This past Tuesday we sent an appeal letter to our donors and customers seeking support for a spring appeal, with a goal of $25,000. Almost half of the goal has already been pledged by 15 supporters as matching gifts.
Included in every envelope was a Beautiful Bar wrapper--yes, we mailed out hundreds of them. We hope you got one. We've included an image here to serve as focal point for your reading. The following is the letter. We hope if you feel compelled, you will participate in our spring appeal.
Yes, we’re actually sending you an empty wrapper! We’re not trying to be rude. But we hope you’ll take a moment to think about what ELSE—other than a delicious combination of oats, nuts, seeds, Cape Cod cranberries—goes into a wrapper like this.
Go ahead and open it up. Ponder its potential. We’d like you to help fill it.
Last week, we made 2,000 of these bars. And along the way, two newly-arrived refugees started their first jobs EVER in the United States, through paid training with Beautiful Day.
Gervais, a farmer who fled Burundi in ’94 and spent over 20 years in Mozambique, started in our kitchen. He’s an amazingly hard worker, but faces lots of language and cultural literacy challenges: how to find the right bus, fill out a time sheet, understand his work schedule, or notify his manager when he needs to take his kids to the doctor.
Rana is a mapmaker from Iraq who arrived six months ago and just started training with one of our farmers’ market staff. By the time the Slater Park market opens in July, she should have her driver’s license and be able to handle everything from set up, inventory, and sales, to questions about gluten and GMOs. It’s a big challenge—especially to do all this in English—but we think she’s up to it.
In other words, along with the oats and cranberries, a lot of hopes and dreams are going into these wrappers. Gervais and Rana just received their first paychecks. They are being equipped to transition into the job market. More than anything, refugees want to work, to support their families. They want to contribute and become part of their new community.
And as each of these 2,000 bars makes its way through a coffee shop or farmers’ market stand and into the hands of a customer, our dream is that each might help one more person realize that refugees are being resettled in our communities. The small choices we make to support them make a difference. Together with them, we can build our communities into places of refuge.
And that’s just the beginning. Here’s where you come in…
You are receiving this letter because you have already chosen to support Beautiful Day in some way, either through a granola purchase or donation. This year, we’ve set a goal to expand training to over 20 refugees. We’d love for you to have a personal stake in seeing this happen.
In order to accomplish this goal, we need your help to raise $25,000 before the end of June.
Here’s our plan: Two weeks ago, we invited 15 of our key donors and board members to contribute to a matching fund of up to $15,000. As of this mailing, so far 8 donors have put together a fund of $9,000, and it’s still growing. So now we’re inviting you to join in with the knowledge that whatever you give (up to the limits of the fund) will be matched.
Your gift will have a practical impact. For example, a gift of $25 (matched to $50) would pay for our kitchen manager to devote 3 hours to training. A $100 gift (matched to $200) pays for 20 hours of on-the-job training. A gift of $300 (matched to $600) could pay the fees for us to place a refugee at a new farmers’ market. A large gift of $500 (matched) could pay for one refugees’ entire training.
Will you join with our pledge contributors, and dozens of other partners, and give by June 20—World Refugee Day, toward our goal of $25,000?
To report to you on the success of this effort and celebrate the joy of our mission together with some of our refugee friends, we are planning a thank-you event in Providence on the evening of Saturday, June 27. We hope those of you who live nearby will join us.
We just celebrated our third birthday as a nonprofit. Many of you have been with us since the beginning. Your faith in our efforts and commitment to our mission have inspired, motivated and empowered our work. Because of you, we’re turning the corner from a start-up to an important presence, a social enterprise for refugee empowerment.
Last year we bought twenty-five thousand of these wrappers and newly-arrived refugees have been steadily filling them. Filling them—and in some sense being filled—with things our world desperately needs. Like courage and perseverance, determination, and hope.
Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration of this request and for your dedicated support of refugees. Thank you for joining us in our desire to fill wrappers like this, and our refugee neighbors, with hope.