Cape Girardeau woman helping to plant 'Seeds of Dignity' for imp - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau woman helping to plant 'Seeds of Dignity' for impoverished people

Seeds of Dignity helps people living in extreme poverty in the southern Philippines. Seeds of Dignity helps people living in extreme poverty in the southern Philippines.
Seeds of Dignity partnered with another organization to offer water purification capabilities to remote villages Seeds of Dignity partnered with another organization to offer water purification capabilities to remote villages
Seeds of Dignity helps people how to help themselves Seeds of Dignity helps people how to help themselves
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

It doesn't take a lot of money to make a huge difference. That’s what a Cape Girardeau woman learned through her work in the Philippines.

Kelly Morton is a member of the board of directors for a non-profit called Seeds of Dignity. It’s a relatively new 501c3 organization based in Tennessee. It was started in 2011, but in three short years has already made a big difference in villages located in very remote, extremely impoverished areas of the Philippines.

Morton recently returned from a trip to the southern Philippines where she scouted out new projects, and checked the progress of on-going efforts.

Seeds of Dignity projects largely center around the philosophy that if you give a man a fish he eats for a day, but teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

“We feel that dignity is probably the one thing that is lacking the most in impoverished people, no matter where they are,” said Morton. “They are cast aside, they don’t feel like people care about them, and so their dignity is gone. What we try to do is plant that seed, that they are valuable, that they are worthwhile that they can do things that they maybe thought they could never do.”

Kelly says earning a living builds dignity, and independence, whereas giving someone something for nothing can complicate poverty and make people dependent on outside aid. That’s why in everything Seeds of dignity does, Morton says there’s a component that gets those being helped involved in the process. She says Seeds of Dignity offers people a hand up and not a handout.

“Everything we do has a counterpart. We don’t ever have hand outs. We have hand ups. We believe that people need help, but they’re also willing to work for it. So everything we do has a counterpart.”

Seeds of Dignity has established Feeding programs for children in villages where parents agree to do the cooking, serving, and cleanup. They’ve granted scholarships to students in villages where people are involved in livelihood projects. In those projects Seeds of Dignity will provide goats, pigs or crops to raise, to offer people a way to support their families.

“Families that did not have income prior to this now have income. Not only are they raising goats, they also have to grow the forage for the goat food,” said Morton. “So we teach them how, and give them the seeds, then they plant it and go from there, so it’s totally self-supporting and self-sustaining.”

Other Seeds of Dignity projects include water purification efforts, programs that educate orphans thru high school and even into college, as long as they work to support the program.

The all-volunteer group has leveraged donated dollars to accomplish a lot without a single paid employee. Morton says a good portion of the funding behind the work Seeds of Dignity is doing has come from donors in Cape Girardeau.

The success of seeds of dignity, according to Morton, has been based on the group’s ability to secure grants, donations and build partnerships with other non-profits already operating in the Philippines. She says it’s just been a matter of getting help where it needs to go.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Exchange your child's old car seat for a voucher to get a new one at Target

    Exchange your child's old car seat for a voucher to get a new one at Target

    Thursday, April 19 2018 6:27 AM EDT2018-04-19 10:27:04 GMT
    (Source: Target)(Source: Target)

    Are you in the market for a new child's car seat? If you have an old one, exchange it at Target for a voucher that can be used to purchase a new car seat, booster seat, car seat base, or travel system.

    Are you in the market for a new child's car seat? If you have an old one, exchange it at Target for a voucher that can be used to purchase a new car seat, booster seat, car seat base, or travel system.

  • Trump will skip Barbara Bush funeral, sending first lady

    Trump will skip Barbara Bush funeral, sending first lady

    Thursday, April 19 2018 6:42 PM EDT2018-04-19 22:42:41 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 1:06 AM EDT2018-04-20 05:06:00 GMT
    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump walks down the stairs of Air Force One during his arrival at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday, April 19, 2018.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump walks down the stairs of Air Force One during his arrival at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday, April 19, 2018.
    President Donald Trump is not planning to attend the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush, choosing instead to send his wife, first lady Melania Trump. Trump frequently assailed members of the Bush family...
    President Donald Trump is not planning to attend the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush, choosing instead to send his wife, first lady Melania Trump. Trump frequently assailed members of the Bush family during his 2016 campaign.
  • BREAKING

    Walter Moody executed by the state of Alabama

    Walter Moody executed by the state of Alabama

    Thursday, April 19 2018 10:15 PM EDT2018-04-20 02:15:05 GMT
    Walter Moody (Source: Alabama Department of Corrections)Walter Moody (Source: Alabama Department of Corrections)

    The state of Alabama has executed Walter Leroy Moody Jr.

    The state of Alabama has executed Walter Leroy Moody Jr.

Powered by Frankly