Amy Buringrud, a mother of three from Portland, Oregon, decided to take her disappointment from the outcome of this year’s presidential election and turn it on its head. Her whole family was very involved in the campaign for Hillary Clinton, and when she didn’t win, her “enterprising 10-year-old son was the one who came up with the great idea that has helped us all move past the sadness and fear of this new administration,” Buringrud tells Scary Mommy.
He suggested making and selling beaded bracelets and necklaces to friends and family to raise money for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organization that has been our nation’s “guardian of liberty” for almost 100 years, as well as others such as Planned Parenthood, Mercy Corps, Border Angels, and NOW.
It didn’t take log before the Buringruds gathered supplies, started creating as a family, and opened an Etsy shop, UnityandHope, which has already raised $1,000 toward the family’s $5,000 goal.
Buringrud and her kids didn’t stop there though. Each sweet little token comes with a handmade, pre-addressed, pre-stamped postcard, which can be sent directly to representatives. It’s truly a win-win: You get the jewelry, your money is going to an excellent cause, and Amy and her kids have made it extra easy for you to take it one step further by reaching out to elected officials to let them know what causes and issues are most important to you.
“Our friends and family were immediately supportive which was great for lifting our spirits and helping us feel hopeful,” says Amy.
“We’ve done service projects together, but this time, I wanted to do something longer term, creative, something we could all do together.” It was important to Amy for her kids to have their hands in something that spreads love and promotes causes they feel passionate about. She wanted them to see what a difference one person, one family, could make. “It’s given them more confidence to investigate and talk about things that are important to them and take a stand for things they believe in.”
Her 7-year-old daughter, Nora, says, “It’s fun to make decorations on the cards and fun to make the bracelets because you get to be creative. And raising money for the ACLU is a good thing because they make everything fair.”
Oliver, age 10, the mastermind behind the whole operation says, “It makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing. I like how we can sell such a simple product and help such important organizations.”
And Sophia, age 13, says, “The problems in the world can feel gigantic, overwhelming. I think about solving them, and it seems impossible. I mean, I’m just a kid. But making jewelry is easy — any kid can do it. And the proceeds go to places making a really big difference, like the ACLU, which makes me feel a lot better.”
The Buringruds plan on fundraising past the $5,000 mark, although the project may change a little. “I’d like to ramp it up a bit and maybe narrow in on one issue at a time rather than try to cover so many,” Amy says.
This mom is setting an example, not just for her kids, friends, and family, but for other parents and our entire country by choosing to funnel her energy into something positive and constructive.
We need more of of this kindness, compassion, and creativity in the world. This family is inspiring.
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