Trees for Life – The Dream Continues

November 6, 2010 by

In 1983 while flying over the island of Cyprus, Balbir Mathur had a vision. The result of that vision is Trees for Life International . Today, after 27 years, Trees for Life has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. Balbir’s vision of serving the poorest of the poor is simple: the elimination of hunger and the improvement of peoples’ lives is through education. Balbir often states, “We are partners who empower, not saviors”.

One of the present educational projects of  Books for Life,  the educational component of Trees for Life, is demonstrated in the video Ready to Fly. This video highlights the commitment of Books for Life to partner with local communities in developing 200 libraries in Nicaragua. the first 51 of which are now operational. The Second annual Library Conference held in Managua, Nicaragua on October 7, 2010 was highlighted by Balbir’s pledge to partner in providing 1,000,000 books to the children of Nicaragua over the next 10 years.  This conference and Books for Life’s commitment to partner in building the libraries comes from a connection of the heart and is a promise of education for the children.  We don’t just partner in building libraries, we partner in building lives and in doing so we build foundations for the future.

You can make a donation and learn more about Trees for Life International at

From Trees for Life Volunteer to Teacher

October 12, 2010 by
This is an excert from an email sent by a former volunteer who helped develop teaching lessons at Trees for Life.
Dear Trees
I love my new teaching job. In the 4th grade class, we are doing Everyday Math.  I am already familiar with it, because I learned about it doing the teaching lessons  for Trees for Life!
The 5th grade teacher that I assist praised me for my skills proofreading the kid’s writing assignments and helping them with editing, Two more skills I got plenty of practice and experience with while working on the lessons for Trees!
So, I am very grateful for working with Trees for Life. You guys really helped prepare me for this job. Mostly I work with 2nd graders. They’re my favorites. They are little sponges happily soaking up anything and everything. They are really a joy to teach. 
How about you? Would you like to make a difference, would you like to become involved? Join us, our offices are located in Wichita, Kansas. Call Pat Felton, Volunteer Coordinator, Trees for Life – 316-945-6929.

Children of the First Presbyterian Church raise money for Trees

September 17, 2010 by

First Presbyterian Church – Blue Earth, MN.   As part of the children’s summer Vacation Bible School we studied the great Baobat Tree and how it serves the whole community. Trees for Life fit perfectly into our week-long adventure into the African Savannah. As part of their adventure in learning and sharing the chldren were pleased to collect $150 for Tree for Life. The children are excited that the money will be used for trees that will provide food and income for families and communities in need.
Rev. Janet Crissinger-Clark – Thank You for the wonderful lessons that you are sharing with our children. Trees for Life

Summer Youth in Action

Northfield School Students At Trees for Life

September 17, 2010 by

Trees for Life was fortunate to have students from Northfield School spend September 7th and 8th as part of their volunteer outreach program.

top row: Pat Felton, TFL Volunteer Coordinator, Bill Coleman, Northfield Teacher
2nd Row: Ana, Cami, Lori
front row: Emily, Caroline

Trees for Life Service Project

November 16, 2009 by

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 by

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

Dog with Appel lemonade stand

Keir Mathur with Appel daughters

Neighbors at Appel lemonade stand

Give a Gift From the Heart

A Gift of Cookstoves to Jalapa, Guatemala

June 16, 2009 by
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.