It’s been a while since I talked about our Both Hands project. I’m still thinking about it and tossing it around in my mind. So this will probably be one of those posts that doesn’t really have a point and just wanders from here to there and back again. It’s been hard for me to verbalize all the things I feel, and it’s easier to to make a crack about something or be self deprecating. But I’ve been trying to avoid rather unsuccessfully, doing either of those things, and the result has been silence on the blog.
But anyways, the Both Hands Project. I liked this project for many reasons:
1. It’s service based- You serve a widow for a day and raise money for your adoption at the same time.
2. As far as I know, No one really gets rejected from the Both Hands Project. You send in your application, and get accepted and “simply” follow the instructions in the materials they send you. Obviously there are some challenges, but it’s nothing too hard to overcome.
3. The amount of money you earn is based entirely on how well you promote your project and how many letters you send you. Each person on our team sent out between 3 and 15 letters. We sent out one to everyone on our christmas list which was about 40-50 people. This is genuinely the hardest part. We had very conservative goals for this project and blew right past them. I was totally shocked when I saw how much people had donated for our adoption.
Challenges and tips:
We had some pushback from people about weird things, which totally irritated and frustrated me. But I moved past that because I had no other choice. Don’t let the people rain on your parade.
We originally just had 1 widow. But there were changes in her circumstances, and we were able to find a second widow, and even help a 3rd. So that was pretty awesome. MOre than one Widow on a single project day was hard to plan, but we had smaller projects a lot of people so it worked out well.
Don’t plan on working if you’re the coordinator. I spent all day running around organizing, moving people around, and chatting with widows and super curious neighbors.
Know your limits. I had to stress that we needed smaller projects. We can’t build decks, demolish walls, etc. So the projects we did were moving, cleaning, yardwork and minor landscaping. We basically did some freshening up in time for spring. We rented a uHaul truck, and our volunteers supplied tools and garbage bags, and we bought everyone lunch. That was about the extent of our expenditures for the project. We spent about $500 total on materials, a baby sitter for the small babies and toddlers, and on postage and printing for the letters we sent out.
In our letters, we put a postage paid envelope back to the Both Hands Foundation, and broke down our goal on a small paper we tucked in with our letter. WE told everyone that we’d reach our goal if everyone sponsored someone for $30. Some people donated more, and some less, but we made 80% of our goal and I’ve heard there’s a few more donations coming in and being posted. We’re really amazed becuase as I said above, we had very conservative goals.
Living out that verse in the Bible about bearing one another’s burdens is very cool. All the women we served were so incredibly thankful, and it was really eye opening how much help so many people need. A lot of people, including myself also commented on how this work day is really the way community should be- coming together to help alleviate people’s needs. And we all had fun doing it. A lot of us don’t get to hang out very often, and coming together to chat and do something worthwhile was FUN.
We’re almost fully funded for Violet’s adoption. It’s really amazing to me that the Lord would provide so fully for us this way. It took a LOT of courage to do this project. I almost didn’t do it becuase I thought, Meh, we got this other grant from SHow Hope, which was really unexpected and such a blessing. But people pointed out to me that doing the Both Hands Project is also a blessing to us and to people we can serve. And it was. I’m so glad I did it.
So, for all the adoptive parents out there looking for funding, this is a good thing. It takes some work, and it takes some courage, but you can do it and it’s a proven excellent fundraiser. We set a goal of $3000, even though had a greater need ($10,000 and smidge more) and we’ve raised almost $8,000. I was blown away when we received our current total of donations. BLOWN. AWAY. We stand a very excellent chance of owing very little or even NOTHING on VIolets adoption. It almost knocks me over every time I think about it.
You can see our project page HERE
We had to make a video about our day, which I’ve embedded here. It’s not an oscar winning endeavor. But we think it gives a good overview of our day. Enjoy!