Charitable Projects and Support for Natural Resources
Through its associated foundation, the Wilderness Community Education Foundation (WCEF), Pines contributes to charitable projects, feeding programs and organizations that protect natural resources.
Protecting the River
The WCEF, Pines and its major owners gave the majority of money to a fund with Friends of the Kaw. The interest from that fund will pay for a Riverkeeper to protect the health of the Kansas River forever. http://www.kansasriver.org/
The WCEF has also been a major contributor to the Kansas Land Trust, an organization that protects nearly 20,000 acres through conservation easements. http://www.klt.org/
The WCEF is a major contributor to The Land Institute. For more than 30 years, it has focused on the problems of modern farming. It seeks to create a farming system with the ecological stability of the prairie but with a grain yield comparable to annual crops. http://www.landinstitute.org/
Promote Organic Farming
The WCEF is also a major contributor to the Kansas Rural Center. It promotes the long-term health of the land and its people through research, education and advocacy. The KRC cultivates grassroots support for public polices. These policies encourage family farming and stewardship of soil and water. http://www.kansasruralcenter.org/
Protect Natural Resources
The WCEF is also a major contributor to the Kansas Sierra Club, which promotes the responsible use of ecosystems and resouces and serves as a vehicle to educate and enlist people to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment. http://kansas.sierraclub.org/
Support Local Community
The WCEF is also a major contributor to the local volunteer fire department. We also provide support for several local feeding programs. The programs assist hungry people throughout our State. Through gifts to global feeding programs, we help people throughout the world.
Charitable Feeding Programs
Pines has contributed several million servings of greens to feeding programs worldwide during our more than 40 years. We also contribute cash to local feeding programs.
Pines sent wheatgrass and other cereal grasses through feeding programs to Africa and the United States. In recent years, we focused on Central America. In particular, we have sent two shipments to poor people in Guatemala.
The church groups involved presented Pines with a plaque. It recognizes Pines as “The Humanitarian Company of the Year” for our efforts.
Helping a remote island was a long term project for the company. The island off the coast of Belize. Over a twenty-year period, we helped turn a fishing village into an ecotourism village. We also helped in improve the schools.
Early in the year 2000, the Caye Caulker School received its first computer. Although a used computer, it still would provide the first contact most of the kids had ever had with one. However, before the school could set it up in a secure place, it was gone. Thieves from the mainland roamed out to this remote island 25 miles off the coast of Belize and stole it.
When PINES company officers Steve Malone and Ron Seibold learned about the computer theft, they made a decision to donate three brand new computers, a printer as well as $1600 worth of software to the school. While the new machines were in route to Caye Caulker, a major hurricane hit the island. The school lost its roof, and many of the children and their families became homeless.
Steve and Ron checked to make sure that the computers were safe. They arranged for the shipper to store them in a warehouse in Florida until after repairs. PINES also made the largest single gift to the relief fund for Caye Caulker.
Now the Island has a High School
Until recently, Caye Caulker's elementary school was the only school on the island. Nearly all children living on Caye Caulker attended through the sixth grade. Those who wished to continue school had to take an hour long boat ride each day. Children need to travel eight miles in a boat to the nearest high school on a more populated island.
Some of the kids we helped learn about computers are now going to the new (and first) high school. Ocean Academy is the name of Caye Caulker's new high school. We have helped support the costs of the school and encourage others to do so:
Ocean Academy Facebook Page.
Ocean Academy Website.
Both links above provide methods to contribute to Ocean Academy. The school has an great teachers. High school kids no longer have the long boat ride to San Pedro each day.
Caye Caulker first became a charitable project when Ron and Steve first visited there in 1992. During the past 20 years, Pines has seen the island greatly improve. We are proud of being a part of those changes. We are also proud of our support of dozens of other charitable groups and projects during more than 40 years since Pines began.