Community - this can mean so many things, but to us, it is who supports us and in turn we try to support them. Them? From the young lady who used to help us out in the afternoons after school so that she could give the little that she earned to her dad - a single parent trying his best... to the crafters in the community who purchase small packets of beads from us to make something beautiful to sell in order to provide for their families... and we sell their finished goods in our store giving them 100% of the items' price. Community means giving, caring, sharing...
I used past tense above due to the chaos that lockdown has caused! As we have not been allowed to trade during lockdown, not only has our own household had no income, but we have not been able to employ / pay the young lady, and with no tourists and no clients, none of our crafters products have sold thus no income for them either! It goes so much further than just our shop not being allowed to trade!
We have helped out with what ever we had to spare (I am grateful to my sister-in-law who has ensured that we at least had the basic groceries), but wish we could have done more. Since lockdown has lasted so long, the father of the young lady has been retrenched and he soon has to move out from where he was renting (accom was part of the employment)... we cannot afford to keep her as staff on a daily basis, and we need to give something to our crafters as they too have not been able to sell any of their goods - anywhere as most places have been closed for months already!
We are hoping to be able to start trading again soon, but I honestly doubt that many people within our district will have money to spend on anything more than the basic essentials at this stage. So we have come up with another plan... what can we make that people could possibly want or use, and who can we employ to make these goods? We will have to start small, but if we could at least employ the young lady's father, that would mean that they would be able to have a roof over their heads and to have groceries... as we progress, we will be able to employ her again and then to also sponsor our crafters until their items start to sell again (possibly only in December, if not next year - depending on when tourists will come).
We have a very small laser cutting machine and have the opportunity to purchase a much larger machine for a fraction of the cost (the place selling the machine has been forced to close down and they are selling off their machinery at bare minimum prices to look after their own artists - the foot and mouth painters of the Southern Cape!). With this bigger machine, we have told the seller that we will do all their laser cutting at cost (no profit) so that they can still have items to sell for fundraising. For other charities in the area, we will continue our policy of at cost price to help their own fundraising (also no profit for us). Then with the bigger machine, we can focus on making the educational products that I have been designing during lockdown as I think that many parents will not be sending their children to school in a hurry - and one cannot afford to lose any more time on education!
Therefore, this "gogetfunding" effort of ours is primarily towards the cost of the machine which in turn will be able to generate an income for many families - from those assembling and packing the products, to those earning commissions from selling the products... and anything to spare will go towards our artists. We don't want anything out of this funding (except for the machine of course), but want to use this opportunity to help others via employment and donations, etc. We have always believed in paying it forward (and have done so for years), but now we kindly ask for your help in joining us in this endeavour.
Thank you for caring!
PS. Community is people and their pets... One cannot forget those who cannot speak for themselves...