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26 Reviews
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September 7, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

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September 7, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

I am part of a team from several churches which raised funds to help build a school in a small rural community, Kayaskita, in the mountains of north central Nicaragua. It is the first school for miles around, in an area with no roads, electricity, phones or any other modern conveniences (we arrived by dugout canoe!) Through Books for Life we were able to outfit the school with hundreds of new schoolbooks, written for Central American children. There were textbooks and storybooks, for students of all ages. They also sent large, colorful maps & posters for the walls. All the materials are of the best quality, and arrived in excellent condition. They turned a simple concrete building into a real school! Dedication day was pretty overwhelming for us and the townspeople. Over 100 children attend this school today, learning to read & write - a chance they might never have had.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

March 22, 2011

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March 22, 2011

First i'd like to say how grateful i am to have an opportunity to serve at "Trees For Life". It gives me a chance for even a few hours a week to be able to give and serve. Amazing place with amazing people, who are united and dedicated in helping the poorest in the world with their humble work.
If people are willing, at "Trees For Life" they're provided with opportunities to develop their potential and to find out who they are and what they're looking for in life.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In being inspired by the example of the people who serve and work there. By seeing the results of their efforts that have reached millions of poor people all over the world.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Can't think of any right now.

June 30, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

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June 30, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

I became friends with Treva and Balbir through my sister who was a journalist doing a story on Trees for Life. Over the years my children and I would help out at the office and enjoy the "communal" lunches. During that time I was working for a well-respected investment manager who managed $350 million in charitable foundation funds. In talking to him one day about non-profits, he said "it is much easier to build the wealth initially, than to find disciplined non-profits in which to contribute to". He used Trees for Life as an example of a movement that astutely balances business efficiency and deep compassion. I have contributed to Trees for Life, but more than that I have loved each and everyone of them. Balbir (and all of them) have set a barometer for me to live by. As David says, "It is not about changing the world...it is about loving the world. It is about offering a hand so that others may live, and offering my heart so that I may live. The change that the world truly needs is the change in me, the opening of my heart".

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In my private life and beyond.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 24, 2010
2 people found this review helpful

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June 24, 2010
2 people found this review helpful

My husband and I were full-time volunteers for Trees for Life for 7-l/2 years, 3 of which were spent in India as volunteer teachers of conversational English at a school for 1200 poverty-level children. We also helped establish a medical lab at the school and helped teach computers to students and teachers. Our experience there stands out as the most extraordinary years of our lives. The school provides a 21st century education to children, many of whom are first-generation learners, whose parents earn about $1 a day. These children would not be likely to attend school if Trees for Life did not support this school. Trees for Life's philosophy is all about empowering people, whether it's kids attending school or people in a village who want to build a school or a library, drill a water well, improve the health of their community or plant trees ... all of which are the kinds of projects Trees for Life works with communities in developing countries to create. I found Trees for Life to be a personal growth experience. The leadership is always interested in a volunteer's personal growth as much as "production" of any project. It is a spiritual place to work, without being religious. Trees for Life uses its resources very judiciously. Contributions stretch a long way because of a strong volunteer base and an ethic of conservative money management. Volunteers of all ages, races, nationalities, and sexual orientations have found a welcome home at Trees for Life. If someone is searching for his/her niche in life, no matter what stage of life, Trees for Life might just be the place to figure that out and have a great experience in the process!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my own life! I have started 3 non profit organizations and been involved with a number of others and Trees for Life is the most cooperative, creative, inspiring place I've ever been associated with. And it's fun too!

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

living and working with the people of India.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

cooperative, accepting, thoughtful people of all races, creeds, nationalities, and sexual orientations

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

continue its global education project, figuring out ways to educate and empower people in developing countries, so they can climb out of poverty.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 9, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

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April 9, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

I did a year of full-time volunteering for Trees for Life doing graphic and web design. It was an incredible place to be with wonderful people. Working there was a great experience!

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

learning about how a successful nonprofit operates and getting to know the talented, dedicated people that make TFL so great!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2001

April 5, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

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April 5, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

On my first visit to Trees for Life, I was extremely impressed with those who worked there and with the volunteers. After hearing from Mr. Mathur, I was telling him that I thought he was doing a wonderful work on behalf of those in very needy circumstances. He said that for him, the work made him feel as though he was privileged to "dance with the angels" each day. In 2009, my husband & I were involved in a children's book drive in as many areas of Kansas as we could, to collect books to build a library in Ethopia. The person in Ethopia who made this request to Trees for Life,now provides a cart to regularly take more books to the rural areas. We saw a video of the cart entering a small village & the sides of the road were lined with children waiting to see that months delivery. Mr. Mathur was able to talk a large grocery chain into having boxes where people could drop the books when they did their grocery shopping. I find the organization to be very caring; the volunteers that work reqularly there are very pleased with the outcomes of their efforts.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Trees for Life began working in India, now it is working in some of the central American nations. They go where the need is. They also have studied the value of various kinds of trees which could help feed persons in many places in the world.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 4, 2010
2 people found this review helpful

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April 4, 2010
2 people found this review helpful

I volunteered as the community volunteer coordinator. I started at a very difficult time in my life, and the work, the staff and other volunteers showed me that there is a great group of people and good work needing to be done. Those years were some of themost fu, working with volunteers doing mailings, sending out trees, and oh so much more. Would love to do t again! Only left because we moved away.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing how its better to help people help themselves, than to do it for them

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

all of it, the work, the people, the results

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the friendliest, most caring people I've ever met

