For the past 75 years, the charitable passions and generosity of our donors have driven the Community Foundation’s work. Two very passionate donors we are fortunate to highlight are Sister Veronica Blake and Sister Concepcion Gonzales, who are partnering with like-minded donors around the country to make an even bigger positive impact on our local environment through their donor advised fund (DAF).
The Sisters established the Bioregion Reparation Fund, an endowed DAF, to continue their work of raising consciousness about environmental and sustainability issues. “We have been so pleased to see the original amount in the fund grow through the goodness of others,” said Sister Veronica. The Sisters have been very diligent in their outreach efforts. Donors from as far as Maryland, Tennessee and Missouri have made gifts supporting the fund.
Among those donors, Nathan Moger recalls volunteering as a young child with his family for the SWAMP (Savers of Wetlands and Marshy Places) program. “We did some clean-ups of local wetlands, and tried to prevent the spread of invasive species, particularly purple loosestrife,” said Moger. The SWAMP program created by the Sisters through the Full Circle House of Prayer provided monthly gatherings, field trips and taught youth the need for care of our earth. It made such an impact on Moger when he was a child that he is now a donor to the fund.
Environmental and sustainability issues became a focus area for the Sisters while living and serving in Texas through Sisters of Mary Reparatrix where they observed the diminishing water table and livestock conditions. Before their move to Michigan, they learned about the pollution of the St. Clair River, tumors in its fish and PCBs in mother’s milk resulting from overconsumption of those fish. Since that time, Full Circle EcoHouse of Prayer, owned and operated by Sisters of Mary Reparatrix, has dedicated itself to raising consciousness about environmental and sustainability issues.
An exciting year is ahead for the Sisters. They recently selected an advising committee to help with grant recommendations from their upcoming grantable budget. “We hope that our grants will be large enough to offer educational institutions money for scholarships and/or give a grant to a group that is working to restore some part of our precious Lake Huron bioregion.”
The Bioregion Reparation Fund will support environmental education, restorative and spiritual programs, projects and services. It aims to raise consciousness about the Earth’s ecosystems, particularly the St. Clair River and Lake Huron watersheds and to support sustainable lifestyles.
For more information on Full Circle EcoHouse of Prayer visit http://fullcircleretreat.org/.
Donors can support environmental and sustainability programs projects and initiatives through the Bioregion Reparation Fund.