A few years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak at the Clay County Women’s Club. They invited me to come, set up my jewelry, join them for lunch and share all about Apparent Project. I am always excited to be a part of things like this and have had several opportunities in the past several years. I just giggle half the time because who but God would imagine that I would be the “Guest Speaker” at all these different events?
Before it was my turn to speak, the meeting was called to order and they opened with a devotion. The sweet lady that stood up said that she had about five different things to choose from and had decided that she wouldn’t pick until she got to the meeting. She would allow God to show her which one.
When she came in and saw all the beautiful pieces of jewelry and found out they were made from cereal boxes, she knew immediately which one to share with us.
She began to read –
One of the items in Ripley’s Believe It or Not is a picture of a plain bar of iron. It is valued at $5. The same bar of iron has a far different value, however, if it is fashioned into different items.
— As a pair of horse shoes, it would
be worth $50
— As sewing needles, it would be worth $5,000
— As balance springs for fine Swiss watches, it would be worth $500,000
The raw material is not what is important. What’s important is how the raw material is developed!
As I was listening to her, I fought back the tears because I couldn’t help but think of the thousands of seemingly worthless cereal boxes that I have packed in the past 5 years.
Boxes that, once are emptied of their contents, become trash.
They have no value.
But take these boxes and put them in the hands of some very creative artisans and they completely change.
Cereal boxes are cut and twisted and fashioned into beautiful beads and strung onto string. Simple clay is molded, painted and fired in a kiln. Suddenly the value increases.
— As a bracelet it is worth at least $10
— As a necklace, it is worth up to $60
These new values change everything!
And something else begins to happen as well. This beautiful person who was once poor and desperate. Who more than likely felt worthless. And in some circles, because of their poverty, were deemed worthless.
They have a job.
Their value increases.
— As an artisan, they are given the platform to be creative.
— As a person, they are given dignity.
— As a parent, they are able to feed, clothe, shelter and most importantly – keep their children.
— As a neighbor, they become a valued member of society as they are now able to help
stimulate their own economy by giving back instead of taking.
All of this from a worthless cereal box. When emptied and flattened, it becomes a vessel from which beauty and creativity flow. Hope springs up. Lives are saved. Generations are forever changed.
No “value” can be placed on that. That, my friends, is priceless.
How can you help?
It all makes a HUGE difference!