Plant With Purpose Is Like Spaghetti

Written by Plant With Purpose on January 27, 2011 in General

by Aly Lewis

I’m notoriously bad at compartmentalizing. All my work thoughts spill out and over into my personal life and vice versa. I’ve heard there’s a book called Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti. True to gender stereotypes, I am definitely spaghetti. (Don’t worry this blog post won’t turn into a feminist rant or a marriage advice column, just bear with me in the analogy.)

Plant With Purpose’s work on the ground is also like spaghetti: difficult to simplify, compartmentalize, and break off into bite-sized Leggo-my-Eggo-pieces. Unlike the segregated nooks and crannies of waffles, our work spills over all ooey, gooey marinara-y with some good chunks of meatballs and of course the Parmesan cheese.


We have a nifty Venn diagram that shows where the environmental, economic, and spiritual work we do merge together. And there in the middle, where they all overlap—the tree planting and the empowerment and the business training and the church partnerships, this whole process of transformational development—that is the spaghetti. That is the heart of our work.

Take Mrs. Andre Saint Thomas for example. Mrs. Thomas, a widow, is a member of a Plant With Purpose community group in Haiti. Through the group she has learned to apply farming techniques that are stopping erosion on her land and improving her crop yields. The effects of her partnership with Plant With Purpose are already spilling over into numerous areas of life: her family’s health and nutrition is improving, her children are able to go to school, and her self-esteem has improved considerably.

And, just like you can never fully or adequately articulate the experience of a good bowl of spaghetti (or whatever your favorite dish may be), it’s impossible to distill Mrs. Thomas’s transformation into palatable nooks and crannies. Our partnerships with communities and families and individuals like Mrs. Thomas touch on every aspect of their lives—physical and financial, emotional and spiritual, and in many ways that we’ll never be able to understand or articulate. And that’s some mouth-watering, spoon-twirling, tasty transformation if you ask me.

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