This is the story of how trash became treasure and a life-changing moment for some girls in Indiana and in Haiti.
What started as a simple project for our Junior Girl Scout Jeweler Badge became an act of love and a major fundraising effort for scholarships for children at our mission church in Haiti.
Yes, our girls learned about creating unique designs from unwanted necklaces, but they learned more. They learned about how seemingly small efforts can build together and make a difference.
Our assignment? Design a necklace for yourself and one other person (meeting two of our badge requirements, one to make a piece of jewelry, and the other to make one to share.)
I was floored when one girl asked if we could sell them for Haiti. And even more so when the rest of the troop agreed.
What began as a simple scrapbook paper and Modge-Podge project became a whirlwind of activity. Nearly 200 necklaces were created for a sale to benefit our Hearts for Haiti program, which in part provides scholarships for children to attend school.
The girls started with a dream: Raise money for Haiti.
And then it grew.
Inspired by their idea and business lessons from another jewelry company that helps out disenfranchised women in Africa, the troop set pricing, learned about marketing (as in, no we don't need a website for a one-time sale, but there are better ways to spread the word), and set a business goal.
They dreamt big.
It was a reach, but we hoped to sell enough necklaces to raise enough for three scholarships for students in Haiti. Our eye-opening moment: A year's tuition was a mere $300 compared to American standards.
We didn't quite make the full three scholarships, but we were inspired. And inspired others. Tens and twenties were dropped in the donation jar and as the church service times passed, our goal reached higher....
Four services later, these girls raised more than $700 - allowing for two students to attend school worry-free for a year. We're proud. But we're even prouder of the kids in their class, when the results were announced at school, who want to something too.