Posts tagged #Support

Haiti Cherie

I traveled home today, back to Minnesota, through North Carolina where the storm will surely be heading soon. As I stood in the security line checking all my social media feeds, the world around me seemed to be going on with out skipping a beat. Swirling around me as I stood there, motionless, on the verge of tears. 

The world goes on even when it seems to stop. So many of us see images on TV or Facebook, say a quick prayer or mutter how sad and devastating that must be and move on. 

My mind, my heart and my prayers are in Haiti today. I am thankful that many of my close friends were very safe in their homes, in secure structures and I am speechless at the stories of love they have shown their friends and neighbors. 

*Photo credit Jan Williams Stevens of the  Hands and Feet Project

*Photo credit Jan Williams Stevens of the Hands and Feet Project

In the days and weeks that come I know Haiti will be on the minds of many. Living in Minnesota I have met numerous people who have traveled to Haiti. It is in moments like this that I want to encourage us all to support some of the well established hands on organizations.

Through my time in Haiti I had the pleasure of working with many organizations, many who have employees and loved ones whom homes and life have been torn apart by this storm. If you would like to give, I would encourage you to do so, but do your research. We are encouraging everyone to support one of our partners in Haiti Papillion Enterprise through their state side organization and non-profit, Apparent Project Haiti.

Apparent Project is the non-profit of our partner Papillon Enterprise. They have several hundred employees from their jewelry makers, pottery makers, metal artisans, managers, and restaurant employees. Their work is extensive and their relief efforts have already begun. 

Papillion Enterprise is a staple in their community. They provide love, safety, jobs and in this case relief and aid. It is with your help and support that those on the ground will be able to take care of the needs and relief efforts before them. I strongly encourage you to pour into this organizations financially and to continue to cover them with prayer and encouragement. 

It also must be said, buy. Buy from us, from them and from our other partners listed on our website HERE. Your purchase is creating jobs and it is through a reliable job that people will be able to support themselves and their families. This is why we are, this is our core. To provide jobs to create sustainable lifestyles. Thank you for your continues support and love.

Haiti is a beautiful place, tomorrow the sun will rise again, it will bring a new day and new hope. May you be strong and may the light find it's way back to your shores. Haiti Cherie, Bonje se jerve.

Foundations of Cedar and Cypress Wood

In the old testament we read in 1 Kings that when the temple was constructed Solomon used Cedar and Cypress wood. That is where our name comes from. We want to be the foundation and the support for others like Cedar and Cypress was for the temple.  Weather that is companies or artisans in Haiti, individual people, missionaries or families. Our goal is to support others though job creation.

Being a support is the core reason we are in Haiti this week. It has been a true transformation for us as we partner along side Sa Voix. We have been able to build relationships that are solid foundations with the girls and are so grateful for the opportunity. We believe the Lord has great things ahead for Sa Voix as they embark on their journey and we are excited to see what unfolds.

The Lord has been good to us indeed. He has shone brightly on this trip and we see His hand of grace everywhere. Thank you for ever one who has come along side us and followed along on this journey. Our week is coming to just about half way, but it is far from over.

Stay safe wherever you might be and remember to love others well.

A reason

I know things happen for a reason, I believe God is firmly in control and has a reason for everything. Some things are hard we can't seem to find the reason. People die young, I don't see the reason in that. Children grow up with out their families, are abused, victimized-I don't see the reason in that.

Moving back from Haiti has been hard for me. There have been times I have truly considered, just buying a ticket and heading back. I had a rough start to 2016. Not for any particular reason, just looking for a reason I am here, in America now. I know there is a reason.

The truth is, I want "real job" because I need money. I'm not starving or behind on bills, but I am in the process of trying to grow a business and that is no easy thing. But Haiti is my reason. If I took a "real job" I was afraid my dream of Cedar and Cypress Designs (and some other things I am dreaming up) would be put on the side lines. I don't want to side line my dream. Haiti is my home and it is the county I want to help. That is the reason I started Cedar and Cypress Designs instead of taking a "real job".

Some one asked me yesterday if I bring clothing and things down to give away to people when I go to Haiti. I smiled and told her all the reasons that breeds a culture of dependence and entitlement. How through my business I hope to continue partnering with companies in Haiti who are employing people who are in turn able to buy their own clothing.

Pay for their kids to go to school.

Buy food on a regular basis.

Pay for the funerals of their family members...

Today my friend Chandler of Haiti Design Co-op, one of our partners in Haiti posted this on facebook:

This is a photo of Yvetta, her mom, and her three kids from some family portraits we took 3 years ago. Yvetta is one of our original jewelry ladies. She works so hard to take care of those boys despite some extremely hard obstacles in life. Earlier this week she she was taking her very sick brother to the hospital and he died in her arms. He had a 13 year daughter who's mother passed 3 years ago and is now orphaned. Yvetta has taken in this girl and is trying to take care of the 4 kids and figure out how to pay for the funeral. The cost of a funeral is the same as about 3 months worth of work. We are trying to now help figure out how to send her niece to school as she hasn't gone to school since her dad became sick and had to spend the money on medical bills. We also are trying to figure out how to help Yvetta pay for the funeral as she in the only one in her family with a job so the responsibility is falling on her. If you would like to help contribute to support Cherline (the 13 year old niece) or help pay for the funeral please message me.
These things are so hard and so complicated. We need some hands to help come together and lighten the load of those carrying so much more than we could imagine.

I am not sure the reason this woman has to struggle so much. But I do know the reason I started this company is not only so I can have in income, but also so Yvetta and women like her can. I am not the person on the ground dealing with the salty tears of Yvetta. Or the one writing her check and doing her quality control.

But I am the one here. In America. Running off to the gym and Target. Going out to dinner and a movie. Sound familiar. It is painful to me, my normal life. Yes, I do still have to deal with hurt and pain and death and unemployment, just because I live in America does not mean I am exemplified from these things. But I am the one here and so are you. So I am asking, would you help this family out? Does this give you a reason to not go to Starbucks this week or skip date night? Did you spend $5 on Powerball this past week? Would you join me? If you are able, please help.

This is from Chandler, founder of Haiti Design Co-Op, the employer of Yvetta in Haiti.

The funeral is about $450 and then for Cherline to go to school this semester and all of next year, uniform, and supplies it is about $535 (that's about $35/month). So obviously that is a ton of money- but whatever bit you are able to contribute would be so helpful! You can send it through paypal to and we will get it to Yvetta.

Yvetta isn't asking for this for Cherline- but I know she doesn't have any money to take care of another child and the girl will end up being sent to the country side with extended family. And in that situation she will end up with no school and probably pregnant and probably sexually abused since she has no guardian. So we are doing what we can to help Yvetta raise her.

Today I have a reason. Do you?