In a 2019 blog, I introduced our The Gifted Tree family to our Trees for a Cause tree donation program. As I explained back then, you, our customer can donate to plant trees through our program. The Gifted Tree’s Trees for a Cause charity donation program is a win-win-win partnership. Win 1 = Connect on a personal level with someone important to you and show them you care. Win 2 = By planting a tree, you are helping the earth, counteracting the devastating effects of forest fires and climate change. Win 3 = Directly help the hard work of a worthwhile cause by planting your gift tree in a charity specific “Giving Grove,” located in a U.S. National Forest. When you choose our Trees for a Cause program, The Gifted Tree will donate 10% of your purchase price to that organization to help fund their valuable programs.
Also at that time, I introduced our first charity partnership with Our Military Kids. Since 2004, Our Military Kids has empowered military kids by funding sports, arts, and other enrichment activities when their parents are deployed overseas with the National Guard or Reserves or recovering from severe injuries sustained in a post-9/11 overseas mission. Now, I want to introduce you to three additional charities we have partnered with in our Trees for a Cause program.
As has been well-documented in the news, 2020 was a challenging year caused by the pandemic and getting personal protection equipment to first line responders and safety personnel was a challenge. Direct Relief is a humanitarian organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. As part of its COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts, Direct Relief is working in overdrive to get protective gear and critical care medications to as many health workers as possible, as quickly as possible, with emergency deliveries leaving daily for medical facilities across the U.S.
Direct Relief is focusing on the four key areas of activity:
- Providing assistance in the form of personal protective equipment for health workers.
- Building an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) medication model and mobilizing private resources to build a stockpile to assist with anticipated spike in ICU patients.
- Boosting support to safety-net facilities to address existing chronic gaps that are likely to grow.
- Collaborating with infectious disease epidemiologists, technology companies and public agencies to use aggregated mobility data to support the COVID-19 response.
As the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to increase, the work of Direct Relief has again become important in the fight to get equipment and supplies to where they are needed to fight this disease.
Mental illness has been prominent in the news lately, especially as it applies to athletes. Probably the most recent famous news story involved Simone Biles and her withdrawal from certain Olympic events in Tokyo due to mental challenges. This follows Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open earlier in 2021 citing bouts of depression and not being in a good mental state. Mental depression not only affects star athletes, but athletes and individuals at all levels.
Hilinski’s Hope Foundation is a non-profit organization formed to promote awareness and education of mental health and wellness for student athletes. The Foundation’s mission is to educate, advocate, and eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness, while funding programs that provide student-athletes with the tools and resources that support their mental health and wellness.
The Hilinski’s Hope Foundation (H3H) was founded in 2018 by Mark and Kym Hilinski to honor the life of their son Tyler. Tyler was a top quarterback at every level and played collegiately for Division 1 Washington State University where he wore the uniform with number 3. Many describe Tyler as the happiest person in any room and on any field. He always had a smile on his face and kind words for his friends and teammates. Tyler will best be remembered for his play in the Boise State game. Ty was put into the game in the 4th quarter with less than 10 minutes to play and WSU was down 31-10. Three overtimes later, Tyler threw the game winning touchdown to Jamal Morrow. WSU fans rushed the field and the WSU players hoisted Tyler on their shoulders. From that moment on, Ty became known as the “Comeback Kid”.
Although Tyler always believed in happy endings and that good was around every corner, Tyler simply couldn’t endure the pain he must have been suffering. Just a few months later Tyler died by suicide on January 16, 2018. Tyler never showed any signs of depression or struggle.
H3H helps colleges and universities save lives, eliminate stigma, and scale mental wellness programs for student-athletes. H3H does this by sharing Tyler’s story, connecting students with mental health resources, and assisting universities to institutionalize best practices. H3H envisions a world where mental health is supported in parity with physical health and equally prioritized by universities as connected to athletic performance.
LA Family Housing
LA Family Housing helps people transition out of homelessness and poverty through a continuum of housing enriched with supportive services. Their vision is to be a leader in providing solutions to end homelessness, employing evidence-based best practices to achieve its goals. From its humble beginnings in a motel in North Hollywood, pictured above, it now operates 26 properties of temporary, permanently affordable, and permanent supportive housing across the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
Every individual has a unique life experience that defines what type of support they need. With these needs in mind, LA Family Housing connects participants to the right type of housing for them, and surrounds them with supportive services that are proven to foster long-term housing stability. Through its outreach and engagement process, LAFH helps thousands of people transition out of homelessness and retain long-term housing stability.
In 2016, the Fiesta Motel was demolished, making room for the new headquarters of L.A. Family Housing. The new facility includes a state-of-the-art health clinic, 50 units of permanent supportive housing, bridge housing, and a hub that draws scattered public and private homeless services into a single location.
Plant a Tree. Plant a Hope.
Whether donating a tree in memory or in celebration, The Gifted Tree will not only plant your tree(s), helping the world fight deforestation and the devastating affects of global warming, but also help one of these great organizations. It is easy to do — on the order page, just click the box of the Trees for a Cause program you would like to support. We will plant the tree(s) and make the donation. And stay tuned, as The Gifted Tree is working on adding several new organizations to our Trees for a Cause tree donation program.