Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Unexpected Launch of Our Charity Project!

kindness kits & the urban craft charity project. photo by Andree-Lise Photo

Whew! Hello, guys and gals! I'm coming atcha today from a brand new computer (thank goodness), armed and ready to get this show rolling again! We are still reeling from the fabulous success that was our first show and already gearing up for the next show on October 1st (which is just a little over 2 weeks away--can you believe it?)! I'm really excited to share today's post with you, because it warms my heart like little else can.

The weekend before our first show in September, Robin and I went to brunch at The Manx with our good friends Lauren and Justine. All four of us are small, creative business owners so the conversation inevitably ends up turning towards business whenever we get together. As we were chatting about business-y things, we got to chatting about Urban Craft and how things were coming along. I off-handedly mentioned to the girls that I had seen the neatest thing called 'Blessing Bags' on Pinterest just a few days before. These bags where kits assembled with important hygiene and food items that you could assemble and hand out to homeless people you encountered on the street. I immediately fell in love with the idea and told the girls that I hoped we could assemble and sell these at a future edition of Urban Craft. They loved the idea, and then the conversation moved onto the next topic.

blessing bags! photo & idea from Joy's Hope

Two days later I received an email from Lauren. "Krista," she asked me "How serious are you about putting together those bags? I've already got someone who's willing to donate 78 bars of deodorant!" In the 48-some hours since Lauren and I had had the conversation about the blessing bags, she had literally gone out and started launching the project. Her passion and enthusiasm was so evident that I was just blown away. She offered to take the project on, assemble the bags and man the table at Urban Craft if we had space for her.

Needless to say, our answer was a resounding YES!

lauren and her lovely table (she'll probably hurt me for posting this photo! photo by Andree-Lise Photo

On Saturday Lauren showed up with 24 adorable, color-coordinated paper bags filled with useful items, which we decided to call 'Kindness Kits'. Lauren set up her table and filled it with all of these kits, priced at $5 each to recover the costs of the supplies only. She had arranged to be donated to The Ottawa Mission after the show so they would go directly to those most in need. As people began to stream into the show, the kits began to go very quickly. By 11am, Lauren had sold all 24 of the kits she had assembled.

By 11:15am, she had to start taking orders for the bags.

By the end of the day, Lauren had not only sold all of the 24 pre-assembled bags, but had raised enough money to assemble FIFTY more. "People would not only give me $5, but just hand me a $20!" Lauren told me. The kindness and generosity of our show's attendees was so exhilarating and still touches me to this day. Last week, Lauren dropped off the 75 'Kindness Kits' to The Ottawa Mission. We truly hope they help the people who receive them.

At that initial brunch meeting, I told Lauren and Justine that I had hoped we could run a charity table to benefit a different charity "every other month or something." I had hoped that we could help out charities that addressed issues in urban areas, since we're called "Urban Craft". Thanks to Lauren, we will not only be helping out a different charity "every other month or something" but a new one every single month. We already have charities lined up between now and December and we're so completely thrilled and excited!

No comments:

Post a Comment