Appoline--and the making of our storycards.

Around the 10th of the month—and that means every month for the last couple years—a flurry of breathless messages gets generated in one of our Slack channels about our upcoming storycard deadline. Who is being featured? Did the interview already happen? Do we need a translator? Is the picture we already have good enough? Where did that picture I took go?

Publishing these cards is a group effort with an undercurrent of chaos. Technically these stories aren’t anyone’s job. Usually Meggean, our Operations and Training director, conducts or arranges an interview and finds us a picture. Interns or others on our team might be sitting in and need help. A translator might not show. I usually compress a write-up of the interview from a page or two to 175-200 words. Rebecca, usually catches my spelling errors. If I run into trouble with Photoshop Paula usually rescues me. Someone will stop by Staples to drop off or pick up. By the 15th, Zaid, who sends out the Teamgranola packages is usually politely texting “Where are they?!!

The deadline is set because #Teamgranola subscription deliveries go out between the 15th and 20th and these storycards are designed to accompany the monthly shipment. #Teamgranola subscribers tend to be our heart-and-soul super-fan partners. They (meaning many of you who are also blog readers) tend to understand how the enterprise and mission of Beautiful Day are completely intertwined. We currently have about 90 subscribers. Their consistent monthly orders are the engine behind production—which, in turn, makes training possible. The card is a little way to complete the circle. Our subscribers get to meet and learn about someone who is making their granola. It all fits with our mission to help people do something every day about displacement.

We’re still learning how to use these cards and how people interact with them. Of course, we share them pretty widely beyond #Teamgranola. I like to imagine them put on fridges or office kitchenette cabinets to facilitate conversation with kids or friends or colleagues. Or maybe they provide a simple moment of joy or reflection. We try to write them in a way that those who are featured can enjoy them too. Even if they get recycled quickly we hope the faces and stories diminish the distance between a healthy treat and a person’s real life.

In any case, I thought a bit of the backstory about these cards might be fun for you to know. For the April edition, Maliss (who leads our Youth Cohort) conducted the interview by Zoom. Niall, one of our college interns, made a little audio snippet from the interview which I’ll put here in case you’d like to listen in for a few seconds.

Appoline took her own picture and sent it by text. And yes, Paula even used Photoshop (on her phone!) to help me edit that photo. No lack of chaos, but behind it all we get a moment to learn more and appreciate working with Appoline. We had jobs lined up for some of our youth this summer, and not sure what will happen yet. But it remains our privilege to be doing this work during this difficult time.

And if anyone wants to join #Teamgranola so that your shipment and new storycard will never fail to show up around the 20th of every month at your door you can sign on here! And if you like our cards or especially if you have had any experiences of sharing them with people in your life we’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Written by Keith Cooper

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