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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Please help us continue our work

Since 2007, A Little Something: The Denver Refugee Crafts Collective has been bringing refugee women together to help them build community, learn new skills, explore the healing power of the creative, and feel empowered by their earnings. The program participants make jewelry, knit, or continue fiber arts they learned before coming to the United States.

Although we have always been self-sufficient, A Little Something functions on a shoestring budget (a frayed shoestring, at that) and we need more available cash if we are to continue this work. We would like to stop fretting about our overhead expenses and focus more on creating and maintaining programs and community-building efforts for the refugee women participating in A Little Something. 

Since the program started, the business model has been that the women get 75 percent of the selling cost of their items, with 25 percent going back to the business to offset expenses. For the past few years, the task of trying to sell our program participants’ creations has become an increasing logistical burden. All of us who oversee the project are volunteers who have full-time jobs elsewhere, leaving little time to work craft sales and festivals in addition to doing everything else we need to so the program can thrive. There can be a delay, sometimes of many months, from when a participant hands in finished work to when she gets paid because items must sell before the women can be paid. We’d like to change that so our participants have more immediate access to their earnings.

About 18 months ago, we rented a studio and office space in the neighborhood where many of the women live so that we could do more with them and grow our program. It was a good business decision, but an expensive one, given how little income we have. Although our supplies are well stocked at this time, we need to raise much needed cash.

Our $10,000 fundraising goal is threefold:
  • First, we want to have enough cash in the bank to cover our overhead expenses for one year so we can once again focus our attention on the refugee women in the program instead of scrambling to pay our bills.
  • Second, we want to change our business model so the participants don’t have to wait so long to be paid for their work. To do this, we need to buy—outright—all of our inventory currently on hand, pay the artists now for that merchandise, and going forward, pay them immediately when their work is turned in for sale. This will also give us more flexibility in pricing and eventually wholesaling our inventory.
  • Third, we would like to hire some professional help so that our financial and business records are in order and A Little Something can run more efficiently and professionally.

To accomplish these goals, we need help from our friends, followers, and supporters. We hope you will support our campaign so that A Little Something can continue to grow and thrive. Please visit our fundraising site, or use the PayPal link in the right column or at the top of this page to make your donation today. We will send you a tax receipt before 2015 comes to a close.

If you run into technical glitches on the CrowdRise site, you can also donate easily via PayPal using the links at the top of this page, or donate by check.

Make checks payable to A Little Something
Mail check donations to:
A Little Something
PO BOX 102077
Denver, CO 80250

Thank you for your generosity!

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