In the Fall of 2009, Shelley and Corrigan launched their job creation initiative in Haiti - what we know as The Apparent Project. Four women were selected who were at risk for giving their children up. Shelley taught them how to roll beads from recycled cereal boxes/paper and then string them into jewelry.
In the beginning Shelley was handling all the shipping herself. I actually received my very first box of jewelry directly from Haiti. I sent Shelley an email, she packed up a box and had to find someone who was flying out of Port Au Prince who would be willing to bring it with them and then mail it to me once they got back to the states. My box went to California and then to me here in Florida.
Originally she asked her mom (Marilyn) if she would be willing to deposit a few checks now and then from the party sales. That way the funds could just be transferred electronically to Haiti and she could then pay the artisans. Little did they know that Marilyn's involvement would be MUCH more than just depositing a few checks!
|Jewelry is everywhere! Love this!|
It didn't take long before Marilyn needed help! Jewelry had taken over the house and she was putting in 70 - 80 hours a week as the orders just kept coming. Soon she had some volunteers and within the last year or so, those precious volunteers have become employees. How cool is that? They were working so hard to create jobs for the Haitians and now it has come full circle, creating jobs for these lovely women here in the U.S. at a time when it was really needed. God is good.
|Love this too! How cute is that?|
The biggest request that Kelly has is to "PLEASE WRITE LEGIBLY" That way the proper artisan gets the credit. If she can't read your writing, then someone could be missing out.
She came up with these great end of the year printouts and graffs for our Board Meeting and they were a big hit! Everything made sense to people like me who's mind goes numb when seeing a paper with nothing but a list of numbers on it!
Way to go Vera!!!!
Of course, this is Marilyn (and me!) Absolutely LOVE this lady! The most joyful woman I have ever met. I don't think there could be a more perfect calling for her right now. She LOVES what she does, she LOVES the Haitian artisans and she takes everything in stride.
She never dreamed that she would have a task like AP but she does it well. When you email AP for a box or purchase from MarketHaiti.com - this is who you hear back from. She sits for hours (often LATE in the night) and answers all the emails, organizes them and gets them to the people who need them so that your order can get out as quickly as possible. Plus - she has her hands in EVERYTHING else as well. Including building and keeping up with the MarketHaiti web site. She is one busy lady!
She has sacrificed her time, her home and sometimes her sanity (LOL!) to make it run smoothly. There will be special rewards in heaven for sure!
This is Sandy. Sandy is in charge of packing party boxes. Marilyn prints out the emails and gives them to her and she goes to work. During the Christmas Season this year, they were shipping up to 20 boxes of jewelry PER DAY! That is NOT MarketHaiti.com orders. Each box has at least 150 pieces of jewelry in it. Sandy makes sure that everything is counted, tagged, priced and ready to go.
During this past Oct, Nov, and Dec - a total of 541 boxes of jewelry and fundraiser bracelets were shipped all over the U.S. That is a total of 69,431 items!!!! Bracelets, earrings, necklaces - plus Christmas ornaments, purses, etc. And I thought I had a lot of stuff! Ha! That's a lot of product!!!!
This is Karen. Karen does a little of everything! She helps with the warehouse, helps with the fundraiser bracelets and helps Sandy pack all those boxes. She is an extra pair of hands that is greatly appreciated!
The day that I spent with them, they were unpacking all of the returns from Christmas. After you have a party, you send back the left over jewelry and everyone was helping to unpack so they could be restocked and then sent out again for the next party order request.
It's very important that you send everything back after you have your party. The artisans do not get paid if there is jewelry sitting in your closet somewhere.
This is Keri (and Sandy). Keri is the warehouse and the fundraiser bracelet girl. If you have ordered a box of fundraiser bracelets - she has put it together. She makes sure everything is tagged and counted and you have all the proper paperwork. She is also in charge of the warehouse. She helps keep it organized. She used work in a large warehouse and I'm told she enjoys driving the Forklifts. AP isn't there yet - but when it is - Keri will be able to help!
Speaking of warehouses .........
To give you some perspective. All of this is in half of Marilyn's 2 car garage. In this photo Marilyn was so excited because she had discovered a new place to stack things! Space is tight!!!!
So tight that it spills over into the rest of her house.......
One more introduction.....
This is Daisy! She is the official encourager! I don't know which goes faster - her tongue or her tail. Having a bad day? Don't worry - she's right there to give you lots of love and can't help but lift your spirits! Seriously - I have never met a more friendly dog - she's awesome!
So - that's it! These 6 women - Oh! And Shelley's dad, Craig - and a few other volunteers. That's who make up AP Stateside! Last year, AP did over $775,000 in sales! That's a lot of product for this group of people to keep up with but they make it run as smoothly as possible.
I wrote a similar blog about this back in March. I used Marilyn's pics and expanded some on their shipping info. If you are interested in that - you can check it out here. It was really great seeing all of this in person and getting a better perspective of all that goes on. I got to help unpack and organize things with these lovely ladies. It was so much fun!
A few ways you can help:
1. Be patient if you send a request and don't hear back immediately. Know that you are one of hundreds of emails they receive each day. Only one person handles the emails to keep confusion to a minimum. Marilyn WILL get back to you.
2. Please DO NOT send empty cereal boxes/magazines to this location! There is just no room for them and NO time to pack them up and get them to Shelley in Haiti. If you want to send cereal boxes to Haiti - follow these instructions.
3. Send all of your money and your unsold jewelry back ASAP so the artisans can get paid!
4. Pray for Marilyn and her team! It's a lot to keep all of this organized and flowing out across the entire U.S.
5. Host a jewelry party! Sell fundraiser bracelets! Tell everyone you know about Apparent Project and all that it is doing to alleviate poverty in Haiti!
Until next time........