Exceptional Service: Don and Doris Adrian

Written by Plant With Purpose on September 13, 2016 in General


For more than thirty years, Plant With Purpose has worked to provide lasting solutions to two of the most critical issues around the world. We would not be where we’re at today without those who built a strong foundation. The base of this foundation is the belief that transformation is possible for the rural poor and it can simultaneously happen while restoring the environment.

Don and Doris Adrian have been involved almost since our beginning in 1984. Don read about the organization in the San Diego Union Tribune in 1986 and wanted to help. In addition to being important financial supporters, Don and Doris made numerous trips to the Dominican Republic and Mexico, often carrying seeds or forestry equipment to the program in their suitcases. Doris knew the name of every partnering family, translated documents from English to Spanish, and single-handedly put on the annual gala. Don served on the U.S. board of directors and became an expert in agroforestry and tropical fruit. Both served on the Dominican Assembly and were tireless cheerleaders for the organization.


Don and Doris ensured that work would continue and the organization would survive through several low-points. It is not an exaggeration to say that Plant With Purpose would not be here today if it were not for the compassion, energy, and support of Don and Doris Adrian.

In 2014, Don was awarded with the inaugural Adrian Award for Exceptional Service at the Planting Hope Gala. This award will be granted annually in honor of the Adrian’s legacy of exemplary leadership and service. Bill Hahlbohm of Sundance Organic received the award in 2015. On Thursday we will be announcing our 2016 recipient.



She gave me her hand.
Me dio la mano.
Her hand…
Toughened by
Work in the fields
Husking corn
Chipping firewood
Making tortillas.
She placed her work-hardened hand in my pampered hand…
My Ivory Snow hand
My Oil of Olay hand.
I wondered about Mary’s hands…
Mary, the mother of Jesus…
Mary, the peasant girl from Nazareth.
Were her hands the pampered hands of ease?
Were the hands that held the Baby Jesus
Soft, lotioned hands?
Or, were they work hardened hands
Like the hands of this woman from Oaxaca?
– Doris Adrian

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