Monday, October 22, 2012

Shopping with Purpose::Apparent Project

It's a wonder to watch a cereal box...

become a beautiful piece of art.

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

re-purposed and given new life.

It's surprising to hold a necklace in your hand and be profoundly aware that you're holding so much more.

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. 
-- from Apparent Project

The number of orphans in Haiti has been labeled an "Orphan Crisis."  Oftentimes, mothers do not want to hand over their babies to orphanages.  They make this difficult decision because there simply are no other options.  What these mothers need are jobs, education, encouragement, and skills so that they can provide for their children's basic needs.  Most of Haiti's orphans are poverty orphans.  The Apparent Project is giving families the skills they need to be able to keep their children.

Living back in the United States, I don't think I have ever worn an Apparent Project necklace without someone asking me where I got it.  I think this says a great deal about the work Apparent Project is accomplishing.  Their products are well-made, stylish, and cause strangers to ask me where I bought my necklace.  When I buy jewelry from the artisans at the Apparent Project, I have never made a pity purchase.

Shelley Clay and the Apparent Project Artisans have been featured in Vogue Magazine.  GAP sold a limited edition piece from the Apparent Project, and their work is continually featured by Donna Karen.

We are incredibly proud of the work that Shelley and Corrigan Clay are accomplishing in Haiti.

Eat Cereal.  Change Lives.

Do you ever sit and wonder how you can do something to give actually help make this world a better place...something tangible...something real?

Apparent Project in Haiti is doing that kind of work and has given us a concrete way to be involved in what they are doing to offer hope to families living in poverty.

Although Apparent Project is well on its way to becoming a fully sustainable business in Haiti, they aren't there yet.  

"We are in that limbo between aid and sustainability.  
We are always working towards not needing charity to 
sell our products, but for right now, we need YOU." 
-- Shelley Clay 

One of the ways we can help Apparent Project during this time of "limbo" is to send them cereal boxes.  The artisans use these boxes to make the necklaces that Apparent Project sells.

When I sit and think about our family's cereal boxes being turned into a lovely work of art by a family that's striving to stay together and survive in Haiti, I can't get over how simple and yet how beautiful this is.

Apparent Project needs our cereal boxes.

When we lived in Haiti we allowed people in the US to mail their cereal boxes to our house.  Receiving mail in Haiti is incredibly complicated and expensive.  I'll spare you the details.  Suffice it to say....the way our mail system works here in the US does not translate at all...not in the the way the mail system works in Haiti.  Whenever we'd get a shipment of cereal boxes out of customs for the Apparent Project, Aaron would call the Clays and let them know there was a shipment of boxes at our house.  Each time he'd say something like..."Just wanted you to know the cereal boxes are here.  Feel free to come pick them up at your leisure.  No rush.  Just wanted you to know we have them."  Their response?  "Can we come pick them up right now?"

If you thought saving your cereal boxes and sending them to Apparent Project is not really needed or appreciated...I hope that story will encourage you to start saving those boxes.

This is a real need.  It's a real way to help.  It's something we can get behind.

"Rather than write a check in donation, get your community involved, recycle, and give the much needed materials that our artisans need to continue working."  
--  Shelley Clay

photo credit:  Cami Franklin 

Are you looking for a way to get your family, your friends, organization, church, youth group, mom's group, sports team, co-op, or rotary club involved in giving back in a way that is actually helpful?


Kristy Mikell said...

I know Cami Franklin, which has led to my love of Apparent Project! My family saves cereal boxes. What an amazing way the Corrigans have found to "teach a man to fish". I LOVE this project, and proudly buy, wear, and gift the jewelry and other products!


Hendrick Family said...

Thank you for supporting AP and the families behind this great company!

Nicky B said...

Just did a little Christmas shopping....thanks for the post!

Carrie said...

I LOVE their jewelry and hear the same comments when I wear mine. I really wanted them to be a part of my bazaar, but 4 emails (to various addresses) have gone unanswered. Any thoughts on how I might make contact with a "real" person?

Amy said...

We've been saving our boxes! Thanks for getting the word out about these amazing companies!

kSk said...

Oh yay! I STILL have a stack of cereal boxes that I'd been saving since the last time you mentioned this when you were in Haiti. They even survived our recent move!