze out at tree topped vistas to try to see if we could understand what our hundreds of trees amount to if they were grouped. It is very romantic. And every time I have corresponded with someone working for Trees For Life, it has been a pleasure and an honor. Their causes are not easy, but they are achievable and powerful in their beautiful simplicity. Please support them, there is no better gift to give to someone of importance!”

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A special birthday party

February 19, 2013

Molly's birthday party

A young lady and long-time friend of Trees for Life, by the name of Molly, had a birthday at the end of January.  Here’s what her mother, Jenny, wrote to us,

“Regarding Molly’s alternative gift party… It was becoming apparent to Chris and I that our girls were motivated to have birthday parties just for the gifts.  Wanting to quell that motivation and encourage new awareness, we suggested that on “even-yeared” birthdays, the girls could have a full-fledged party with gifts going to a non-profit of their choice, rather than receiving gifts for themselves.

Molly didn’t skip a beat in choosing Trees for Life as her non-profit of choice.  Party invitations were extended to her friends with a specific request NOT to bring a present for Molly but to bring an amount of money (of any size) to be donated to TFL in honor of Molly’s birthday.

Guests showed up at the party with homemade cards with money creatively tucked into pockets or taped inside.  Molly shared with the girls about Trees for Life and how the money might go to help other girls around the world go to school, have books, etc.  After opening the cards, the girls enjoyed a brownie cake that had been decorated by Molly with the Trees for Life logo.  Fun was had by all and a beaming Molly delivered $112.50 to Trees for Life the next day. The girls in attendance at the party were Molly (holding the cake), Clara, Lydia, Olivia, Leah and Eliana. “

A Valentine for the World

February 9, 2013

A Valentine for the World

tfl heart gift 2

Most valentines go to just one person. And that’s good. But give your loved one a “Gift from the Heart” from Trees for Life and you’ll be sending a valentine to the world.

Just select one of nine gift ideas that help people lift themselves out of poverty. Then create a customized card to either print or email to your valentine. With your “Gift from the Heart,” you’ll be sharing love with people around with world.

Gifts from the Heart

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See More Gift Ideas

A good day for a lemonade stand

August 16, 2012

Boy with lemonade stand

This enterprising young man wanted to raise funds for Trees for Life. He set up a lemonade stand and was able to send a gift. There are many things you can do to help people in developing countries. All it takes is a big heart.

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Our gratitude to Ernstmann Tree Care

July 27, 2012

The Trees for Life office is in a 1940’s era school building which was renovated 12 years ago through donations of materials and time.  When something major needs to be done a magical thing happens: a person suddenly walks in the door to meet the need!  Such is the case with a very dead pine tree needing to be removed. Due to pine beetles throughout vast areas of the USA, many pine trees have died, requiring removal, an expensive project!

Trees for Life building and dead tree

Trees for Life building with dead pine tree

Trees for Life Board member Jason Vandecreek contacted an arborist friend who readily agreed to cut down and remove the tree! Many of the staff were out watching the process as two employees from Ernstmann Tree Care felled the tree in 97 degree heat one afternoon in July. We have learned to have faith that what we need will be provided. We give thanks to those volunteers with big hearts who are able to provide their time and talents to Trees for Life so we can continue to use the gifts we receive to serve those in need.  See the process in the pictures below:

Man in tree trimming branches

Man in tree removing tree limbs

Removing limbs

Close up of tree limb removal

Mission accomplished

Mission accomplished

Employees receiving thank you button copy

Employees of Ernstmann Tree Care receiving a thank you button from Trees for Life

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Lunch guests at Trees for Life

February 28, 2012

Rema Venkatasubban, Treva Mathur (Office Coordinator),
Anju Bhargava and David Kimble (Executive Director)

The Trees for Life staff joins together daily for lunch, often with visitors who have come to learn more about the organization. It is a time of exchanging who we  are and to connect with our guests, who come from near and far.

In mid February our guests were Ms. Rema Venkatasubban, Wichita, KS and Anju Bhargava, Livingston, NJ. Rema is the chair locally, and Anju is the founder of the Hindu American Seva (Service) Charities. This organization was an outgrowth of the initiative by the Clinton administration to promote service among faith-based groups in the US. The mission of HASC is to develop a Hindu-American identity and strengthen community building to address their needs and those in their communities.

