Running for the Rainforest
To highlight our incredible donors, we spoke with Kristen Middleton, a passionate runner and Rainforest Trust supporter whose efforts have raised over $4,000 for conservation.
Kristen, why do you support Rainforest Trust?
I support Rainforest Trust because it is a top-rated organization that is doing excellent work around the globe to conserve precious rainforest. I was a personal donor before I decided to embark on a greater mission of reaching out to my friends and family to raise money for the organization. I realized that there are a lot of people in my network who want to do something to combat climate change, but aren’t sure how to help. When I reached out to friends and family, explaining that by conserving rainforest we are storing carbon and minimizing the effects of climate change, they were happy to contribute! A lot of people who donated to Rainforest Trust through my fundraiser felt like they were part of a community and part of a greater, positive mission. They realized that every little bit makes a difference, and they could make a difference in the world, simply by donating to Rainforest Trust.
What would be your advice to someone interested in supporting rainforest conservation?
I would encourage someone to donate personally if they have the means to do so, but beyond that, to run a race or take an action to benefit Rainforest Trust, which would provide a basis for reaching out to their own family and friends to raise more money. That is what I did. There are many ways to create that “platform” for raising money: mine happened to be running a half-marathon, but you can choose just about anything! You can raise money in honor of a person, in honor of a wedding, birthday, or anniversary, or as a group (for example if you are in a church group or on a sports team). There are so many creative ways to use the power of friendship and family to increase a donation ten-fold or more! It is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to have fundraised over $4,000 for Rainforest Trust so far this year. My goal is to raise a total of $10,000 as I continue running races in honor of Rainforest Trust.
On a personal level, I feel grateful to be in a position to run races, and it is empowering for me to know I am helping conserve rainforest land.
In your opinion, what is the biggest benefit of saving rainforests and tropical habitats?
The main reason I’m conserving rainforest is to help mitigate the effects of climate change. I recognize the urgency with which we need to store carbon in rainforests, and the rapid pace at which unprotected rainforests are being clear-cut. I am happy to help conserve land and wildlife that will ensure our planet survives for future generations. It is so important that people take action now, not later. It’s important for everyone to understand that they can make a difference no matter how big or small. Some of my donors gave only $10, others gave hundreds of dollars. But everything added up! And of course, on average it only takes less than $10 to save one acre of land.
What makes Rainforest Trust stand out to you as a conservation organization to support?
The fact that it is top rated by Charity Navigator, has saved millions of acres of land so far, and because I have had very professional and positive interactions with staff members, thanking me for donating and supporting the organization.
How would you describe yourself in 1-2 sentences?
I’m passionate about conserving land so that our planet is healthy and livable for future generations. I love working with schools, children, and spending time in nature. Finally, I couldn’t have done this without the support and encouragement of my wonderful husband, John, so I wanted to thank him, too! He cheers me on every day!
Header photo: Kristen Middleton has raised over $4,000 to support Rainforest Trust by running a series of half marathons in support of rainforest conservation. Photo by Kristen Middleton.