Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wholehearted Bracelets Update

Thanks for being patient with me in waiting for an update.  Things have been busy around here! 

Rebecca attended a Special Needs Conference near our home on Saturday.  She was invited by a friend (thank you Tami)to share her vendor booth space and was looking forward to the opportunity.  We had anticipated Eliana still being in the hospital at that time and thus arranged for a friend to take her to the conference.  When I ended up being home with Eliana, Rebecca wanted my company/support there, but was happy to have friends go with her instead (thank you Catherine and Hannah).  Did I mention that Rebecca can be a little on the shy side?

While at the conference, $285 make that $295 (I just counted the $) worth of bracelets were sold!  Rebecca  also spoke with a father there who has a child with heart problems.  He was interested in her charity and wanted to know if she might be interested in expanding.  I'm not sure that we could expand in our current format, though the idea does have appeal. 

For now, our family - and most especially Rebecca - has spent many, many hours on this ministry.  We have been thankful for the times when friends have helped.  The day to day filling of orders, making bracelets and selling them has fallen to a tender-hearted 11yo girl though.  Quite an undertaking!!!  She has sold over $2500 in the last month and a half!  We would never have been able to do this without the support and interest of friends - and the wonderful "word-of-mouth" advertising she has received.

Rebecca received a sweet note last week from the daughter of one of my on-line friends.  The mom and daughter were both touched by what Rebecca is doing and the 7yo daughter has decided to make and sell bracelets for Rebecca and donate the money to her cause!  She also donated $10 of her own money.  (Thank you Michelle and Amy!)  Oh, the tender hearts of children are so sweet!  What an example to me of compassion and love!

Rebecca still has a good inventory left and is planning to visit several places in the next week as well as finish off some special orders.  Tomorrow we will be going to Duke for an appointment for Eliana with a feeding specialist.  Afterwards we will be meeting with a nurse that works on the adult cardiac floor.  She was given one of Rebecca's bracelets by her husband (who works with Roger) and has been taking orders for Rebecca!  Isn't that neat?!

It's been hard to know how exactly to market this - and manage it as a business.  This is not something we have done before and honestly I never expected it to grow this big!  I do think it's a great idea, a wonderful way to help other children and a fabulous learning opportunity for all of us.  We have seen God's blessing on her venture and have been thankful for the distraction that it offered our family during an incredibly stressful time!

Today Rebecca and I are planning to visit a local craft store (chain) to see if they might be interested in donating anything to her ministry.  When we began this project, we decided to fund her supplies so that ALL of the money in sales would go towards her cause.  We have received support from friends and thought that some area businesses might be interested in helping too.  We'll see.  A big step for my girl who is learning to work through her shyness.

I need to go update the numbers for her sales.  Her total is currently $2704.00!  Correction here too - $2714!  Her dreaming big goal of $5000 is looking more managable all the time! 

Will try to post more later about yesterday's  pediatrician appointment - and the pictures too.