By Dale Dow and Vern Delk, Trees, Water & People Donors
Why do donors give to our projects? This testimonial from long-time supporters Dale Dow and Vern Delk answers this question beautifully:
We first met Stuart Conway, Trees, Water & People cofounder and his wife, Jenny, in Miami in 1984, as we were preparing for our Peace Corps service in Guatemala. Naturally, we were in contact with them over the next two years. This was especially true with Vern and Jenny, as they were in the same program
as 4-H Promoters. Stuart was in the forestry program and got a first-hand view of the deforestation and general lack of reforestation in Central America, especially Guatemala. Dale was with public health, working as a nurse in a dispensary in our village. One of the primary programs in Guatemala was providing more efficient stoves, both for better cooking conditions and to prevent continued overuse of firewood leading to more deforestation.
We returned to the states in 1986, resuming a life quite altered by the experience. Guatemala will always be our second country. We have stayed in contact with Stuart and Jenny ever since, as much as the distance allows. One of these days, we hope to go on an EcoTour as a good excuse to revisit Guatemala.
When Stuart and Jenny started Trees, Water & People (TWP) in 1998 based on their work in Central America, emphasizing reforestation and fuel-efficient stoves, we jumped on board with financial support. Over the years, our contributions have fluctuated somewhat ranging from $200 to $1,000. This year, we have started a monthly pledge of $50 so that TWP will receive a steady amount (also it makes it easier for us). This of course doesn’t preclude special emergency appeals such as Hurricane Mitch in 1998 or the more recent earthquake in Haiti.
Our Peace Corps experience showed us the need for reforestation and fuel-efficient stoves in Central America. Working side by side with Stuart and Jenny in Guatemala insured us of the integrity and ability of the founders. The many awards that Trees, Water & People has received reinforce our belief that the credibility and efficiency of the program is topnotch.
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