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Trees For Life

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community & Neighborhood Development, Economic Development, Environment, Forest Conservation

Mission: Trees for Life promotes self-help as people take charge of their own lives,unleashing extraordinary power that impacts lives. Our activities meet these needs: education, health and environment.

Results: 50libraries established in Nicaragua; trees planted in Haiti; 80,000 children's picture books donated by Kansas families to Liberia; pre-school operating with leadership of community women in Nicaragua; nutritional information about the moringa tree provided to several thousand in two dozen countries;

Target demographics: Families and communities in developing countries who wish to improve their lives but have very limited resources.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Thousands, due to areas where books are now available; varies yearly.

Geographic areas served: International, currently Guatemala, Nicaragua, India, Haiti

Programs: Trees for Life - providing critical information about the moringa tree; funding some planting of moringa tree. Books for Life - providing books and libraries for villages and communities. Other: Teaching construction of and funding materials for fuel-efficient stoves.

Community Stories

34 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter introduced me to TFL as she noticed something very unique about the organization. In her words, the people are very kind, focused and committed in doing their part to better this world. I have witnessed first hand now how a few focused people can make a huge difference in empowering others. I am very honored to say that I am a part of the TFL team now inspired by my 17 year old.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been impressed with every person and interaction I have had with Trees For Life. The focus of helping others around the world is genuine, selfless and infectious. Trees for Life and Teach for Life have got it right. The right vision, the right people and the right method. I highly recommend this nonprofit and can testify to the integrity of it's people.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Teach for Life (a branch of Trees for Life) shows what good teaching looks like. It uses short videos to demonstrate how to teach for critical thinking not rote learning. It was designed to serve teachers who work with the poorest children of the world. All videos are free. This volunteer work has enriched my life and shown me how I can use my talents to help others with great needs. All children deserve a quality education. This gives them the opportunity to escape poverty.
Sheril Logan

Donor

Rating: 5

I first heard about Trees For Life at a peace conference back in 1986. The idea of planting more trees always appealed to me, and planting trees that feed people was even better. So I started making regular contributions as well as special ones in memory of loved ones who had passed away. The folks at Trees For Life have always been helpful if I had a question or a concern, and it is a wonderful project to not only plant trees that feed the hungry but teach people in those areas to help their neighboring communities to do the same. TFL has since branched out into other areas that are helpful to poor communities. It makes me feel great that over the years my small contributions have helped so many people and helped this organization to continue its wonderful mission.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

A Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, I reached out to Trees for Life for help with a training on the moringa tree. Dedicated to helping people break the cycle of poverty through grassroots forestry initiatives, Trees for Life seemed like the perfect organization to partner with.

With Trees for Life's support, local counterparts and Peace Corps volunteers were able to train close to 200 local health agents on moringa cultivation and preparation. With its high nutritional value, moringa has a huge potential to help alleviate vitamin deficiencies in a region of Senegal where 16.7% of the population suffers from severe malnutrition according to the UN's World Food Program. Moringa powder's high commercial value also makes it a lucrative income generating activity. By training local health agents to train at least five households in their neighborhood about moringa, we started the conversation about the tree in over 100 villages and reached hundreds, if not thousands, of people. We wouldn't have been able to do it without Trees for Life and highly recommend working with this organization.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am more concern about the envirement detoriaiton of green planet earth.

when i started to do planting Moringa for the Malaysian natives villages for nutrition as well as a cash crop to supplement as food for own consumption as well a source of income for the natives, I found tress for life organisation support with literature support on moringa my work in promoting planting made easy for many persons to understand the importance of Moringa tree planting here in malaysia, this organisation of books for life also supported my work with children education by contributing donating books. your organisation example have made my work for charity very much easier to reach out to people who needs my assistance and advice. I have made great leads and impact on the trees for life actvity here in Malaysia within three months take off.currently I work with several organisation for charity in Malaysia.especially with the natives population.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Trees for Life has been a time tested charity. It has made a difference in many countries fighting hunger and malnutrition for more than three decades. They believe in educating the masses about nutrition, helping them plant trees, create economic empowerment, and improve the health and wellness of villages around the world, all with the power of the Moringa tree.

Wichita, Kansas has been home to this selfless organization. It is unusual to see a non-profit organization succeed solely with the help of volunteers.