Anju Bhargava was appointed as a Member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partners Office of the White House on April 4th, 2009 and thereafter formed the current Hindu American Seva Charities organization. It operates independently and without funding from any government agency.

Rema and Anju told their personal stories of their journey to service. It is a passion for both of them which is enabling them to continue to spread the message of service (Seva) to the Indian community in America.


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Trees for Life Service Project

November 16, 2009

Last summer at Brethren Woods Camp, in Virginia, the young campers learned about Trees for Life and heard stories of its work around the world. They planted trees that will be at the camp for many years to come. Here is the article from the camp newsletter.

Trees for Life Service Project

Each summer Brethren Woods selects a worthy organization to be our service project and this summer that group was Trees for Life.  Trees for Life is a non-profit organization that offers a helping hand and education to families in poor villages around the world.  By learning how to plant and care for fruit trees, villagers become more self-sufficient and they are better able to help themselves with good nutrition and produce to sell.  There are no handouts and people pledge to share what they have learned with other villagers.  Since its beginnings in 1984, tens of millions of fruit trees have been planted  in developing countries!

During each week of camp, campers heard stories of the work of Trees for Life around the world.  Then, on Tuesday night, campers got to plant seeds for their own tree to take home with them and also worked as a group to plant trees here on the camp property that they can watch grow for years to come.  During Week 5, a Forest Ranger came to share more about the importance of trees and how to plant them with the group.  Offerings were collected throughout the week by campers combining their money to purchase a flag for the bulletin board.  Each flag represented a different country in the world where Trees for Life works.

The weekly totals were:

Week 1 – $258.45                                            Week 4 – $114.45

Week 2 – $197.61                                             Week 5 – $175.57

Week 3 – 161.72                                               Week 6 – $452.39

TOTAL = $1360.35

Be a part of the solution! Give Life Giving Trees to the World

Lemonade Stands for Trees 2000 through 2009

November 16, 2009

2000 Appel’s First Lemonade Stand

The Appel family’s first lemonade stand was held in 2000 in Nashville, Tennessee. The picture below shows young Madeline selling lemonade to buy trees for people in developing countries.

2000 Appel's first lemonade stand

Below is a note and pictures from the
2009 Appel Family Lemonade Stand

Dear Treva and Balbir,

We did have our first Denver lemonade stand for Trees for Life. The two days before our event it was snowy, rainy and cold. We decided to add hot chocolate to our menu which was fun, but turned out to be unnecessary as it was a Denver style, sunny, blue sky day (70 degrees) with snow melting around us. I think one of the girls wore flip-flops and I got a little pink from the sun!
Our turnout was moderate with some generous donors. It was a wonderful chance to meet our new neighbors and introduce them to Trees for Life. We did most of our advertising this year via internet which helped us to be more “tree friendly”. We had an exciting celebrity visit by Keir (Treva and Balbir’s son), which was really fun!
Our total for the day was $220. That is right up there with our all time best in Nashville. Not bad for our debut in Denver. I have mailed the checks and will also be sending photos. Please call when you visit Denver.
Thank you both for all that you do to make our world a more just and beautiful place.

The Appels
Denver

Dog with Appel lemonade stand

Keir Mathur with Appel daughters

Neighbors at Appel lemonade stand

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A Gift of Cookstoves to Jalapa, Guatemala

June 16, 2009
 
Eric Woratschka of Springfield, IL, met Tom Benevento, former Trees for Life volunteer, in Guatemala in 2007 while on a sister church mission trip. Tom, over the last 10 years, has facilitated the building of fuel-efficient cookstoves in Guatemala. Eric saw how these cookstoves, by providing a smoke-free and safer method of cooking, improved the health of women and children. The stoves also use less fuel, resulting in fewer trees being cut down.

Eric wanted to help the families at his sister church, in the Jalapa district of southeastern Guatemala, build these stoves. So when he returned to the United States, he shared this story with friends.

Now, with resources provided by Eric and Trees for Life, Tom Benevento is working with Padre Maxamiliano, coordinator of the Jalapa project, training villagers on constructing cookstoves in Jalapa.

 

 Give the gift of a cookstove.