When we were looking for our first fundraiser, we needed something that was no-risk. We didn't want to get stuck with 49 leftover t-shirts. Or invest a few hundred dollars we didn't have.
Some random Google search landed me at The Apparent Project's website. I had never heard of these bracelets . . . never known anyone who sold these bracelets, but when I read about the fundraising program, it was a this moment. Yes, this one. Help the people of Haiti, people who want to work, while raising funds for our adoption? This is it.
It was also The Apparent Project that educated me to this reality: many mothers do not want to relinquish their children for adoption. These children are sent to orphanages not because of abuse, not because of neglect, not because mom has died, but because of poverty. And here was an opportunity to help parents parent.
I loved this fundraiser for so many reasons. Let me count the ways:
1. You can bless Haiti and keep families together at the same time. You can help moms and dads who WANT to parent their children. These moms and dads are willing to put their hands to work in order to keep their families intact–to provide shelter and education for their children. The Apparent Project also helps Haitians who want to go to school or start a business. You can do all the above while, at the same time, raising funds for your adoption. A beautiful blessing.
2. No investment and no risk and that's no gimmick. They send you a box of bracelets; you sell; you return the unsold bracelets and only pay for the ones you sold. Wow. You don't have to have any money to make money on this one. You don't have to take a chance. That's crazy wonderful.
3. You will be blessed every time you see a family member or friend wearing one of the paper beaded bracelets. You will be reminded of the many people who have had a hand in helping you and helping Haiti. It's overwhelming.
4. So many people have told us they remember to pray for our family when they look down and see the beads on their wrists. Crazy cool.
5. They are easy to sell. We sold one batch in June-July and another in October-November. Over 600 bracelets sold.
6. Each bracelet comes with a biography of the artisan who made it. When you read these biographies, stories about people just trying to survive, trying to find secure shelter, you will not be able to feel sorry for yourself. Ever again. Your children will catch a glimpse of this, too.
Bracelet Selling Tips
Ask your friends and family members to get involved. Here are ways our people helped:
- Friends and even family members of friends took them to work to sell for us.
- A friend took them to her church (different church than mine).
- My sister lives in a different state, and she asked me for fifty. She sold all of them quite quickly.
- Friends hosted bracelet parties (just like any other kind of party — display the bracelets, eat snacks, have fun!)
- A friend sold them at a local Farmer's Market.
- A friend took them to her homeschooling co-op (different than mine).
Use social media to your advantage.
- Sell them on your blog.
- Ask a friend to consider promoting them on her blog, especially if her audience is different than yours.
- Start a Facebook Event Page and invite your Facebook friends. Ask your friends to invite their friends.
- Post an album of bracelet photos on Facebook, and let people shop from there.
Be fair about shipping costs, and if you use PayPal, don't forget that they take a cut.
- We shipped any size order for $3. It was $1.98 to ship each package and the padded envelopes I used were about .50 each.
Keep a box of bracelets with you at all times. I can't even tell you how many times people asked me if I had any bracelets with me, and I didn't.
Yes. This one, our first, was my favorite.
P.S. You don't have to be adopting to help The Apparent Project. Anyone can host a jewelry party!