(RNS) — Over the previous few years, David and Kayta Plescia of Inexperienced Valley Neighborhood Farm in Sebastopol, California have developed a thriving crop sharing program that welcomed members to reap their very own crops, decide flowers and even supplied potato digs for youths. However this yr, the farmers needed to cancel their vegetable sharing program for one basic purpose: there wasn’t sufficient water.
On Wednesday, Sept. 22, Pray.com launched a marketing campaign referred to as Pray for Rain to boost funds for household farmers just like the Plescias by historic droughts in California. The app, which boasts 10 million customers, is partnering with Neighborhood Alliance with Household Farmers (CAFF) and can match every donation dollar-for-dollar, as much as $25,000, till Oct 31.
The unlikely pair will put donations straight towards small-scale California farmers impacted by the drought, the worst the state has seen in a long time. Farmers working on skinny margins are already dealing with labor shortages on account of COVID and fireplace dangers. Now, they’re dealing with record-breaking excessive temperatures and water shortages.
“The draught is the kicker for lots of those farmers,” stated Evan Wiig, Director of Membership and Communications at CAFF. “In the previous few days, I’ve been on the cellphone with so many farmers. They’re questioning, once I’ve labored 80-hour weeks, I’m coated in sweat and I’m barely making ends meet, ought to I proceed? Ought to I purchase the seeds for the following season?”
“California provides two-thirds of the nation’s produce,” stated Steve Gatena, founder and CEO of Pray.com. “We’ve a duty to are likely to the land. It’s actually not nearly California, it’s about the complete nation.”
The concept for the marketing campaign got here to Gatena after seeing “Pay for Rain” indicators displayed on farms alongside a California freeway.
“There are these handwritten indicators lined up alongside the highway, on the sting of actually what was once crops. And now it’s parched earth that’s turning into mud,” stated Gatena. “It’s a cry for assist. I see that as a name to motion for folks with religion, not only for Christians however for anyone with a religion that believes within the energy of prayer.”
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Along with elevating funds, the marketing campaign additionally features a Pray for Rain podcast collection. The five-part mini-series, out there in each English and Spanish, shares the testimonies of California farmers impacted by drought. It additionally offers perception from consultants on how the drought is affecting the native ecosystem.
Primarily based in Santa Monica, Pray.com is the world’s primary app for every day prayer and Bible-based audio content material. It gives Bible bedtime tales, scripture-based meditations and James Earl Jones Bible narrations, all based mostly on the King James Model of the Bible. Gatena stated the marketing campaign matches seamlessly into Pray.com’s mission.
“Once I learn the Bible, to me it’s very clear that we’re chargeable for caring for the environment and for each other,” he stated. “It’s vital that we make prayer a precedence, and likewise that we take motion to domesticate the atmosphere that we have to look after each other.”
Pray.com’s partnership with CAFF comes at a vital time. Wiig stated when CAFF launched their emergency fund for farmers dealing with disaster in August, they obtained 7 or 8 instances extra functions than they may fund. Now, 100% of donations raised by means of Pray for Rain will go to that fund.
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Along with serving to household farms survive the present drought, CAFF is working to construct long-term sustainable farming options — one thing they’ve centered on because the California nonprofit was established in 1978. CAFF companions with farmers to spice up water effectivity, construct up the natural matter of their soil and adapt their farming practices for a drier, hotter local weather.
“In the event that they exit of enterprise, that farm will get was a housing growth, a strip mall, or extra acreage for a big company farm,” stated Wiig. “We have to ensure that the small farms we do have left on this nation can survive. That requires everybody to step up: state and federal legislatures, particular person customers, even locations of worship coming collectively and recognizing how essential the farms are to their neighborhood.”