I Am TreePeople : Hilarey Benda

We believe trees are healers.

Beyond their climate-fighting powers, trees can move us toward emotional healing, too. That is why we offer tree dedications. Not only do dedications support a climate-resilient LA, but they offer a means to symbolically celebrate, honor or memorialize a loved one.

Hilarey Benda, Founder of Beople’s Buddies, is a shining example of someone using tree dedications powerfully.


“I’ve never viewed any one life as more important than another.”

Beople’s Buddies is a unique non-profit animal adoption organization with a focus on the inner-connectivity of all life. Her vision for the company began while pursuing her Masters in Social Work. She knew one thing for sure: she wanted to unite her love for animals, people and the environment.

Upon graduation, she was left with a decision. Take a risk and follow her dreams to start her own organization, or enter the workforce always questioning if she made the right choice. She chose to risk.

In 2013, a year after graduation, the organization was in full swing. Beople’s Buddies was no ordinary nonprofit. It was developed with intention, focused on rehabilitating pets with health or behavioral issues before placing them in compatible homes.


Honor a loved one. Create a green LA. Dedicate a tree today.

Animals, People AND the Environment

To Hilarey, the organization wasn’t complete without an emphasis on the environment. That’s why, for every successful adoption, Beople’s Buddies partners with TreePeople to dedicate a tree to celebrate their adoption. 

Her courageous endeavor has done more than unite companions. It’s helped build a green LA, one adoption at a time. Tree dedications help protect trees from drought, reduce the effects of climate change and restore our mountain forests.

Each adoptive family receives a heartfelt Paw Prints card, a special design for pet dedications.

Today, Hilarey has no qualms about her risk. “Go after what makes you happy,” she said. “That way, you’ll never have regrets.”

Her investment in social work has played a significant role in the organizations’ structure.21954425818_4d893b4e7c_k

Future pet parents spend a trial period fostering their future family member before completing the adoption process. During this time, Beople’s Buddies provides specialized care and support to ease the transition. The team fields questions, offers training tips and ensures the process is moving smoothly. Hilarey finds that this method is the best way to ensure animals find the best forever homes.

“I’ve always felt called to be a helper,” she said, explaining the drive that keeps her moving forward. Over the years, Beople’s Buddies has helped to place 34 animals in loving homes.

We’re so thankful for risk-takers like Hilarey, for making LA a sustainable and friendly place to live. They inspire us to keep going.

Feeling motivated? Visit Beople’s Buddies to find a buddy or honor a loved one with a tree dedication

By Erika Abdelatif

Erika Abdelatif is TreePeople’s Social Media and Digital Content Manager. When she isn't creating a climate-resilient LA via the Facebook, she's probably writing in a coffee shop, infesting the internet with memes, or watching an open mic.