Planting Success One Tree at a Time: Plant With Purpose Celebrates Their 30th Anniversary
The critical link between deforestation and poverty in the Dominican Republic was an eye opening, terrible cycle first observed by Tom Woodard in 1984. He quickly realized that donations and offerings of food could never break this negative cycle or address the causes of rural poverty in certain countries. Tom observed from a personal point of view how deforestation destroys the environment’s soil and water supply, a rural farmer’s most important natural elements. Smaller crop yields were the result of devastating deforestation trends, which left families with less food to survive on and earn an income. In short, uprooted trees led to uprooted lives. Thus, Plant With Purpose was founded in 1984 by Tom Woodard with a strategic approach to fight poverty by planting trees in geographic areas affected by deforestation. A brilliant three part plan was created and swiftly put into action; the root causes that needed to be addressed consisted of environmental, economic, and spiritual issues.
By taking an active approach to these three delicate components, Tom and his organization have been able to successfully change the course of people’s lives, not only in the Dominican Republic, but also in five other countries around the world. Tom’s noble efforts clearly produced results and a strong following developed, ultimately leading to some astonishing statistics. Over the years, Plant With Purpose has been credited with planting 12.2 million trees while starting 5,965 gardens which provide necessary food for struggling families. The economic impact of Plant With Purpose cannot be overlooked- over 600 savings and loan associations with 15,578 members possessing a combined member equity of $1.2 million.
Convincingly, the three significant branches of Tom Woodard’s unique strategy were implemented and flourished over the years. Recently, Tom’s extraordinary accomplishments were profoundly acknowledged at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego. An al fresco cocktail reception took place overlooking picturesque Mission Bay, accompanied by a silent auction and live music. An exquisite three course dinner followed, along with a live auction. This magnificent celebration was essentially a “reflection on 30 years of transformation for the rural poor.”
Without a doubt, Tom Woodard and his associate’s accomplishments cannot be overstated. Since 1984, approximately 19,600 families in 355 communities across six countries have been re-developed because of Tom and his co-workers outstanding efforts.
To donate to this great cause go to PlantWithPurpose.org.
Keep up the good work!