Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cereal Boxes = Hope

It's an amazing thing to watch a cereal box...


become a beautiful piece of art.


What was meant for the trash pile and deemed worthless...


repurposed and given new life.


The first time I made the short drive down the road to visit The Apparent Project, I was not expecting to see my own story, your story, and creation's story, through the process of making jewelry.

At The Apparent Project cereal boxes are transformed into treasure, and the lives of Haitian families are restored and redeemed.


"The Apparent Project was birthed out of a desire to see impoverished Haitian men and women be able to raise their children with dignity and not have to consider giving their children to orphanages because of poverty.  It can cost as little as $50 a month to keep a family intact.


The Apparent Project exists to provide creative means for families to earn a living.  Our jewelry program started as a small operation of four women making simple earrings from native seeds in Haiti.  Today it is a full scale operation employing approximately 50 men and women." (from the Apparent Project)



The number of orphans in Haiti has been labeled an "Orphan Crisis."  Oftentimes, mothers do not want to give their babies away to orphanages.  What they need are jobs, education, and skills so that they can provide for their children's basic needs.  Places like The Apparent Project and Haitian Creations are giving families the skills they need to be able to keep their children.  Organizations like these are fighting the orphan crisis at its most foundational level.  They are preventing children from becoming orphans.

The Apparent Project considers itself an "Un-Orphanage."  Isn't that beautiful?



Each woman and each man employed by The Apparent Project is working to learn a trade and create a quality product in order to help their families escape the brutal poverty that sits on this country like a thick, heavy blanket.

Each artist has a story.


Over the next few days I'll be talking about The Apparent Project.  I'll let you know how you can buy jewelry, have a jewelry party, and how you can turn your empty cereal boxes into a way to help Haitian families.

Will you start saving cereal boxes?  This is one of the easiest ways you can help the orphan crisis in Haiti by working to prevent orphans by supporting organizations like these who offer support to families.  Will you dream big dreams with me for these families?

Will you spread the word for this organization, and ask your friends, your schools, college campuses, churches, soccer teams, and neighbors to start saving their cereal boxes?


I won't lie.  I get a little excited when I think of all the cereal boxes that will be recycled and repurposed.  Isn't it always a joy to be a part of something redemptive?

How to Ship Cereal Boxes to Haiti

64 comments:

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

We go through 3 boxes of cereal per week. I'm SO on board!

Jessi said...

Totally! I'm assuming we mail these to The Apparent Project directly?

Hendrick Family said...

Hooray ladies!

Jessi...

I'm going to give a few options for how/where to mail them. Stay tuned.

Heather

emily said...

We too can be saving our boxes, I will be watching to see how to get them there. Also, if you put up the jewelry buying options soon I would love to do these as Christmas gifts.
When I was in Haiti the lady who ran the orphanage there took all the recycling and made beautiful handmade paper- and it is redemptive.

Anna Roorda said...

You don't know me, but I have been following your blog for a while. I am SO on board with this! Really, it gets me excited just reading it.

We Are Family said...

I have several of these necklaces from other parts of the world. They are AWESOME!

Teri said...

I'm very interested in hearing more about this!

KD's Korner said...

Love this idea!!! :)

I reposted it on my blog KD's Korner (kdizskorner.blogspot.com) in order to get the word out to my friends :)

Loving God, Loving Haiti!!!

Kelly D <>< :)

kfsullivan said...

I'l start saving - we six eat lots of cereal and I'll make a copy of this story for all my students.

Extra credit for ECON! Who doesn't want that?

Jana said...

I work with jr. high girls at my church and each small group is supposed to Pick a Cause - a charity or something to support throughout the year. This might just be it! I have been struggling to come up with one that my girls would actually participate in. It is very hard to get a group of 12 year olds together to serve somewhere or for them to bring in donations since they don't really have their own money, per say. But I think bringing in cereal boxes is something they could all easily do..if they remember!! :) I am eager to hear more!

Megan Fletcher said...

I cannot wait to hear how we can buy the jewelry and where we can send the boxes. No way!!!! This is just so amazingly awesome. Really, just made my day a whole lot brighter. I can't tell you how many cereal boxes we use each week. I can see a huge cereal box shipment going out to Haiti soon! Thank you Heather for sharing about these amazing ministries. LOVE, love, love the un-orphanage! Helping mamas and daddies to help their babies. Love it!

Rachel said...

That's awesome (and what beautiful jewelry!) I'll be saving my boxes. :)

Anonymous said...

YAY!! I have emailed everyone from my mailbox to save their boxes and I will do a bulk mailing...EXCITED! Debi

mandi said...

Yes m'aam. I'm going to get our youth group on this. Those necklaces are beautiful.

In related news- we raised over $1,000 for Heartline through our purse party this weekend!

Kimberly said...

Yes, yes, yes! Off to salvage one box from the trash right now. :)

Falyn & Joyanne said...

