Ottawa Youth Fundraiser Supports Two Causes

Selling handmade ornaments and bracelets made by artisans in Haiti to raise funds for Peru was a fundraiser with dual purpose for Zoë Hogeterp and Leah Mattie. In March, these two young people from Barrhaven Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Ottawa, Ont., will be joining Calvin CRC on their 2016 mission trip to Pachacutec, Peru, where they have built a partnership with Gamaliel church through previous trips. The girls will be accompanied by youth leader Miriam Gartland and parent Michelle Hogeterp.

The Barrhaven teens sold 200 items from Apparent Project, an initiative in Haiti that provides work and training opportunities for local artisans. The team liked the project’s environmental awareness and how it would help two causes at the same time. The handmade ornaments and bracelets are made from recycled materials such as oil drums and cereal boxes. Each bracelet includes a tag with a personal story of a person or family these pieces are helping.

“It was a way to bring attention to the fact that Haiti still struggles and how women are becoming self-sufficient,” explained Gartland. “It is such a beautiful cause. The items make great gifts and are extraordinarily pretty.”

For Zoë Hogeterp and Leah Mattie, the fundraiser was a tangible way they could help people who have less. Mattie designed a poster introducing their upcoming Peru trip and the fundraiser, and the girls set up a table at their church’s congregational meeting. They sold all the ornaments and bracelets in one month, using social media and word of mouth. They raised $1,000 for the Apparent Project and $600 for their mission trip as well as creating awareness for this micro-economy.

“The girls were the hands and feet of Jesus,” said Gartland. “It was their first time fundraising, and I’m very proud of them.”

About the Author

Krista Dam-Vandekuyt is the Banner’s regional news correspondent for classis Hamilton.