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The Gift of Trees
For my birthday last week my daughter gave me a wonderful gift: 5,000 trees to be planted during the next rainy season in the village of Betel in Haiti.
Specifically, through the organization Trees for the Future, I have “adopted” this community of 600 families who make their living off land that has been devastated by deforestation and global climate change.
This gift will entail the planting of fast-growing, permanent, beneficial forestry and fruit trees to protect the fragile lands and assure that the people can live in dignity and in harmony with the natural resources of their land. Each year, my trees will remove several tons of pollution from the atmosphere, replacing it with life-giving oxygen while protecting the soil and creating more organic matter. They will also provide food, fodder, timber, and other necessities to the community.
So I have a suggestion. Valentine’s Day is coming up and many of you will be sending gifts to those you love. Consider the gift of trees—and life to the people living on the world’s most degraded lands in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. You can plant a grove for $50 or a forest for $100. Your recipient will receive a tree planting certificate that will, I hope, endear you to their hearts far more than the ubiquitous traditional roses, which most likely will have been sprayed, rinsed, and dipped in a battery of potentially lethal chemicals. Also, the gift of trees is tax-deductible. Roses aren’t. Just sayin’.
To my other family members, I loved your gifts (especially the chocolate) and corny cards too. But the trees—they are special.