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Help Us Launch a Board Member off Mt. Kilimanjaro


Written by Plant With Purpose on January 11, 2013 in General

We are ridiculously excited that Wings of Kilimanjaro—an adventure we’ve been talking about for the past year—is taking place this month. The climb begins on January 27, and a group of paragliders will take approximately seven days to reach the 19,340-foot peak. Dependent on weather conditions, the paragliding pilots will launch from the Roof of Africa during a five-day window around February 5, 2013.

We are also excited that one of our very own board members is joining the expedition! John Kennon (J.K.) Shea has developed a passion for paragliding, but his heart lies in helping those in need worldwide. Read on to learn more about J.K.’s involvement with Plant With Purpose and how he got started with paragliding. 

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How long have you been paragliding? 
I’ve been paragliding for only about two years, and in that time I have gained the necessary experience to participate in Wings of Kilimanjaro.

How long have you been involved with Plant With Purpose?  
I’ve been involved for more than five years after initially finding out about Plant With Purpose from a friend. 

What caused you to get involved with Plant With Purpose? 
The first time I traveled to a developing country, I was impressed with how far a little bit of money could be stretched to make a huge impact. I was inspired to find ways I could leverage the resources God entrusted me with to do just that. Planting plants is one of the best ways to leverage resources, not only because a dollar goes a long way, but once you plant them, God takes a hillside of seedlings and in just a few years time, turns it into a forest. That hillside can provide food (in the case of fruit trees), water (by restoring a watershed), shelter (by sustainably harvesting wood that can be used to build homes), and income (from selling fruit, wood, etc.) for the residents of the area. Not many organizations transform a few dollars into such a big impact, while at the same time having a positive impact on the environment. Plant With Purpose also trains people in microfinance. To top it off, Plant With Purpose plants eternal seeds. Bible studies, which are taught through local Christian churches, are designed to share the Gospel and promote spiritual renewal.

Anything you want to add?
As a member of Plant With Purpose’s board, I consider it a privilege to come on this trip in support of Plant With Purpose and the wonderful work that they do.

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Best of luck, J.K., as you head to Tanzania for the adventure of a lifetime! If you’d like to help J.K. reach his fundraising goal (he’s committed to raising $10,000 by January 15, twice the amount required for each pilot), visit this page on the Wings of Kilimanjaro website

Previous blog posts on Wings of Kilimanjaro: 
Wings of Kilimanjaro: Already Making a Huge Impact in Tanzania
Plant With Purpose Gets a Shout-Out from National Geographic
Finishing the Climb With National G. – Wings of Kilimanjaro Part 2


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