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Faith in Place

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, Energy Resources Conservation & Development, Environment, Interfaith Coalitions, Religion

Mission: Since 1999, we have helped more than 900 Illinois congregations--Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Baha'i and Zoroastrian--adopt better environmental practices.

Target demographics: Faith community of Illinois

Direct beneficiaries per year: 6000

Geographic areas served: All of Illinois

Programs: Energy & climate change - faith in place works with faith partners across illinois to help them reduce their carbon footprint. Specific programs offered: energy audits & smart energy coffee workshops. - energy audits: faith in place staff work with skilled volunteers and trusted local organizations to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions at house of worship and homes. This process starts with an energy audit, a key first step for laying out a comprehensive roadmap for energy conservation. -smart energy coffee workshops: faith in place staff bring materials to a house of worship during fellowship time, so that individuals can better understand incentives, rebates, hourly pricing, and alternative suppliers. Faiths in place experts explain how to take advantage of these programs to save money and maximize energy efficiency.

sustainable food & land use - faith in place works with faith partners across illinois to help sustain our food and land. Programs offered: butterfly gardens, community gardens, congregational- supported agriculture, habitat restoration,just eating curriculum, monarchs, migration, birds and me, winter farmers markets. -butterfly gardens - faith in place provides assistance and support in the sourcing and installation of plants for numerous butterfly gardens on the properties of our faith partners throughout the state. -community gardens - faith in place staff give guidance and promote the efforts of people of faith to grow food in small neighborhood gardens. Such gardens provide locally grown produce and, at the same time, build a sense of community. One of our gardens is shared by a christian and a muslim faith partner in urbana. The tomatoes and the relationships that grow there are treasured by both faith communities. -congregational-supported agriculture (csa) - a "csa" is a congregationally supported farm in which members purchase "shares" in the project, work the garden and know the farmer. Faith in place's partner csas commit to donate at least 10% of the harvest to a local food pantry. Faith in place has been instrumental in establishing two csas: one at st matthew's lutheran church in urbana; a second at the vernon park church of god (baptist) in lynnwood. Connected by faith in place, these racially and culturally diverse congregations regularly share information and expertise. Together they donate tons of food to local food banks, foster community engagement, and train people with new skills. -habitat restoration - faith in place provides opportunities for the youth and adult members of our faith partners to engage in stewardship activities that both protect and restore our native landscape. -just eating curriculum - this curriculum explores the intersection of food and faith, and how to nurture healthy bodies, healthy communities, and a healthy environment. -monarchs, migration, birds and me - faith in place has created a story- circle based activity that encourages families to share their own migration stories. These stories connect to the migration of all animals, who also need nourishment, resting places, and care upon their arrival in illinois. -winter farmers markets - each winter, from november through march, faith in place partners with faith communities to host a series of indoor farmers markets. The farmers markets provide an additional source of income for local vendors during the off-season, promote sustainable farming methods and economic justice for regional farm families, encourage healthy, wholesome eating, and support the building of relationships between producers and consumers.

water preservation - faith in place works with faith partners across illinois to preserve water. Programs offered include:our grandchildren's water curriculum & water audits. -our grandchildren's water curriculum - a scientifically sound resource, appropriate for a 6-week adult education class. This curriculum explores water - the central role this precious resource plays in the religions of the world and the obligation people of faith have to conserve and protect it. -water audits - faith in place staff work with skilled volunteers and trusted local organizations to help reduce water usage and recycle rainwater at houses of worship and homes. This process starts with a water audit, a crucial first step when laying out a comprehensive roadmap for water preservation.

advocacy - faith in place works with faith partners across illinois to advocate for policies which will protect our earth. Programs offered include: -faithful citizen workshops - faith in place conducts two-hour workshops where people of faith can learn about and discuss pending policies. Faith in place also identifies and reviews ways people of faith can participate in the advocacy process consistent with the tenets of their faith. -environmental advocacy day - every spring, faith in place works closely with coalition members and sends a delegation of faithful citizens to advocate for polices which will protect our earth.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined the Faith In Place organization because I wanted to merge my work activities with the passion and spirit God has given to me. I found that Faith in Place truly cares about the communities being served and strives to sustain and improve their social service capacity. They are an example of how organization should operate and I am proud to be associated with them.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Faith in Place is a faith-based organization that works to protect and improve our environment. We are a unique organization in that we seek members of all faiths who recognize that our Creator has blessed us with the beauty and bounty of this world and who want to fulfill their role as good stewards of this grand creation. Faith in Place offers opportunities to those who seek to be such stewards to become involved in urban gardening, improving the energy efficiency of their places of worship, becoming effective advocates to protect the environment, teaching a faith based course on water and/or working with city youth on winterizing residences. I find the opportunity to be engaged in these efforts with people of different and diverse faiths a real blessing.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved in Faith in Place because of the basic reasonableness of the leadership and staff I met at a workshop. Aggressively inclusive, practical and smart, fun, hopeful, yet serious about the huge amount of work that needs to be done if we are going to care successfully for our world -- this is an organization that is always a pleasure to be part of. Impeccable integrity is also a pretty great trait. Though the depth of knowledge and care is impressive, my experience is that Faith in Place organizers are really good at meeting people where we are and inviting us to join together in whatever attempts we can make on environmental issues. This is community-building at its best. While some worthy nonprofits suck energy out of us Faith in Place is the opposite - providing sustenance and cheer in the midst of many difficult challenges. For this I am grateful, and heartily recommend them.