Friday, October 17, 2014

Helping Haiti: Lessons in Love, Jewelry and Making a Difference

Helping Haiti: Our Junior Girl Scouts' jewelry badge project earned enough to sponsor two students for a year in Haiti.Never underestimate some cast-off jewelry and a bunch of fourth-grade girls.

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.

upcycled necklaces for our Junior Girl Scout Jewelry BadgeWhat 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.
Hearts for Haiti fundraiser

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. 

jewelry fundraiser for hearts for haiti scholarships

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.


Unknown said...

What sweet hearts your girls have! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

What a beautiful story and a great group of girls! I am very impressed by how much money they raised. What a great example they are for all young girls.

Brittany at Equipping Godly Women said...

That is so great! What an inspiring story! Thanks for sharing on Equipping Godly Women Fellowship Fridays!

Abi Craig said...

So neat to see kids' vision and efforts to make a difference for someone else.

BrenDid said...

What an amazing idea and outcome! Kudos to the girls for the hard work.

Tarissa said...

Love it when kiddos' hearts are moved to help others! Little God-sized dreamers already mobilizing to change the world - fantastic!