Cultivator of the Quarter: Gabriella Mark
Where were you at Thirteen?
Written by Plant With Purpose on February 25, 2016 in Cultivator of the Quarter, General
Gabriella Mark is nothing short of a firecracker. She’s a Vision Trip veteran, advocate, fundraiser, and Plant With Purpose inspiration. Gabriella has presented our mission in front of her entire church, planned bake sales and a hoedown, and raised $7,200 for the village of Palmarito, Dominican Republic. She speaks Mandarin and is a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Did we mention she is thirteen?
We are enthused to feature Gabriella Mark as our Cultivator of the Quarter!
How did you get involved with Plant With Purpose?
My church, Mission Lutheran Church, has been supporting Plant With Purpose for many years. I would hear about the organization through different talks and events at church. But I didn’t really learn about all the amazing things the organization does until I went on a Vision Trip with my dad to the Dominican Republic in July of 2015.
What does your involvement look like? Your advocacy at your church?
After my experience on the Vision Trip, I knew I wanted to get more involved with what Plant With Purpose was doing. After talking with my parents and Kirstie and Becky at Plant With Purpose, I decided to try to raise the money to sponsor the village of Palmarito in the Dominican Republic for one year. I spoke in front of my church one Sunday to share my goals with the congregation and I was shown so much support. I did a few different fundraising events, including a hoedown carnival and bake sales. I was able to recruit my friends in my confirmation class to help me. I also did a presentation for a local environmental company who agreed to help sponsor the village. With the help of many, I was able to reach my goal in just a few months. I am now helping to organize a Vision Trip for other youth in my church and their parents. We will be visiting Palmarito and I cannot wait to meet the people of the village and build friendships there. Being part of this organization has been such a blessing and I love sharing the amazing things Plant With Purpose is doing around the world with those around me.
What motivates you to use your gifts and time to support the organization?
Remembering all the amazing people I met in Dominican Republic and the incredible experience I had there is great motivation. I know God had plans for me to work with Plant With Purpose. Originally, I was supposed to be going on a vision trip with a different organization but it did not work out. I truly believe this was God’s work because I was supposed to be connected with Plant With Purpose. God has blessed me with an incredible life. I love being able to share my blessings with others and it is so amazing to be able to have friendships all the way in the Dominican Republic!
What aspect of our work do you resonate with most? What makes you tick?
I love how Plant With Purpose uses the community leaders within the villages they support. The organization builds people up by coming along side of them and giving them the tools they need to build on the talents and gifts that God gave them. It is not just about giving handouts in the name of the Lord but it is building relationships and teaching skills that will change lives for generations. I feel this is what God wants us all to do, share His love by working together and loving each other.
Do you have advice for people looking to uniquely use their gifts to support Plant With Purpose?
My advice to others is that you are never too young to make a difference. There is so much love and support all around and if you feel called to do something don’t ignore it. Also, when you feel tired or discouraged, just remember the friends around the world that will be touched by your efforts and that God is always our strength.
What is your favorite place you have ever visited?
I loved visiting the Dominican Republic. I love the Dominican people. They are always so friendly and happy. They love to sing and dance and enjoy life! The country is so beautiful.
One historical figure I admire is Abraham Lincoln. He seemed so wise and brave so I love many quotes of his but my favorite is:
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” ~Abraham Lincoln
One of my favorite Bible verses is:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” ~ John 14:1
Finally, I am obsessed with the song Trust in You, by Lauren Diagle. I listen to it everyday (my little brother is a little sick of it!). My favorite line is:
“Mighty Warrior, King of the fight, No matter what I face, You’re by my side.” ~Lauren Diagle
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I attend an immersion school and am learning to speak Mandarin, I am a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, I am part of the Connect singing/acting group at my church, and I can make pretty cool things out of the wax that surrounds cheese, and I would love to be President of the United States some day.
We would love to see you be our future president Gabriella! We are so grateful for your contributions to Plant With Purpose!