Paper Bead Bracelets – Made in Haiti

Paper Bead Bracelets - Made in Haiti

Each bracelet is $8.00 if purchased in person, $10.00 if mailed in the U.S. (Additional $2.00 to cover the cost of shipping.) If you are interested in purchasing, please contact us at info@bethehopehaiti.org or message us on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/bethehopehaiti. Thank you!

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Newspaper, Bracelets and More

A lot has been happening! We had our very first interview on February 20 with a reporter from the Fountain Hills Times. I was able to spend an hour talking about the back story of how Be The Hope came about, our short term and long term goals, our fundraising efforts, etc. We expect the article to be in the March 6 issue and I can’t wait!

We have a new fundraiser that will help people in Haiti earn a living and help us raise funds for our cause. We received an order of 150 Paper Bead Bracelets handmade in Haiti earlier this week. Haitian artisans use almost any kind of paper: magazines, scrapbook paper, cereal boxes, or other kinds of packaging material to make the beads. The paper is cut into thin strips using guillotine paper cutters. The strips are then carefully rolled on bamboo skewers and then coated with a waterproof coating that serves to protect the bead. After the beads have dried, the artisan will mix the paper beads with seed beads to make beautiful handcrafted bracelets. Every purchase will support the artisan AND help us raise funds to provide a child with a backpack full of school supplies. It’s a WIN-WIN! I will be taking pictures of the bracelets this weekend and will be posting them on our Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/bethehopehaiti We are selling them for $10.00 per bracelet which includes shipping in the U.S. If you are in the Phoenix area and wish to purchase them in person, they are $8.00 per bracelet. (Because we save the shipping cost.) Every bracelet includes information about the Haitian artisan that created the bracelet.

We are also finalizing the details to set up a booth at the Fountain Hills Farmer’s Market to help spread the word about our cause. The market is every Thursday from 11:00 – 5:00 on Avenue of the Fountains. We will be accepting monetary donations as well as backpack donations. We may have the bracelets there as well, but we’re still trying to get that approved.

Lastly, we are trying to get some backpack donation drives set up through schools. If you have a school age child and would like to spearhead a drive for us, please let us know. ImageImage

Let the fundraising begin!

Our very first fundraising campaign was launched today on Indiegogo! The goal is to raise $4,000.00. If we reach our goal, we will be able to purchase 150 backpacks for the kids at Agape Orphanage, La Main Tendre Orphanage, Frem Orphanage, Cite Soleil Youth Center and Mix Emmanuel Primary School. If we don’t reach our goal, we will purchase as many backpacks as we can. If we surpass our goal, we will use the additional funds for any or all of the following: additional backpacks for other schools in need (we already have a couple in mind!), other classroom necessities such as chalk, chalkboard erasers, arts and crafts supplies, and books.

Our clothing donation drive is still underway. We are collecting gently used and new clothing and shoes for ages 1 – 14 (both boys and girls) as well as new underwear for all ages. If you would like to hold a donation drive, please email us and we’ll give you more details. If you live in the Phoenix, AZ area we will pick up any donations too!

Our Indiegogo campaign can be found here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/be-the-hope-the-backpack-project/x/2362242

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

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We’re Live!

It’s been an exciting week! Our website is live! http://www.bethehopehaiti.org It is my first attempt at “building” a website and, although it’s not perfect, I am very proud of myself! I officially contacted some of my friends and family to let them know what I am doing and passed along my web address, Facebook page and blog info. Thirty eight likes on Facebook already! I’ve also had more views on my blog in the past few days. Baby steps!

I created a Twitter account, but I have never tweeted before in my life! I’m waiting for my teenage daughter to help me out with my first tweet.

Our first crowdsourced fundraising campaign is in the works. I have been agonizing over it; I want to make sure it perfectly tells potential donors what it is I hope to accomplish. I also have a few “perks” in the works that donors can choose from at 3 different donation levels. My hope is to launch it sometime next week. My goal is to raise $4,000.00 (so scary!) which will allow me to purchase 150 filled backpacks needed to help the kids that Frantz works  with.

If you would like to help with our cause, here are some ideas and THANK YOU!

The Backpack Project

I have spent a good amount of time researching what to include in the backpacks. I have also struggled with whether or not to purchase the items in the U.S. and ship to Haiti (shipping and customs????) or buy the items in country. I have determined that I can get more for my money by purchasing them here and shipping them there. Assuming all goes well with my first shipment, that will be the route I continue to take, but you never know what will happen!

I have learned a lot from speaking with people that are already “in the trenches”. My initial idea was to have the backpack contain enough school supplies to last one school year. I have since found out that, while it’s a noble idea, it’s not practical. I did not take into account the living conditions in Haiti. The fact of the matter is many of the children that I hope to help live in tents and/or shacks that are not secure. The backpacks could be stolen, they could be sold for money to feed the family, they could be eaten on by rats and they could be ruined, damaged or swept away by rain water (which is a common occurrence in Haiti because the homes are not secure) . That said, I am still 100% committed to the need and desire to provide them to children that need them the most. However, I have scaled down the contents a bit.

Each will contain:

1 – Backpack

1 – Hand pencil sharpener

1 – 24 count crayons

2 – 100 count composition notebooks

1 – 12 pack of pencils

1 – pencil bag

1 – eraser

1 – 10 pack of pens

1 – 12″ ruler

I am partnering with a supplier in the U.S. that will even assemble the backpacks for me per my specifications! A complete backpack with all of the above supplies will only cost $25.00! (I spend more on a backpack alone for my daughter!) Each full-size backpack measures 16.50″H x 13.125″W x 8.25″D. They have one large top loading compartment with double zippers, two front zipper pockets and one velcro pocket. I am so happy to have found them!

My goal is to raise enough funds to purchase 150 backpacks to give to the children that Frantz (Future for the Kids) works with. It looks like my trip will take place in May, so I don’t have a lot of time to achieve this goal. I am hoping to have my fundraising campaign up and running by February 28 at the latest. Meanwhile, I am still collecting donations of new and gently used children’s clothing and shoes to take with me as well. If my fundraising surpasses my goal, I have many more ideas and many more children that are in need of help! There is chalk and chalkboard erasers to buy for the classrooms, art and craft supplies such as markers, colored pencils, construction paper, scissors, etc. (I have set up an Amazon Wish List for these. Search “Be The Hope, Inc.” under Wish List.) soccer balls, and I would LOVE to be able to purchase a portable library of books for one school. Lofty goals, I know!