Nalini Gangadhar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am very inspired by the TFL organization, they are very dedicated and selfless in their commitment to serving the under privileged around the world. My daughter came here to volunteer one summer and fell in love with the project. She has inspired our whole family to get involved and is the driving force in her school to get her classmates involved.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I WAS SURFING THE WEB FOR HELP FOR OUR FAMILIES AND MINISTRY IN HAITI. SURFING THE WEB IS TIME CONSUMING AND MOSTLY NOT VERY PROFITABLE...THEN I HIT "TREE FOR LIFE". WOW, I DID IT, I HIT THE MOTHER LOAD (CAN CHRISTIANS SAY THAT?). TREVA ANSWERED THE PHONE AND SHE IS A CHRISTIAN, NOT BY SAYING SO, BUT BY DOING: KIND, GENEROUS, HELPFUL, INSTRUCTIONAL, GIVING ME GREAT INFORMATION, ASKING QUESTIONS TO BE ABLE TO RECOMMEND RESOURCES, OTHER REFERRALS, WEBSITES, AND NONPROFITS. I MIGHT EVEN GET SAVED.

IT IS AN ONGOING GREAT EXPERIENCE, LAYING BUILDING BLOCKS FOR A CONTINUAL PARTNERSHIP AS WE SERVE HIM TOGETHER IN "HIS HAITI".

PASTOR DAN

2

Donor

Rating: 5

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. 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!

Previous Stories
3

Donor

Rating: 5

At age 22 I wed the best friend I'd had for 8 years, and as anniversary #1 rolled around I could not fathom any truly appropriate gift to give. Sparing you the shortcomings of all other ideas/items/websites that I came across in my hunt, I have never been so grateful for such a beautiful thing as The Trees For Life organisation- this I knew when I first learned of it.
Of course your donations go collectively toward all the environmentally supportive, hunger fighting, humanitarian projects. But you have the romantic option of using their catalog to donate toward specific things.
Ever since the first anniversary gift of 100 fruit trees and one fuel-efficient cook stove that helps the smoke not be inhaled by its user, we decided together that our annual way to honor our marriage will forevermore be to purchase/donate 100 trees.
Those trees grow, give shade, prevent erosion around rivers, and feed people. And to learn about the humble miracle that is the moranga tree please see the Trees For Life website.
Please see it anyway. They are doing some great things very smartly. Both myself and my husband can't to this day imagine a better gift to give. The recipient gets to know that in their name: trees are to be strategically planted to grow and help people in need at many locations around the globe.
Humanitarian, environmentally helpful, hunger and disease fighting... all in a single romantic and effective package. Trees For Life makes that possible.

2

Client Served

Rating: 4

Trees for Life is a great website and really spreads awareness of what can be done to avert hunger around the world.
The site is easy to navigate and eventhough there is alot of information on the site, it is very easy to find what you are looking for.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have served on the board of trustees at Trees for Life the past fifteen years. The organization meets three times yearly. We are given detailed updates on what is taking place and asked for our opinions on new ways the organization is working.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Alternative Gifts International has a long history of partnering wtih Trees for Life. This is a first class operation whose founders and leadership have worked to expand their outreach into building sustainable programs for the poor. I have visited their headquarters and I admite this great group of people for their dedication and sacrifice.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a very genuine organization that I'm very happy to support.

I've known about TFL for a long time, and actually had the pleasure of sharing a house with someone who was an active volunteer for the organization (he spent a lot of time in Latin America helping people build more efficient stoves) for a year.

This is an organization that is clearly run from the heart, with wisdom and clarity about how to truly be of assistance in areas of the world that need help.

They plant trees, start libraries, help with water and nutrition and seem to be very "here" and paying attention to what will work.

The founder's stories of his experiences are uplifting and ring true to me.

Thanks for the opportunity to be able to vote.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I met Balbir in 1984 and we''ve been friends since. He was just in the process of giving birth to Trees For Life and I felt then and still feel it is a kind of paradigm for what helping institutions will become in the future, simple, family-like groups dedicated to empowering people who are often overlooked or exploited by more powerful institutions. The focus is on helping people achieve what they want to achieve by listening to them and joining with them so that what is gained is prized by the receiver since the receiver has worked hard to achieve the goal or project and hasn't just been the recipient of money or goods and services supplied by a donor without any effort on the part of the recipient to share in the work and responsibility.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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".

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!