Plant With Purpose was founded in 1984 by Tom Woodard. At the time, Woodard was volunteering in the Dominican Republic with a Christian relief agency, but he and his colleagues very quickly realized that despite their best efforts to help the poor, the situation was worsening.
Woodward saw that there was a direct connection between poverty and the environment that wasn’t being addressed by traditional aid organizations. He understood that since most of the world’s poor are rural poor, and are therefore dependent on the land for survival, any long-term solution to poverty would have to take into account how deforestation, and the resultant loss in soil fertility, affected income potential.
Plant With Purpose, or "Floresta USA" as it was initially called, was founded to bring a holistic approach to the fight against poverty that includes environmental, economic, as well as spiritual renewal. We believe that this three-part approach is the key to creating lasting, sustainable change, and we use a variety of techniques such as savings-led micro-credit loans, business skills training, and community development to empower the poor to solve their own problems.
Since those humble beginnings in the Dominican Republic, Plant With Purpose has expanded its program to include more than 250 villages in Haiti, Mexico, Thailand, Burundi, Tanzania, and the Dominican Republic.
We invite you to join us and Plant With Purpose.