Congratulations Kirstie, our newest Cultivator!

Written by Plant With Purpose on April 6, 2015 in Cultivator of the Quarter


Kirstie Hibbard is nothing short of a firecracker. She’s a dedicated volunteer, campus advocate, and cheerleader to Plant With Purpose. This Point Loma Nazarene University senior loves the ocean and the outdoors, and has a knack for connecting her school to sustainable causes. Kirstie helped us launch the Rooted Art Show at Point Loma and heads up the Students for Environmental Action Club. We’re excited to feature her as our Cultivator of the Quarter!

How did you get involved with Plant With Purpose?

I started volunteering with Plant With Purpose as part of my Nonprofit Organization class at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU). After learning the ins and outs of how Plant With Purpose functions, I realized this was an organization I really wanted to invest time into. The following semester I interned with the Development Department and got to know the rest of the incredible staff. kh3

What does your involvement looks like?

I have enjoyed representing Plant With Purpose at local gift markets and participating in the annual Planting Hope Gala. While interning I was privileged to interact with donors, write blog posts, facilitate gala preparations, and plan the first annual Rooted Art Show (co-hosted by SustainPLNU). The show was exciting for me as it was a way to expose Plant With Purpose to my peers and strengthen the organization’s relationship with my school. The second annual Rooted Art Show takes place tomorrow night!

What motivates you to use your gifts and time to support the organization?

In discovering Plant With Purpose’s mission and methods, I realized the organization has come up with a perfect formula for addressing poverty and deforestation simultaneously. Not only does volunteering at Plant With Purpose fulfill my personal convictions, but the staff culture is so welcoming that I think people might hang out at the office just to get their daily dose of good vibes.

What aspect of our work do you resonate with most?

I love the fact that Plant With Purpose empowers communities to improve their own standard of living. I have come appreciate that the “teach a man to fish” system is much more effective than handouts or short-term missions. I love that Plant With Purpose has found a way to make a huge impact abroad and then bring back stories of success so we can celebrate together.


Do you have advice for people looking to uniquely use their gifts to support Plant With Purpose?

Since Plant With Purpose relies on advocacy and fundraising here at home, there are tons of ways we can contribute. The many events Plant With Purpose holds rely on both attendees and volunteers. I have enjoyed attending almost every major event as a volunteer and always feel fulfilled. Any type of financial donation is helpful; you can donate gifts and services for the Planting Hope Gala; and most importantly, you can give your time.

What is your favorite part about being a student at Point Loma Nazarene University?

When I graduate from Point Loma I will miss the people, and the sense of community. I have loved working for SustainPLNU and contributing to PLNU’s pledge to uphold environmental stewardship. I don’t mind that I can see the ocean from just about anywhere on campus, can visit our community garden for a snack, and can surf in between classes (and then pretend I was late because I was showering).

How did your family practice a sustainable lifestyle when you were growing up?

I grew up in a family that lived simply. The quote my dad engraved on our makeshift windmill read, “Work well, respect the earth, and do something special.” I didn’t know the word “sustainability” until someone defined it for me later in high school, but it wasn’t a difficult concept for me to grasp; my parents had been modeling it for me my whole life. In retrospect, my family was incredibly hip with our compost pile, pet chicken, apple orchard, and lack of cable TV. In comparison to our southern Orange County neighbors, however, we were strange. Although I was naïve to my friends’ references to Power Rangers and SpongeBob and nobody wanted to trade their Lunchables for my veggies and nuts, I could name various plant species and carry my own backpack through the Sierras.kh2

What three items can you not live without?

I like to think there are not many “things” I couldn’t live without, but in reality the experiences bring me fulfillment require a few specific items. A pair of running shoes is a must for runs on the cliffs, local hikes, and everyday comfort (yes I wear running shoes to school). Another item at top of my list would be a bathing suit. Since I spend 90% of my free time at the beach surfing, swimming, and laying in the sand, a bathing suit is the politically correct way to go. Lastly, life would be a little less “sweet” without a kitchen. It’s the best place to congregate at the end of the day and share time, stories, and food with my roommates and my family.


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