Once again, Cherry Republic will be selecting worthy recipients throughout the month of December during our 6th annual "31 Days of Giving" campaign. This year, we'll be focusing in a special way on partnering with organizations that are helping to combat climate change and promote the use of renewable energy. Please check back daily as we update this post!

December 1
$5,000 to Inland Seas Education Association 
What's not to love about Inland Seas? They are teachers, data collectors, and protectors of our precious Great Lakes. And this passionate organization does this all while teaching kids how to sail on the Tall Ships that ply Grand Traverse Bay. Inland Seas also has installed solar power arrays that generate nearly all the electrical needs in a year. And this great environmental organization started in 1989, the same year that Cherry Republic was born. (Note: We are thrilled that our $5,000 gift will be matched by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation for a total of $10,000! This matching opportunity runs through December 31, so think about donating yourself to the Inland Seas!)

December 2:
$5,000 to Glen Lake Art Association
This is the final installment of a $15,000 pledge to the fantastic renovation project completed this past spring. And the art community in Glen Arbor, one of the strongest per capita anywhere in the world, just got that much stronger: A bigger better art space, better offerings, better branding, and more staff and outreach. This is our final payment for this building, but it won't be the last for this important community organization.

December 3:
$13,110 to The Leelanau School
This is the final payment of a $35,000 commitment to cover the costs of renovating an eight-unit dorm at our favorite boarding school where nature and individualized curriculum are the focus. This partnership with Leelanau Schools is a win-win for both of us as the renovation resulted in offering the spaces to 12 Cherry Republic college kids in the summer and for some great lounge space for the high school students in the school year.

December 4:
$2,500 to Glen Lake Community Schools Wellness Committee
Following up a grant to The Leelanau School is this contribution to this vital committee at our local public school that is charged with addressing the health and well-being of children and staff. The check is to be used by the Wellness Committee or its chair’s jurisdiction, ideally in a way that values and appreciates our great staff, but that is up to them.

$2,500 to Glen Lake Community Schools Solar Array Project
A second check of up to $2,500 will be pledged as a matching challenge for a 24-panel solar array that will be purchased and installed by Glen Lake’s Envirothon Team. It is great to support go-getter kids who are focused on big issues like climate change and the need to move to the use of renewable energy.

December 5:
$3,000 to Grass River Natural Area
Grass River is a 1,400-acre preserve protecting wetlands, shorelines, and wildlife in Antrim County. They have one of the longest boardwalks in the state which takes hikers through pristine marshland. They also have a great nature center full of hands on activities. The good people who manage this beautiful area are focused on conserving and protecting its watershed, and providing opportunities that increase knowledge, appreciation and community-wide stewardship of the natural environment.

December 6:
$3,000 to Outdoor Discovery Center
This 130-acre parcel of land in Holland, Michigan has six naturally occurring, distinct ecosystems including ponds, remnant dunes, wetlands, meadows, remnant prairies, and lowland hardwood forests. It is where children in Southwest Michigan learn about nature and what makes our state's wild lands so special and important to protect.

December 7:
$1,500 to Leo Creek Preserve
This little organization that manages a small parcel of land just outside Suttons Bay has beautiful Leo Creek flowing through it. Years ago, for weeks in the early fall I would take a take a passel of preschool kids through a low marsh, over this fragile creek, to a blueberry patch. Each trek, I was just awestruck at the sense of wonder of the kids, and this would overcome all the frowns directed at me when their parents saw their kids' mud-soaked shoes. Leo Creek today has some impressive activities to slow global warming. For example, 100% of the power at Leo Creek Preserve is generated from solar panels that power their new deep-water well pump. They also run three carbon-sequestering demonstration programs at the preserve.

December 8:
$3,884 to Traverse Area Recreational Trails
In June of 2018, we placed a sticker on our Hikers Mix that says $1 to TART Trails from every purchase. This simple strategy raises awareness for TART, which does so much to get people out of their cars and into other more global-friendly modes of transport. Of course, it also raises some serious money for an organization managing miles and miles of trails, numerous events, and whose offices are powered 100% through the Voluntary Green Pricing Program at Traverse City Light and Power.

December 9:
$3,494.25 to Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy

This donation is in support of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy's Misty Acres Preserve. It goes toward our annual purchase of two Hereford cattle that are ecologically raised on the farm through a number of terrific demonstration programs. Not surprisingly, this program's success and the success in selling what they raise has overflowed to benefit other farms in the area.