The Abundance Foundation: Is There Anything (Good) these Folks Won't Do?


The environmental world is not short of a non-profit or two, as witnessed by the impressive list of organizations to support in our 2007 Gift Guide. You might be forgiven, then, for wondering why we need any more, but the fact is that there are millions of issues that need tackling in our quest for sustainability, and the non-profit sector is just one forum where much of the action is taking place. It was with interest, then, that this author received a newsletter from a new, local North Carolina non-profit known as the Abundance Foundation.

The Foundation’s remit seems to be almost anything that will help move us towards a localized, sustainable, post-fossil fuel economy. While it was officially founded in 2005, 2007 was the year that they really cranked up the action - projects included supporting their local Farmers' Market; funding a regional seed saving initiative; organizing local food dinners; and developing plans for a vermiculture operation. Along the way they have also created an education program in partnership with Piedmont Biofuels (whose co-founder Lyle Estill we interviewed here, here and here) for 2008 that will include workshops on solar energy, mushrooms, and biofuels for women. As if this wasn’t enough, they also organized an eco-minded presence for the annual Pittsboro Christmas parade, and secured funding for solar panels on their local school. Fortunately, for such a driven bunch, these folks are anything but humorless eco-fanatics, as witnessed by their hilarious set of FAQs:

What is your EIN #?
The Abundance Foundation Federal Employer Identification Number is: 20-4327530.
Who’s idea was The Abundance Foundation?
I believe it started with Rachel Burton, went into Lyle Estill’s to do box and then Tami Schwerin decided to implement. Andrea Young said she wanted in and away we went.
Will planet earth be O.K.?
Yes. The planet will be fine. It’s humans that may have a tough go of it.
Are you a bunch of pathetic gloom and doom types who are wasting your money on this stuff?
No.
Don’t you think everything will by OK because we will come up with something?
No.
Isn’t it true that sometimes you just get screwed by the man and there is nothing you can do?
Not when you manifest your own reality.
How can you say the whole world works for you? Does George Bush work for you?
George Bush has been a huge boon to renewable energy.
Are you just a bunch of hippies that hang out in the hot tub discussing sustainability?
No.

This author is delighted to see such a small organization with such a broad scope of ambition taking off in his back yard, and he's looking forward to seeing what they come up with next. According to the group's website, they are "in talks with the largest funders on the planet, and on the other [they] are in talks with the smallest projects imaginable." Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Abundance Foundation can do so here.

::The Abundance Foundation::via site visit::

Tags: Biofuels | Farmers Markets | Local Food | North Carolina | Renewable Energy

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