We, Andie Kingsbury and Stephanie Salisbury, know what it's like to live on a strained budget. Raising 12 kids between our two families, we've had to struggle, juggle, reduce, re-use, recycle, and reinvent the wheel at times. It's given us both a heart for ministering to other families in the midst of the same struggle, and what better place to start than our own town? So, we co-founded Green Olive Ministries.
Elkhart County, Indiana, has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, forcing many to visit food pantries on a regular basis. One of the caveats is that pantries rarely have diapers available, and food stamps will not allow diaper purchases. It is our idea with this project to impact the cycle of poverty in this area by training women to create their own cloth diapers for home use and also by paying another set forward to a local food pantry. In this manner, the women will be learning a valuable skill, eliminating the need for disposables (and, in turn, eliminating the massive amount of waste that disposables create in our landfills), and gaining a sense of community by working together with us and other women who know what it's like to live on an extremely strained budget. The diapers we create use snaps, enabling the same set of diapers to be used for a newborn as for a nearly-potty trained toddler. They last for years, and can be handed down to the next child in line after potty-training. ONE SET OF THESE DIAPERS ELIMINATES AT LEAST TWO YEARS OF DISPOSABLES! In essence, we'll be saving each woman between $1500 and $2000 in disposable diapers PER CHILD, not to mention the same savings for whatever family chooses to take a set of cloth diapers that same women created and paid forward to the local food pantry.
What We Need & What You Get
Though Andie and Stephanie will take a very small salary for all of the work and reimbursement of items we've already purchased for this project so far, and for the three months of having to cut down hours at our jobs to make this project happen (we are the sole sources of income in both our respective families), the funds will be used for:
Sewing machines, thread, waterproof material, plastic snaps and studs, snap presses, soft 'minky' material for against babies' skin, scissors, Sharpies, and laminated patterns for EACH WOMAN being trained. Extra funds will be for newsletters and other advertising necessities, and providing snacks and possibly child care for the mothers during their training sessions.
If our goal is not reached, be assured that your money will still go to good use! All of these materials still need to be purchased for our project!
WHAT YOU GET:
Your choice of getting a Social Media Shout-Out, receiving a $1.00 off EVERY diaper you order in the future from one of our seamstresses for your own family's use, receiving two free customized cloth diapers, or being able to meet and greet with our entire ministry staff and the women being trained, and giving us the pleasure of taking you out to lunch!
Green Olive Ministries has already received a small start-up grant from The Pollination Project, an environmentally-friendly group who believed in us enough to buy us a serger and get us started with our demonstration diapers we're making. They only fund projects that they feel will make a great impact in an area, so we're humbled and honored to have their support.
Our ministry believes in teaching the skills necessary to live on an extremely strained budget. This particular project, our first, will take three months but the positive results could last years on their budgets and a lifetime on their self-esteem and sense of community. Our future plans are to teach people to re-use, upcycle, plant and harvest food, be resourceful, sew, knit, crochet, cook, bake, freeze, can, dehydrate food, and so much more. These basic skills that were once common knowledge are not being taught in our culture, and our reliance on disposable items and replacing anything slightly broken or torn has depleted our resources, filled our landfills, and taken away our ability to be self-sufficient.
It's time for a change. It's time to take steps in the right direction. It's time to get back to basics.
Please help if you can.
Other Ways You Can Help
Just because you don't have extra cash laying around in buckets doesn't mean you can't make an impact!
Please share our links on your own Facebook pages whenever you see them, and tell people about what Green Olive Ministries is doing. Indiegogo has some great share tools... take advantage of them, as well!
We can also use child care assistance if you're local, snack/water donations, volunteers with a heart for sewing and loving people to come see what we do and learn how to teach others, and help building an email and snail mail list for our newsletter when it starts! Contact us at GreenOliveMinistries<at>gmail<dot>com if you're interested in helping in a non-financial way.