Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Christmas Ornament fundraiser!!!

Soon I will be starting a new and exciting fundraiser for my trip. I wanted to go ahead and tell you a little bit about it, as a preview! Just in time for the holidays, this fundraiser involves SHOPPING- and it's for an amazing, excellent cause!

Starting sometime in the next week or two, I will be selling handmade ornaments made by artisans who work for the ApParent Project. I have talked about this ministry a little bit before on my blog, but here's a refresher: ApParent project is a ministry that helps parents in Haiti. We all know that Haiti is a poor country- the poorest in our hemisphere, in fact. Sadly, because no one (almost) in Haiti has any money, parents there often give up their children because they can't afford to care for them. There are many ministries working in Haiti that try to reunite kids with their parents, rather than immediately shipping them off to North America (Children of the Promise, the excellent facility where my little buddy Anell used to live, is one of those good-guy ministries), and ApParent Project fits that description. Here's the gist: local parents in Haiti get jobs with ApParent Project and their suppliers, Market Haiti. They make crafts, and all the money from those crafts goes back to the artisans who made them. Because of that income, moms and dads are able to raise their kids instead of giving them up! It's pretty amazing! And each handmade piece comes with a little tag telling you about who made it. I have several bracelets from ApParent Project (which I bought from my friend Ashley when they were fundraising to bring Anell home), and I have saved all the tags. The most recent one showed a picture of a young man who is living in a tent, trying to raise his son. The tag tells you what they're working toward- whether it's a new home, an education, or whatever. It's just indescribably awesome.

So now on to the fundraiser part. I will soon be receiving a box of 150 handmade ornaments. A popular art medium in Haiti is metalwork from recycled materials such as oil drums. These ornaments are made from recycled metal. There's a loop of ribbon at the top, complete with some paper beads. And of course, there's the tag telling you about who made it! When the ornaments arrive, I'll be adding a PayPal "Buy Now" button to the top of my blog. If you'd like to purchase an ornament, you can do so that way, or get in touch with me directly. And now I will host a little question-and-answer session with myself, for details.

Q: How much will the ornaments cost?
A: If you buy an ornament (or more than one!) online, I am requesting $10 per ornament. This is what was recommended to me by ApParent Project staff. If you would like to mail a check, or live near me and would like to pay in person, just get in touch with me- there's a little discount. : ) The $10 per ornament cost DOES INCLUDE SHIPPING. Just FYI.

Q: Why would it be cheaper to buy the ornaments in person, rather through PayPal?
A: Because PayPal charges a fee. That's the easiest answer. So does WePay and GoFundMe, the other fundraising tools I'm using. For example, a $10 donation actually gets me $8.90. It makes things easier, but it does take a bite out of donations. Checks are totally fine, though, if you want to pay that way. And, like I said, the $10 covers shipping.

Q: How much money will go to the moms and dads in Haiti?
A: More than half. I will be sending back $5 for each ornament I sell- which is really awesome and it's a great way for all of us to help each other!

Q: What do the ornaments look like?
A: There will be 3 different designs- -50 ornaments of each. They say "peace", "love", and "joy", which are three of my favorite words! There's a sample picture at the bottom of this post.

Q: How long will this fundraiser go on? 
A: I will have the ornaments for 6 weeks once they arrive. After that time period is up, I send the money I've collected, along with my leftovers, back to ApParent Project.

Q: What would I do with an ornament, anyway?
A: I have compiled a list just for this occasion! Here are some people you could give an ornament to:

  • Your boss
  • Your coworkers
  • Teachers
  • Pastors
  • Neighbors
  • Your veterinarian
  • Bible study group leaders and other church-y friends
  • Your mechanic
  • Use them as stocking stuffers
  • Or Secret Santa gifts
  • Give one to your kids' babysitters
  • Hand them out to those hard-to-shop-for relatives
  • Buy one for the mailman
  • Or the garbage man
  • Or any other person who helps you out day to day
  • Keep some for yourself
  • Buy them all and donate them to a children's hospital (just a thought!)
Q: When will the fundraiser start? 
A: As soon as I get the ornaments. There was a slight delay recently because of a customs strike in Haiti- nothing was coming out of that place. But the strike has ended and the folks at ApParent Project (who work out of Florida) have been working like craaaaazy to get boxes packed and out to folks who are doing fundraisers. I was originally supposed to expect mine by Halloween, but things have been delayed by a week or two. 

So that's the deal! I'm really excited about this fundraiser! I hope I will be able to help you out with at least some of your Christmas shopping this year! : )

Here are the ornaments! Aren't they cute??


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