By: Chris Jones, Owner of Plant Therapy
Plant Therapy—A Small Business with a Big Heart.
Giving back has always been important to us, but in 2013 we decided to make it a priority. Thanks to our amazing customers we have been able to significantly increase the quality of life for thousands of people, both local and international. In 2013 alone we have donated to, or fully sponsored, multiple water projects in Ethiopia, Guatemala and Liberia. We also funded the building of a large building at the Africa Heartwood Project Orphanage in Liberia and provided for the basic needs of many of the orphans. I recently had the opportunity to visit some of these villages and stay at the orphanage for a week. It was an incredibly moving and humbling experience. It has strengthened my resolve and commitment to make a lasting difference in this life.
In the past we have been (unfairly) criticized for donating so much money abroad when we have significant need here at home. Although I don’t feel the need to justify where we choose to donate, I wanted to address this concern.
We donate significantly in our own community and in the United States. For every charitable dollar spent outside of the United States in 2013 we spent 2.5 dollars locally. We have donated to the American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, Boy Scouts of America, many public school programs, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Idaho Youth Ranch, The Salvation Army, Deseret Industries, various religious groups and many other charitable organizations. We have also anonymously donated tens of thousands of dollars to families in need. Plant Therapy has anonymously paid for funerals. We have deposited significant sums of money into bank accounts of families that are going through hard times, including families that have a child with cancer or have had an accident or death in the family. We anonymously provided Christmas gifts to families that would otherwise have had to go without.
Also, we have been very blessed and we are trying to share those blessings and truly make a difference. We also humbly recognize that we could not do this work without the support of you, our customers and friends. I sincerely thank you for your support.
Chris Jones, Owner
Chris Jones (Plant Therapy’s owner) and Paul Stanger (employee) were recently able to go to Liberia to see the progress that has been happening on the new orphanage and the 4 wells that Plant Therapy funded. The experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity and Plant Therapy’s customers have made it possible for Plant Therapy to be a part of this amazing opportunity! Thank you!
African Heartwood Project- “In July 2013 we conducted needs assessments and site visits to many rural Liberian communities who had been preliminarily identified by Universal Outreach Foundation (our Liberian partner NGO specializing in water well rehabilitation) as having a need for outside help in obtaining a safe water source. These four villages were designated as Plant Therapy Village Water Project beneficiaries. Each is preparing their Community Development Fund, which is a system we introduced for saving funds at the village level for future maintenance of the water source and other self-development initiatives. Follow up visits and training took place in August and November.”
This system that they have set in place is amazing!
It is the first time anything like this has been done in Liberia. Andy, founder of African Heartwood Project, came up with this idea to try to help the people in these villages learn how to save money. These villages require a “tax” system to raise $100 before African Heartwood Project is willing to build a well. They have to keep a log of all the money raised and the amount that each member in the village gave to the fund. Once this money is raised, then the African Heartwood Project will start building the well. The village must save this $100 and is encouraged to continue to add to it so that they can use the money for repairs on the well. One village was able to continue to save enough that they built a school!!
The people in these rural Liberian villages don’t have the opportunity to drink clean water. Here are some of the pictures of the different water sources from the villages that are getting wells.
Another opportunity that Plant Therapy has had is to fund one of the buildings for the new orphanage.
The new orphanage is being built right now. They have 2 buildings done and are working on the bathroom. Once the bathroom is complete, the new orphanage will open!
Plant Therapy again wants to thank our amazing customers for making this possible. It’s because of you that we get to give so much back! To learn more about the different projects check out African Heartwood Project. To learn more about Plant Therapy and our efforts to give back, check out our Plant Therapy Giving Back page.