August is BirdProject’s birth month & Matter’s Benefit Corporation birthdate! Three years ago I set foot in New Orleans for the first time, I never cease in looking back with amazement on how much has happened since then. Doing so, I better realize that I arrived here with an idea laid out on a piece of paper and a lot of determination. I brought that piece of paper with me to all of the meetings that I arranged around the city & still look at it from time to time as a reminder of how much you can do once you start organizing an idea.
As Matter has its first Benefit Corporation birthday, I am excited to be working on 3 new ideas that contribute to education and disaster relief post-Hurricane Sandy. They are currently up on Indiegogo to raise the money to make them a reality, please back us if you can or help get the word out. I so appreciate your help in turning these ideas on paper into real, live things that give back & in time for fall when they will be needed.
Each new product houses layers and layers of research, seeking producers, do-ers, & risk-takers for each part of the project. I am dedicated to working with those that are doing unique and meaningful work. I also think it’s important to enjoy working with every person involved in each new project. My drive mostly lives in finding new solutions for the worst problems that we face today. Often, I think the solutions are basic, but our society often wants to overlook these answers, ironically they may seem too hard. My goal is to try to find the hope to move forward with each situation. Looking ahead, to future birthdays next topics are: wetland restoration, gun violence, and the preciousness of water. Thank you for helping me make it happen, I am ever grateful for your support and collaboration along the way & ahead.
Two products focus on different aspects of education needs, but that share one basic element that many students don’t have, access. We will be donating to groups that provide access to books, help needed in learning to read & building confidence. Our first notebooks series serve as a place to build dreams, the most basic item in a dreamer’s toolkit. They have letterpress covers and are made of beautiful, 100% recycled French’s paper, powered by hydroelectric since 1922. We find a new donation partner with the “I have a Dream” Foundation for these notebooks. They provide mentor-ship for low income students from elementary school to college andy work with an entire class to give them all the help, access, & insights to the many possibilities that are available that they need all along the way.
The second focused on education is a beautiful linen napkin, this napkin is unique in that its design shows you how to fold it into a rabbit. When I saw this idea, I fell in love with the magic created by folding the napkin over your hand. Cécile Thalmann & Adel Kassem are the designers behind this lovely idea and are currently living in the beautiful city of Amsterdam. Cécile’s grandmother used to entertain her using this trick and she continues to play with this linen rabbit trick today. Building upon the benefits of play and reading, this linen rabbit becomes a reading buddy for children learning how to read. Using the power of imagination & invention, children see how a napkin becomes a toy, more and more important in our digital age. This product donates to a local one-on-one tutoring group, S.T.A.I.R. & First Book, who enable access to books for children nationwide.
The third idea, from paper to loom, is a blanket that will help with disaster relief. This idea was inspired by the needs brought by Hurricane Sandy. Hearing and seeing images of the immense devastation, imagining myself in the individual’s shoes, made me want to give that person a hug. Also, hearing about the widespread power outages in the bitter cold and lack of access to basic needs inspired the idea for a blanket. Disasters hone down everything to the most basic human needs. The group that we will donate to for rebuilding is Architecture for Humanity. I selected this group because of their commitment to individuals and community needs as well as their focus on rebuilding for the long term.
So, on our third birthday, Happy Birthday to you & to Matter and may we make a meaningful difference for the environment and our communities. Big hug from me to you & great week/weekend ahead!