Thursday, May 22, 2014

Just a little bit.

So, the Haiti jewelry fundraiser is over. Actually, I kept the jewelry a few days later than I was supposed to. And then I couldn't afford priority shipping for the leftovers, so it will take a few days longer for them to get back to headquarters to be doled out to the next fund raiser. Anyway. As I was writing the check this morning for the amount that I was sending them (I had to send a certain amount per piece, and I got to keep the rest) I felt myself becoming frustrated. One reason for doing the fundraiser was to raise the money for my next trip by paying off my debt from my trip to Tanzania. It's kind of a lot. More than I've ever spent on anything else, I mean (besides college.) And some days it scares me, even though I'm not being pressured to pay it back and my wonderful and generous benefactor is not charging me interest. But I really, really want to take care of it, because my entire life is essentially defined by debt at this point- student loans are essentially what is keeping us from becoming parents, because we are pretty awesome at managing our money otherwise and we don't use credit cards and stuff. I just want to get rid of it. And I want to be able to go on my next trip. I want to go NOW. I miss Tanzania sooooo badly, but I also want to go to Indonesia and India and Haiti and Kenya and everywhere else my kids live, and wherever the Lord leads.

But there's also a more urgent reason I did the fundraiser. Half of what I raise through any partnership with Apparent Project goes back to the moms and dads in Haiti who made the stuff. Haiti moves me. Haiti made me cry when I heard about the earthquake. It made me confused when I learned that people are still living in tents, years afterward. It made me love when Ashley and Scott brought Anell home, that wonderful day at the airport. I love Haiti. I care about what happens there. And my heart breaks for the moms and dads who can't feed their kids. My eyes well when I see a new baby at Children of the Promise, brought in by a relative who can't do enough to keep them alive. I want to help, and the Apparent Project fundraisers give me a chance to do that without putting any additional strain on my wallet- instead of giving my own money, I'm sharing neat things and wonderful stories with others, who are in turn able to help these parents by purchasing these bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and, last year, Christmas ornaments. I help a country I love, and I help others learn a little more about the world.

Writing the check this morning made me sad, because my totals were nowhere near what I wanted them to be. I sold six of the 50 necklaces they sent me. A fairly healthy number of earrings, and maybe 20ish bracelets out of 75. I was ashamed of the amount I was sending, and frustrated with myself for not trying harder to get more of that jewelry sold. Sell it at a discount, do more advertising, pester my facebook friends with even more blog posts and status updates. I felt like a failure.

But there's something more important I need to keep in mind. If I hadn't asked to do the fundraiser, I wouldn't have had the chance to share Apparent Project's mission with my husband's family at Easter. I wouldn't have had the chance to share them with the folks who came and read my blog post about the fundraiser. The $189 that I raised for AP wasn't much to me, maybe because it just feels like a drop in the bucket, compared to both the challenges that the people of Haiti face, and the mountain of debt I'm working to pay off. But the old cliche is true: every little bit helps. The money isn't going to go to one individual, but it will go right back to pay all the artisans who work for Market Haiti (that's the name of the group that AP facilitates in Haiti- they make the stuff, send it to the US, and AP distributes it and makes it available for fundraisers and stuff.) When stuff doesn't sell, they suffer. So we helped. It may not have been much, but it helped.

I can't pass up an opportunity to share more kids who are waiting for sponsors. Since we're on the subject, how about praying for these kids from Haiti who are waiting for sponsors? Is God calling you to expand your world by connecting with a child in another part of the world, and helping him or her rise out of poverty?

Lanndra is 7 years old, and her birthday is March 30. She lives with her mom, and she enjoys playing with dolls. Families in Lanndra's region who are fortunate enough to find some employment usually make an average of $37 per month. 

Ismael is 8 years old and his birthday is November 26. He lives with his mom and dad and he enjoys listening to music and playing group games. Families in Ismael's region who are able to find some employment usually make an average of $19 per month.

Ritchana is 8 years old and her birthday is September 2. She lives with her parents and two siblings, and she enjoys art and playing house. Families in Ritchana's region who are able to find employment usually earn an average of $53 per month. 

1 comment:

  1. You're right that every little bit helps. I'm sorry you weren't able to sell more...and that I couldn't buy them this time round!! But I'm glad you were able to help some. And I hope those adorable kids are sponsored soon!!


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