Some of you may have noticed that I've made a few changes to my blog recently. New background, new header, the addition of pages...exciting stuff, right? I've added a page for my Compassion kids, and will soon be adding another page. This one will be for my crafts. I have done Etsy before, and tried the facebook page, but it doesn't really allow for purchasing. I'd like to accomplish a few things with this venture.
1. Pay off debt from trip. My trip to Tanzania cost over $4,000.00, even with my advocate discount (from the actual trip cost, domestic flights, visa, passport, vaccinations, and all the other stuff that came along with it.) That's a really, really big number, considering it's about a third of my annual salary (and almost half of what I make every year goes toward paying off my student loan debt!) I was able to raise almost half of that through donations, selling crafts, and participating in the ornament fundraiser with Apparent Project. There was still quite a bit to cover, so I borrowed the money. I'm thankful that that resource was available to me, but it needs to be paid back. Almost all of what I bring in from the crafts will go to repaying this debt- a sort of after-event fundraiser.
2. Raise money for the next trip. I have had a lot of ideas about what God wants me to do with my life. I thought I had a career picked out, but the whole college thing didn't work out for me (so, so close.) I thought I was supposed to be a parent. It's the only thing I've known I wanted to be for my whole life. But the planets have not aligned, or whatever needs to happen for us to adopt, so I've decided to stop trying right now. If and when it's going to happen, it'll happen. I have a strong interest in adopting from Haiti, but we couldn't do that for at least 9 more years, and I'm just not sure whether we're supposed to pursue any other adoptions in the meantime. But I have figured out something. This short term mission trip thing? Traveling with Compassion to learn and love on the kids and be an ambassador for other sponsors? I have found fulfillment in that. I have found my purpose. Or one of them, anyway. I know that I'm supposed to take more trips like this. If I lived in Colorado, I would apply for a job with Compassion in a heartbeat, and do this for a living. Since we aren't moving any time soon, though, it's up to me to cover the costs. Lord willing, and if circumstances allow, I will pay off the Tanzania trip and then go ahead and borrow the money for another trip (a closer one this time, for financial reasons.) I'd like to continue this pattern of continuous fundraising, borrowing the remainder from my generous benefactor (who will hopefully continue to let me do this) and going on trips. So, if you decided to purchase one of my crafts, in a way you'd be supporting my Tanzania trip because for a while, what I raise will be applied to the balance on that loan. But another way of looking at it would be that you would be supporting my efforts to raise money for my next trip. Where I go and when will depend on how successful this venture is. I have my eye on a Honduras trip for next November, because what I have to pay back is such a large amount that I don't think I'd be able to register for a trip before then. We'll see how it works, though.
3. Support a Compassion cause. Before I went on the trip, I thought it would be cool to also donate a portion of the proceeds from my craft sales and other opportunities to Compassion. My original goal was to make enough so that I could have $20 left over each month to commit to supporting a Child Survival Program (CSP.) While I was in Tanzania, though, I felt God speaking to me about something completely different. Things are still in the works (I submitted my idea to my trip leader, and he is working on getting in touch with the right people to help me with this) so I won't share much right now, but I will tell you that it involves the CIV grants. My hope is to make it a personal mission to raise money for a specific type of grant, center by center, until they have the funds to complete these particular projects. Hopefully I will be able to share more details soon.
So, sometime in the next week or two, you'll see a new tab appear at the top of my blog. I hope you'll check out my craft projects, and share the page with your friends. None of the money I will be bringing in from the sales will be going to me- it will all be going to Compassion and to funding these trips. Sorry to have another post about money stuff, and thank you for your patience in reading this. I hope you will pray for my efforts, that they'll be successful and not stressful!