Take a step of faith when God gives you a vision because you trust that the One who gave you the vision is going to make provision. And for the record, if the vision is from God, it will most definitely be beyond your means. –Mark Batterson
Wow! I really don’t know where to start. This last month has been somewhat of a whirlwind. We completely rebranded ourselves (more about that on a later blog), launched aDARable, and we are now in the planning phases of returning to Haiti. HOLY FREAKIN MOLY!! It began with the Designing for a Cause class doing their final presentation. This was the day they were going to present to the entire board at O’More College what they had been working on for the entire semester. The Tennessean, The Williamson Herald, WSMV Channel 4 News, would all be there. It was the day an idea that became a mission, became–reality.
Then this past Friday, we launched “aDARable”–our cause-driven clothing line designed by our amazingly talented students at O’More and will soon be manufactured by 10 women in Haiti. In Spring 2014, this collection will be sold in boutiques around Middle Tennessee, and proceeds will further our mission to create a sustainable lifestyle for the families we support.
When I decided I wanted to give hope I knew I wanted to create life changing opportunities to those in extreme need…key word being opportunities. So I would ask myself over and over again the questions, “How do we end poverty?” and “Why do we have so much and others have so little?”. Through my thoughts (which never end), I realized that we have sustainability because we have a means of creating income for our families and ourselves. But what about those people in 3rd world countries where the opportunity doesn’t exist? For decades we have helped through the donations of food, clothing, shoes, medical/dental treatment and so on and so forth. All of these are incredible ways of helping, but what most don’t realize is we’ve created nations dependent upon charity. So again, how do we end poverty? Well we believe it starts with one person earning a job. This job will help to house, feed, clothe and educate one family. When a few more families are added, an entire community is lifted, and when enough communities are on the path to stable growth, the entire country is lifted. But it starts with providing a job.
Through the partnership of O’More College and WEareDAR, our goal is to create jobs for groups of women, empowering their communities and sustaining the future for themselves and the people they love. We will set up our first small factory in Ti Bouk, Haiti, in July, which is where the first collection will be manufactured.
Now, I know exactly what you’re thinking. Third-world country… factory… “sweat-shop”. That is not what this is! The average Haitian makes less than $200 per year. That’s less than a dollar a day. Our women will be earning $140 per month, working under fair trade regulations, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, just like you and I. This truly is a LIFE CHANGING opportunity for these women, their loved ones and the community of Ti-Bouk.
But we still need your help. It’s no small task setting up a factory in a third world nation, especially in Ti-Bouk where there is no running water and no electricity. If you have the desire to support and give back to our world community, please visit us at www.wearedar.org and find out how you can help.
Let me end by saying that none of this would be possible without all of the support that the College has given to our organization. In order to make something amazing happen, you have to surround yourself with amazing people, and God has blessed us with some amazing people already. Dr. Hilliard, Jamie Atlas, Annette Medcalf, Ashlyn Hines, Macey Baird, Karol Lahrman, Taylor Richardson, Strader Richardson, and the true talent of our Designing for a Cause Class…. These are those amazing people behind aDARable.