My daughter Joy and I will be saving boxes and I can't wait to show her why. I'll be looking for the info, and I'd like to know how to order the jewelry as well. I love this. I love this. I love this.

Rachel said...

I couldn't have thought of anything better to do with them! I look forward to hearing how we can get our "trash" into the beautiful hands that will transform them.

Rachel said...

A question: Can it be any type of thin, non-corrugated cardboard? Like frozen waffle boxes, granola bar boxes, etc.? I have those too because they're pretty much the same material as a cereal box.

Aislynn said...

I'm excited. I posted it on Facebook, and I already have 10 people on board. They don't even know what it's for other than to Help Haiti. I will be posting this now. Thanks for sharing!

Hendrick Family said...

Rachel...

Yes. Shelley said as long as they are no smaller than a poptart box, they will work!

Glad you asked!

Heather

Rochelle said...

This is beautiful!! I am so desperate to bring a skill or something like this to help Pastor Nahum and his orphans in Mirebalais. Being up in the mountains I don't know how to connect them with great ministries like this in PAP. I will be in Haiti again from Dec.9-16th to create child sponsorship profiles for his orphans. Please let me know if you have any ideas of how I can connect these people I love so very much with something like this that could bring hope and redemption to their village.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Stopping back over (cause I weirdly can't stop thinking about this...) to see if you had info up on where/how to send these. I want to blog about this over at my place, but will wait until the details are firmed up!

Jennifer said...

Yes, yes, yes! I'm so excited to learn of more ways to keep families intact!! We'll be saving ours and I'll start spreading the word! :)

Hendrick Family said...

How sweet to blog about it.

The next post won't be up until tomorrow. It would be too long to write today. Getting stuff into Haiti is always really tricky with our top notch government and super speedy customs office (TOTAL SARCASM).

Tomorrow's post will give several options for how to get the boxes here. I knew people would need to know why they can't just pop them in the mail directly to Haiti. So it will take some time to explain why mailing them straight to Haiti would mean your boxes may go anywhere BUT to the place you want them to go.

No fears though. We have a couple easy suggestions.

Heather

Jana said...

Our family is one big cereal eating machine! Waiting to hear how we can help!!!

The Olsons said...

Heather,

This is great... I just went to the Apparent Project website and wanted clarification. It sounds like they only want Haitian residents to donate cereal boxes to help clean up Haiti, not US sending our boxes... Did I read that correctly?

Dana

Hendrick Family said...

Dana,

Yes, Shelley has made the need known around Haiti that she needs boxes, and this is a great idea since this country is overflowing with trash.

I'm glad this is an option for families like mine here in Haiti. It's a no brainer for us to take our boxes to the Apparent Project.

But, this ministry is completely out of boxes right now, and that's a shame. I think with a collective effort, we can get enough boxes into their hands that they won't have to slow down or run out again.

Shelley is totally on-board with this and knows we're asking for boxes.

Heather

Kelli said...

I work with troubled teenagers, and are always looking for ways to give back to the community. They have the desire, but usually don't have the resources. They can totally do this... and I'm SO excited to share it with them! 16 teenagers eat A LOT of cereal.

Dena said...

Yes, YES, YES - saving boxes, sending boxes, praying, will spread the word. My whole family is excited to have a way to help, esp. since the Heartline purses are out of stock apparently. We were ready to buy them for Christmas gifts for every woman and girl on our list! Thank you so much for this opportunity!
Dena

Brandon and April said...

totally game! and excited!!

Dena said...

Forgot to ask - Our recycling truck comes tomorrow, so our bin is full of all kinds of boxes - BOOST nutritional suppliments, Soft drink 12 pack boxes, and others. Do they only use cereal boxes?

The Mosiers said...

Excited to have a place for all our Cheerios boxes to go!! Will definitely be spreading the word to our church family/friends in FW.

Love, love, love those necklaces!

Alicia said...

This is so awesome! I have looked on-line for products that will support the people of Haiti, but haven't found much to get excited about. We adopted our son from Haiti and fell in love with this beautiful and broken country.
This jewelry is great and it looks like the journals are very cool.
Thanks for spreading the word!

Jennifer said...

Hi Heather,

I think I met you once at my sister's house (Erin H.), back in your couponing days :) I've been following your blog for a while now and am really glad to see The Apparent Project show up here. I've got about 20 of their necklaces hanging in my closet right now that I picked up at an auction through work. They are beautiful and I really, really love the project's mission. I also love that each necklace comes with the creator's story. Plus now I have a lot of my Christmas shopping done!

I also love the Heartline purses - I saw some at Erin's house last week and just saw Gina Gaston's story on the news, it was really good! I love reading about your family's experiences and the ways we can help. Thank you for all that you do to share both the beauty and the needs of the Haitian people!

Hendrick Family said...

Dena...

Shelley said they can use any cardboard that is like cereal box material, but the container can't be any smaller than a pop tart box.

