So if you live in the U.S., you’ve probably realized (per the obnoxious storefront displays and Hallmark commercials) that it’s Thanksgiving Week…
..Which also means it’s Run for AIR Week!
So to celebrate, we are counting the TOP FIVE REASONS to donate to the 2012 Run for AIR.
Starting with number 5…
5. The obvious: It will help AIR to build sustainable, community-based reforestation programs in a region with one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world.
The world Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that Guatemala loses approximately 15% of its forest cover annually – a higher percentage than that of Brazil. AIR combats this devastating destruction of forest by working with local communities to establish and maintain community reforestation projects. In over 20 years of work, AIR has trained over 2000 community members throughout Guatemala and Nicaragua to plant nearly 4 million trees throughout the region. And over 90% of those trees are still standing today.
4.The less obvious: It will help to combat malnutrition.
Guatemala has the 4th highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world. Much of this is due to poor soil quality, and the problem of soil erosion (as most of Guatemala’s population is forced to farm on steep mountainsides, where soil erosion and mudslides on deforested slopes wash away crops). Trees help to improve soil quality – the roots hold the soil in place, while at the same time replenishing nutrients – which in turn improve crop yields. After 5 years of working with AIR, many farmers have reported that their crop yields have DOUBLED.
3. It is a highly effective and *humanitarian* way to get rid of all that pesky cash you’ve got lying around.
Ok, so we understand that the U.S. (like most of the world) is (still) in a recession. Money is tight. Folks are having to make some tough decisions (latté or regular coffee – gasp!).
In all seriousness, though, as bad as things are here, they are even worse in Central America, where AIR works. According to the United Nations, Guatemala and Nicaragua rank among the top nations in the world for income inequality. Approximately two-thirds of the population of Guatemala lives on less than $2/day, with approximately half of the population living on less than $1/day.
AIR helps to combat this severe poverty through the gift of trees. Through their work in community-based reforestation programs, local community members not only grow and plant their own trees, but also sell them to neighboring communities – who see the value that trees have in terms of improving soil and crop yields, and often ask to work with AIR to establish reforestation projects of their own.
2. It’s tax-deductible.
And the Number 1 reason to donate to the Run for AIR…
1. It will make you – and the people of Guatemala and Nicaragua – very, very HAPPY!!!
Really! Research shows that acts of kindness boost our levels of dopamine – the neurotransmitter that researchers attribute to that warm, fuzzy feeling we get when we pet a puppy or kitten, or when we pay a stranger’s parking meter. (Does anyone actually do that?).
Your donation will also link you to the people of Guatemala and Nicaragua who depend upon the work that AIR does to protect their environment and crops. This link endures – it lasts as long as the trees that it funds AIR to plant. Through your donation, you become part of what we call the AIR family.
And isn’t celebrating family what Thanksgiving is all about?
*Thank you* for reading,