A Florida nonprofit operated by former Cooperative Baptist Fellowship international missionaries has entered a fund-raising challenge in which donors can help it win up to $25,000 and expand its ministry to migrant workers.
The organization, Cultivate Abundance, is participating in A Community Thrives, which provides grants to groups based on supporters’ online contributions. Donors may support Cultivate Abundance, founded by Ellen and Rick Burnette, by giving online.
The couple launched the nonprofit in 2017 to address food insecurity issues among migrant workers in Immokalee, Florida, a small community located in a major agricultural area about 35 miles southeast of Fort Myers. Cultivate Abundance also is part of Together for Hope, CBF’s rural poverty initiative.
The Burnettes previously served 15 years as CBF field personnel in Thailand, where they worked with the Palaung hill tribe and others through the Upland Holistic Development Project.
Rick Burnette also serves with CBF Global Missions as field personnel and is the fellowship’s disaster response coordinator.
Recently, they entered their organization in the competition that is part of the USA Today Network, a fundraising program hosted on CrowdRise by GoFundMe.
“A Community Thrives is a nationwide program that is focused on helping organizations by shining a national spotlight on their community building initiatives” the Burnettes said in a press release about the competition.
The fundraising effort is underway and will continue until April 12. Participating organizations are eligible for grants of tens of thousands of dollars.
Any funds raised from donors and from subsequent grants will be used for its Portable Gardens Initiative, said Ellen Burnette, the executive director of Cultivate Abundance.
The effort, she said in the news release, “equips Immokalee gardeners to help themselves while helping others. We have appropriate, nutritional crops such as lettuce, cilantro, jalapenos and mustard greens. With our Immokalee partners, we have been refining our low-cost container gardening techniques.”
Local interest in the project is high, she said.
“All we need is the additional financial boost as well as more volunteers to reach more of the local elderly and disabled who have the desire to tend these small but productive gardens.”
Alliance church diverts 10 tons from landfill
Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has been recognized for its efforts to care for the environment, the Alliance of Baptists announced.
The church was one of five congregations across the United States to win the “Cool Congregations Challenge” sponsored by Interfaith Power and Light, a religious group that supports congregational efforts to combat global warming by promoting energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy.
According to the Alliance announcement, Binkley Baptist Church diverted 10 tons of compostable waste from the landfill in 2018. It eliminated almost all single-use items from its kitchen by stocking it with reusable plates, napkins, tablecloths, cups and cutlery.
“The kitchen pantry is stocked with only compostable materials to be used when reusables are not feasible,” church members Karin Mills and Linda Bourne said in the Alliance release.
The congregation also collects 2,700 pounds of compostable materials monthly, and 1,664 gallons by volume per month of recyclable materials. Those rates are expected to increase by about 20 percent this year.
The church and other participants in the challenge “are casting a vision for the kind of world in which they want to live, and then carrying out that vision with practical actions that make a real difference in creating lasting solutions to climate change,” Susan Hendershot, president of Interfaith Power and Light, said in comments included in the Alliance announcement.