Get to Know Christy,
Our Cultivator of the Quarter!
Written by Plant With Purpose on October 27, 2015 in Cultivator of the Quarter, General
Christy Yoder has been a devoted Plant With Purpose supporter since 2010. Chances are she has checked you in at the Planting Hope Gala over the past five years or you have run into her advocating for us at a community event. Christy’s heart for developing sustainable solutions to global issues is apparent in the ways she chooses to spend her free time. Get to know Christy, we are so grateful to have her!
1. When and how did you first get involved with Plant With Purpose?
During my time earning an undergraduate degree at the University of San Diego, I knew that I wanted – needed – to spend my life making a positive difference in the world and chose to use my education, skills, and r
esources in the nonprofit sector. Also, I come from Oregon, a place where environmentalism is almost built into our DNA. After graduating, In several conversations with different friends who understand the importance to me of my Christian faith, of “hugging trees,” and making a real difference in the fight against poverty, they recommended I get involved with Floresta.
Time passed, and I soon found myself back in school at USD earning a Masters of Nonprofit Leadership & Management. As I was graduating and contemplating my future, one of my professors highly recommended Floresta, which about that time was rebranding itself as Plant With Purpose. I remembered the conversations I had earlier with other friends, and thought it as about time I followed through. In 2010 I reached out to Scott and offered my assistance.
2. Can you share about what your involvement looks like?
I have primarily been volunteering at the Planting Hope Gala for the last five years. I work at the registration table to greet guests and donors, sign them in, and assist with checkout. I have also represented Plant With Purpose at various community events, including the Asian Cultural Festival, a booth at the Del Mar Fair, planting vegetables with people at Earth Day, and running Alternative Gift Market tables at various churches during the holiday season. During one of these markets, I also joined the Root 7 program, donating $7 per month to plant 7 trees across the 7 countries where the organization works.
3. What motivates you to use your gifts and time to support the organization?
Plant With Purpose combines many of the things that I care most about: fighting poverty and increasing food and water security, environmental stewardship, guided by Christian faith. The organization has expanded my understanding of the benefit of this type of work and the methods by which they do it. Many large and well-known organizations send in staff and resources, and raise funds to sustain those resources in the places where they serve. This is not sustainable, as the services provided are at the mercy of the organization’s budget highs and lows. Programs can be pulled out of the country if funds are no longer allocated to the area. Plant With Purpose grows local leaders to do the work themselves, and multiply the impact of each of our contributions. This work is important, and it is clear to me that they are doing it in a way that will bear much fruit for many years with whatever amount each of us has to offer.
4. What aspect of our work do you resonate with most?
Of the many valuable aspects of your work, the one that hooked me was the way that they teach sustainable agriculture.
5. Do you have advice for people looking to uniquely use their gifts to support Plant With Purpose?
Find a level or avenue of support that works best for you. Each of us knows what we have to offer at this point: time, treasure, talent…or a combination. And when your circumstances change or a new opportunity arises that interests you, pay attention and grab on to what you’re passionate about. Perhaps you can only offer time; then volunteer and represent the organization or assist in the office. Do you create art objects or have something you could donate to the Planting Hope Gala silent auction? There’s always a need! If you would prefer to attend the gala and financially support the organization, do it. Subscribe to the newsletter and social media, and keep updated when you have time. New opportunities may arise that match your skill set and resources. As for me, I would not be here if I hadn’t heard of the organization from FOUR different friends, on four occasions, who were all supportive of what Plant With Purpose does. Share your support with others who are like-minded, and in that way you can multiply your impact. You never know who will find a new way to live out their purpose in the work that Plant With Purpose does.
6. What is your favorite place you have ever visited?
I love to travel internationally whenever possible, and meet the local people. I have been to Ireland (twice), Peru, Japan, and Guatemala (twice) for extended periods of time; shorter trips to Canada, France, and Tijuana, Mexico. Although I have loved the people and places everywhere I have been, my heart is in Ireland.
7. Quote to live by:
If not us, then who? If not now, then when?
8. Fun fact about yourself:
I went to a Performing and Fine Arts magnet high school. We were given the choice between P.E. and dance to fulfill our physical education requirement. As a 13 year old who never loved running, and was excited about the idea of performing something fun on stage, of course I chose dance. I began tap dancing, and fell in love. I take classes whenever I can at the local community colleges, and hope to one day get more serious about what is now a part-time hobby.