Rain Coille
Rain Coille.

FOR RAIN COILLE, deciding to fundraise for American Forests was simple, considering Rain’s namesake.

“Coille is Gaelic for forest,” Rain says. “It’s a name I chose for myself, so my name is literally ‘Rain Forest’.”

Rain is a disabled artist in Arlington, Va., who focuses on the natural world and environment through art.

“I feel that there’s a disconnect from urban life and nature,” Rain says. “So, I try to get people to think about nature as this living thing, instead of just something to look at.”

After witnessing forest fires raging in California and Oregon, along with the series of hurricanes striking the Gulf Coast, Rain viewed the natural disasters as a call to action.

In response, Rain organized a Facebook birthday fundraiser, encouraging family and friends to donate to American Forests. The campaign was run through Facebook’s fundraiser tool and ran for two weeks, raising $150, exceeding the initial goal of $100.

Facebook’s fundraising tool has been around since 2016, and allows individuals to set up donation drives to a nonprofit of their choice. All you need to start one is a Facebook profile and a network of friends that care enough to help out. To start fundraising, you could visit American Forests’ Facebook page and click the “Create Fundraiser” button at the top of the screen, and you’ll be guided from there.

Rain’s fundraiser happened to be running at a very opportunistic time. Thanks to a very special partnership, American Forests was offering to plant two trees for every dollar donated. This meant Rain was able to plant 300 trees with the help of friends and family.

“Someone said that it was selfless of me to ask for tree plantings,” Rain says. “I really don’t feel that it was because whenever we do anything to improve or protect the environment, it’s one of the most important gifts we can give to ourselves.”