I have a wonderful opportunity to partner with an organization in Haiti to do a fundraiser for my nutrition mission work. As many people may already know, I do not receive pay for my work. My daily living expenses come from donation money. In December, I went to an event in Haiti that featured all different kinds of arts, crafts, jewelry, and clothing that were being made in Haiti by the Haitian community. I fell in love with the work being done at ViBella, an organization that hires women to create beautiful pieces of jewelry (many of the pieces feature the recycled plastic bottle beads or metal bottle caps). The pieces of jewelry were so unique-- something I felt belonged in a boutique. I couldn't stop gooing over the delicate little hair-clips, the feather earrings, and the strands of beads.
When I returned home from Haiti for Christmas break, I made my mom order all her christmas gifts off the website. We were pleased with the purchases! At that time, I also decided I wanted to try fundraising for my mission through a different way...so I reached out to ViBella about their fundraising options. I thought it would be a great way to further impact the lives of women living in Haiti... giving them an income to support their families... while also bringing beautiful pieces of Haiti to those who know me or know about my mission work here.
The ViBella wall of Fame! It was fun to see the pieces become more advanced with the increased skill the ladies had obtained.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit the ladies at ViBella. They were all very sweet! One of them is even expecting a baby soon! When they had found out I was a dietitian, they were all amazed by how many Haitian foods I could list. After looking around the facility and chatting with their manager, I was called over to the table of ladies. They asked me what I eat in Haiti... they were really interested. Maybe someday I will be able to host a nutrition class for them!!
|Two of the ladies at work!|
|Work in Process!|
|Finished pieces ready for shipping!|
|Love this wall of art! These are the demos for how to color the plastic for the beads!|
This was a great opportunity for me to see the work that my mission is also supporting through the fundraiser. You see-- every purchase you make, I only get 30%. The other 70% goes to support these women and towards improving the community in-which these women live. I figured this would be a great way to support the efforts of other organizations in Haiti, while also supporting my own mission--bringing nutrition education and access to balanced eating to the people in Haiti.
I have left the fundraiser as an "open" fundraiser-- meaning it has no end date. The reason for this is because the 30% that comes to my mission will be used to help with my travel expenses over the next (few) year (s), covering my professional credentials, as well as supporting nutrition education and programming in the Haitian communities in which I serve. As my year-long stent of living in Haiti is quickly dwindling away (I am going to graduate school this fall), I know that I will be returning to Haiti several times over the course of the year, and I have big visions for programming, education... and maybe some business (es) that will need funding.
So it's simple. Just check out the website: http://www.vibellajewelry.com/ and if you see something you like and buy it--just put my name "Kristina DeMuth" in the memo at check-out!
I thank you in advance for supporting me, supporting the ladies at Vibella, and making the world a little more beautiful! :)