Tree 4 Hope is a non-profit organization committed to providing a bright future of long-term hope for children, elders, and their families in Guatemala and around the world, focusing on education, health, and mental wellness. We design our projects to meet basic needs, empower local communities, build relationships, promote cultural exchange, and inspire youth.
Letter of Dedication
To the Children of Hogar Miguel Magone and Hogar Maria Auxiliadora,
The Elders of El Centro de Ancianos,
The Families of La Limonada, La Mandarina, and el Limón,
And All Who Have Been Orphaned, Widowed, Oppressed, or Forgotten
in Guatemala and Around the World:
Tree 4 Hope is dedicated, quite simply, to you. The world at large may have overlooked the immense value that you bring into it, but we have not. Having walked with you in times of both great joy and terrible suffering, and having been transformed by the friendship that you graciously extend to us, we recognize you for the extraordinary gifts that you are. Consequently, we commit ourselves long-term to your health, education, and fundamental well-being, and we promise never to give up on you. With enthusiasm, we look forward to many more years of serving, learning from, and being in community with you. You have blessed us more than you know.
Blessings and peace,
Jennifer Crist, Co-Founder and Board Member
Jennifer holds a Masters Degree in Neuroscience and Anatomy from the Penn State College of Medicine and has co-authored four papers in the field, including one in The Journal of Neuroscience. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters of Divinity at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. Having been a program coordinator at the women’s shelter Shalom House and a court-appointed child’s advocate for Cumberland County, Jennifer was recognized by the Jefferson Awards Foundation in 2006 for her service work in both Pennsylvania and Guatemala. As a third degree black belt, Jennifer enjoys teaching and competing in kung fu, and she is passionate about helping people find personally meaningful ways to serve others.
George H Crist PhD, Co-Founder and Board Member
Dr. Crist is the CEO of GreenLoop IT, a privately held IT organization comprising several businesses that coordinate supply chain solutions in the IT sector. Dr. Crist has grown several businesses from start-up through divestment and has served on the Board of Directors of Estari, Filescout, and Edge Biosciences. He currently serves on the youth council of the South Central Workforce Investment Board. In 2012, Dr. Crist was honored by Governor Tom Corbett with a Governor’s Impact Award for his efforts to reintegrate ex-offenders into the workforce. Dr. Crist holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from the Pennsylvania State University, is published in the field of metabolism, and teaches Chemistry part-time at the Harrisburg Area Community College. His work led to a U.S. Patent for the treatment of Type II Diabetes.
Together with their seven children, Jennifer and George split their time between a small farm in Harrisburg, PA and a townhouse in Antigua, Guatemala. Before officially founding Tree 4 Hope in 2010, the pair adopted their first son Johnathan from Guatemala in 2004, twin daughters Natalie and Tabitha from Ethiopia in 2008, and sons Kevin and Gustavo from Guatemala again in 2009. Learn more about their story here.
Kristen Mam, Board Member
Kristen worked at Highmark Blue Shield for 13 years, spending many of those years taking college classes. She graduated with a degree in English from Penn State University in 2010. In 2011, Kristen organized the first annual Tree 4 Hope Turkey Day 5K, which has since become a very popular Thanksgiving Day race in the Harrisburg area. The same year, Kristen and her husband brought their son, Elijah, home from Ethiopia after a difficult adoption process. Kristen left her job at Highmark in June 2012 to become a full-time mother to Elijah. Kristen is an avid trail runner and ultra-marathoner, and you can find her on the Appalachian Trail most weekends. She also sings in her church praise band and enjoys vegan cooking and baking.