Pella Chronicle

Local News

July 9, 2014

Vermeer Charitable Foundation helps Mango Tree grow

Pella — Over the past two months, Pella has proved to be a conducive climate for The Mango Tree to prosper. For those who haven’t heard the hype, The Mango Tree refers not to a fruit-bearing tree but rather a self-serve frozen yogurt shop that opened on April 22 as part of the ministry of Many Hands for Haiti. Since its opening, many people have enjoyed a delicious cup of frozen yogurt, and now, the Vermeer Charitable Foundation has joined in the fun with the donation of a fifth frozen yogurt machine.

On July 1, a grand opening of the fifth machine was held in The Mango Tree. Many Hands for Haiti’s Executive Leader Tim Brand shared with those in attendance all that’s been achieved through The Mango Tree over the past 60 days of business.

In just over two months, 20,460 cups of yogurt have been devoured, which totals 1,132 gallons of frozen yogurt. The store, which is run entirely by volunteers except for Store Manager Liz Clarke, has enlisted 66 volunteers who have donated over 1,600 hours of service. Approximately half of those volunteers are saving their volunteer points to go to Haiti. In addition, the store’s Facebook page has earned 1,605 likes, further showing the support of the community.

Generous customers also donated a total of $1,266 through the tip jar, and $600 in donations was received from the store’s project sponsorship wall to help feed families and start gardens in Haiti. In total, the operations of the store have raised just over $25,000 for Many Hands for Haiti, as all profits from the store go to benefit this ministry.

While the Mango Tree is doing better than anticipated, the Vermeer Charitable Foundation’s donation of this fifth machine makes a big difference in the store. Because this machine allows the shop to have two more frozen yogurt flavors, it also helps get more people and volunteers in the store. This ultimately leads to more revenue, which means the ministry will be able to help more people in Haiti.

During the grand opening of the machine, Executive Leader Tim Brand commented, “This supports the ministry in a big way and helps us do more for the community.” To which Vermeer Charitable Foundation Executive Secretary Lois Vermeer responded, “We’re grateful that the machine’s here and that this store’s working so well.”

The staff of Many Hands for Haiti and The Mango Tree is thrilled to be doing business in such a generous and supportive community. For those who’d like to get involved, more information regarding The Mango Tree is available at, and volunteer applications are available in the store.

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