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

feed the world's hungry

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

March 30, 2010

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March 30, 2010

This is an organization about which there are not enough superlatives. Balbir, the founder and guiding light, is someone about whom enough superlatives cannot be articulated. He is surrounding by a loving and caring "family" of similar persuasion, and the net result is an organization that makes phenomenally effective use of a very, very low level of funding. There is so much selfless giving going out of that organization, and they all genuinely receive abundant energy back from those who they serve. Balbir has started a movement (as he is fond of calling "Trees for Life"), and that movement must not be allowed to wither on the vine. One of the big recent disappointments is the fact that a few years ago, I nominated Balbir Mathur for a "Man of Peace / Person of Peace" award, and he was not given it. This was a rather sizable monetary award that Peace Cereal (my favorite breakfast cereal) was making annually, but appears to have since discontinued. In my capacity serving for 4 years as the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the Trees for Life Journal, I witnessed time and again the love and compassion emanating from Trees for Life. If there had been a way that I could have served with them on a full-time basis, I would love to have done that. Perhaps when I approach retirement they will have a place for me and hope to return to their embrace. Until then, I continue with my public health research which may ultimately make me a more useful contributor to the Trees for Life movement.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Plant the seed of selfless giving and self-help instruction in 10,000 areas of the world where that seed needs to be planted

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

March 8, 2010

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March 8, 2010

I've had a wonderful experience with Trees for Life. I first found TFL through their website. The people are great; it's easy to feel connected at TFL on so many levels. It's also a very exciting place to volunteer because everyone is so enthusiastic about all the projects going on, from the Books for Life bookdrive to the educational lessons being developed for low-income countries. The teamwork is incredible. I appreciate TFL giving me the opportunity to apply skills I have just learned in college. I am able to develop my strengths as well as work on life skills with a very compassionate and dedicated group. TFL is definitely an inspiring place to be. For me, my position at TFL is my ideal job in life. As TFL is empowering people in other countries in many ways, it also has empowered me with job skills, life skills, and a meaningful purpose in life.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In 2009, I was amazed at how TFL collected 100,000 children's books with were shipped to Liberia. I know that educating children in other countries is a great place to start making the world a better place.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not sure.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Meeting wonderful people and being an integral part of an opportunity to make the world better. Also, the opportunity to work on personal growth.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Friendly, kind, caring, compassionate, understanding, patient, dedicated, hard-working, motivated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Educate many more people in low-income areas of the world. It also could help people to become more self-sufficient and self-reliant and end hunger and poverty in the world.

Ways to make it better...

My experience has been wonderful. I wish I had volunteered for TFL much earlier.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Not sure. As a nation, we are in tough financial times and I'm sure this has impacted all non-profit organizations.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I too hope TFL continues its work for many, many years to come.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

March 6, 2010

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March 6, 2010

I first learned about Trees for Life when we first moved to Kansas around 1982. It was still in its inception at the time. My family followed it with great interest, particulary because it focuses on world hunger and education which are passions of ours. As we learned to know the organization more intimately, Trees for Life became not just another non-profit for us. I began to see how it was a miracle in progress. A number of years later our son decided to volunteer for a while for Trees for Life. He lived on the premesis and loved working there so much that he stayed with the organization for 1 1/2 years before continuing on to graduate school. His time with Trees for Life changed his outlook on life, and he still does short-term volunteer work at Trees for Life when he comes home to Kansas. My personal experiece with Trees for Life came after I retired when I began volunteering once a week with the organization. My tasks focused around working with the 100,000 books for Liberia drive in 2008-2009. The country's minister of education had approached Trees for Life's Books for Life program and asked if we could help them. Local school districts donated thousands of used textbooks and library books for the Liberian children. My job was to sort through the books and make decisions regarding appropriateness and condition. It was an exciting adventure. Many groups from Wichita came to help, and it became a community effort. Books lined the halls and filled the rooms ... a book lover's dream come true. Books were everywhere! My most startling moment came several months later when I took time off to go on a trip with my husband's students. Two weeks later when I returned, to my surprise, an the books were finished - sorted, packed, and even sent! Trees for Life had made an all out effort to pull in groups of volunteers to sort the remaining books and get them on their way to Liberia. It is a gratifying feeling to know that school books that otherwise would have been discarded are today being used to educate an entire country of children who otherwise had little hope for a future. Trees for Life has an amazing capacity that enables miracles to happen.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My son and I both saw how Trees for Life doesn't focus on money; rather, it focuses on what is needed to expedite their mission. Example: When they needed desks for their office, they found carpenters to build them with donated doors.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't. There is a purity of purpose and heart about this organization that is refreshing. They solve world problems in the regions where they work in humble, yet miraculous ways.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

... the wonderful, giving people who work there; the willingness to look for volunteers' talents and put them to work in areas of their strengths. I also enjoyed our simple meals and the time we spent over lunch hours with persons from the community.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

... giving, caring people from many walks of life who had a passion for working with the world's less fortunate. The neat thing was that all were seen as children of God, and we worked in consort with them to solve their problems.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

...it would metamorphose from 1 loaf and 1 fish to an ocean of loaves and fishes. There is something about this group that makes it brim with miracles. It's not dollars they're after; it's focused love and concerted caring.

Ways to make it better...

My experience was very meaningful. I wouldn't want to change anything.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Probably money. That seems to be everyone's problem today. The neat thing about Trees for Life is that money is not at its center; rather, it is only a means to our end which is resolving world hunger and improving quality of life for all whom they serve.

One thing I'd also say is that...

It is my heart's desire that Trees for Life gets that 10 million dollars. I truly admire the organization and pray it continues for many years to come. There is a purity there that is not found in other non-profits.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Help build computer science and math lessons; assist with mailings locally;