Hope that helps.

Jennifer...

I heard we were on the news tonight, but we haven't seen it. Kind of nervous about seeing it.

Heather

Melda said...

I see an AWANA project coming up!
Love that this can be something the kids can understand. Zion said this morning that he was going to ask Santa for 20 tents to leave in Haiti. Touched my heart!

Shelli said...

I would love to contribute boxes, and spread the word on my blog. Can't wait to learn more!

Jennifer said...

Here you go, Heather! And everyone else out there. Enjoy - it's a great story!

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news%2Fnational_world&id=7794809

Stephanie said...

Thanks so much for posting about this ministry! It is an awesome example of redemption, as you already stated.

I've posted a quick snippet of this on my blog and we await anxiously to get more information from you so we can present it to our Sunday School class!

Rachel said...

Are these the necklaces you've talked about before? I know that you've talked about necklaces made by women from another country. I think it is the one you are wearing in your blog header photos.

goddess95 said...

What a great way to recycle! This is amazing--I can't wait to spread the word. I'm sure we can get many cereal boxes your way! Thanks for sharing all your info with us!

Cami Franklin said...

I'm so excited about this. I know you are busy - but take the time to read my blog for today and see how you, your family and your blog is affecting me. so very thankful for you!

http://thefranklinupdate.blogspot.com/

Cami Franklin said...

I am so excited about this! I know you are busy - but please take a few moments to read my latest blog post so you can see how this is already affecting my life. Thank you!!!

http://thefranklinupdate.blogspot.com/

Jessica said...

I'm having a party for the cereal box thing. Love you Heather!!!!!

Tasha Via said...

I saw that you already answered this, but we would LOVE to help! Let us know what to do and where to send them. This is wonderful Heather!

I'll blog about this tomorrow. You're going to get tired of me liking to you all the time, ha!

Love you and your family and I don't even know you:)

Toknowhim said...

I totally want to be a part of this in some way...will stay tuned to get more details...

Blessings

Lindsay and Ben said...

I am SO excited about this! We eat TONS of cereal! I'm all over getting those boxes down there! Please tell me how!

Also, my husband and I are in love with Haiti and found your blog a few weeks ago. We are coming that way in April and we would LOVE to meet your beautiful family when we are there. This will be our first (of MANY, we hope) trip to Haiti and we're stoked!

Lindsay Rossetti

Jenn V said...

I'm on board too! I'm going to involve my church and just blogged about it.

Anonymous said...

how much do the necklaces sell for at the parties and stuff?

Anonymous said...

I was also wondering what the price range of the jewelry is at the jewelry parties....Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Thanks so much for the post! We will have to send them your way. I'm doing children's ministry at our church currently so we will all start saving! I cannot wait to find out about how to purchase some of the jewelry.

Sara B. said...

I am very excited about this! Where can we get this jewelry?

Grace Family said...

I re-posted your post onto our blog...
amazinggracefamily.blogspot.com

and am taking collections from both mommy groups that I'm in, giving away a prize to the mom that can contribute the most in each group!

Can't wait to get the info on how to purchase the jewelry or throw a jewelry party!!

What an awesome picture of God taking trash and making treasure, physical, emotional and spiritual treasure!!!! Love that you have this outlet to give those of us over here a chance to be a part of the story of Haiti!! I'll let you know when our package is on it's way and will for sure pay the shipping for you!

Katie said...

OK, we are sooo on board with this. As a family of 7, we go through a lot of cereal. This is something even my 2, 3 and 4 year olds can understand.

Reuse
Orphan Prevention
Work
Helping


Question: Do they need the top and bottom flaps of the boxes or do they discard those? If they don't need them, we can cut them off here (to decrease cost).

Thanks!

Amy said...

I'm so excited about this opportunity. I'm going to post about it on my blog plus try to get my church involved!

Grace, Hope and Joy said...

Saving our boxes as well as some friends!

Marla Taviano said...

This is so incredibly awesome. I'm late to the party but TOTALLY IN. And lots and lots of people are spreading the word about this. Praise Jesus!!

Hannah Andrews said...

Do other cereal like boxes work? Like oatmeal...or mac and cheese?

Anonymous said...

Just seeing if there was any way to purchase any of the jewelry. Thanks so much for posting!

Hendrick Family said...

Yes. You can order the necklaces online at the Apparent Project's website. Just click on "shop."

Thanks!

Heather

Jenn @ Spejory said...

Heather,

My Sunday school class has been saving cereal boxes since you posted this and they are still bringing in more each week. I also blogged about it. Is there a deadline to this collection? Everyone seems to be having a good time bringing them in and I can send some now and some in a month or so if they keep bringing them in.

Anonymous said...

Heather, just found your blog through a friend & am loving it. Your family is adorable, & we can't wait to start saving cereal boxes. =)

- Brenda N.
in Georgia

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mccart said...


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