Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Today is the Day!!

Happy 41Day!!

Can I just say, y'all are the best?! I woke up this morning to a huge chunk out of our $13,000 goal! Almost $700 raised so far from the "lunch money" of 22 different people!

So, in case you were thinking that your $5 or $10 wasn't important, it's adds up quick. And, I promise, it's more than important to our students. It's world changing!

Have you given your lunch money yet?

We have 65 days left in our school year and 1,184 students and teachers who are going to be served a hot, healthy meal each day. We need to raise $13,000 to finish out the year and we plan to knock that out TODAY!

$5 feeds one student for an entire month. [donate here]

$16.25 feeds one student for the entire term. [donate here]

If you're thinking, "Man, this is so easy I wish I could do it every month!" You can. [here]

It really is that simple, changing the world. And it wouldn't happen without YOU! Thank you for your partnership. xo

Friday, July 29, 2016

41Day, Too

Oh hey! Tara here, in case you didn't know.... It seems like every time I check in here, I'm apologizing for taking so long to check in here. Sorry about that! :) I'll be honest, it's not always easy trying to keep all the balls in the air and then run over here to let you know that, yes, all the balls are still in the air. They are! That said, I am/we are SO THANKFUL that you have chosen to support us and stick with us through this journey to change our little chunk of the world! 

Before we go any further, can we get one thing straight? I HATE fundraising! There isn't one single thing to me that feels exciting about asking for money. It's just not fun. A few things that go through my mind:

Remember, it's not about you. It's for a good cause.
When was the last time you asked?
What have you accomplished since then?
Don't make the ask too small, they'll think it doesn't matter.
Don't make the ask too big, they'll shut you out immediately.
Be funny. And honest.

And, now that we've established that, I need to ask you for some money. I promise to make it simple and painless. For both of us.

As most of y'all in the States are getting set for back to school, our crew here in Rwanda is gearing up for their last leg of the school year. Term 3 is the shortest term of year and least expensive in terms of food, because it's harvesting time, but in terms of studying it is the most important term. In term 3 many students are preparing for their National Exams, the one exam that will determine if the student will continue their studies and what they will be studying, if they do. Since we started the feeding program, three years ago, our school has consistently earned the highest test scores in the district! Which means that more of our students are able to continue their studies into higher education creating a rare opportunity to, not only enter the work force, but actually pursue something they are passionate about in university!

So, let's cut to the chase. There are 65 school days in term 3 and there are 1,184 students and teachers who will be served a hot, healthy meal each day; we need to raise $13,000 to finish out the year. For the last 3 years on 41Day, you all have rallied around us on April 1st (4-1) to donate your lunch money and raised at least that much. In one day. On August 2nd (8-2, get it?), we are asking that you would open up your lunch boxes again and donate. It's so simple and there are several ways you can help.

$5 feeds one student for an entire month. [donate here]

$16.25 feeds one student for the entire term. [donate here]

If you think, Man, this is so easy I wish I could do it every month! You can. [here]

If shopping is more your speed, the Rosine Signature Bag, which usually feeds a student for a year, has been discounted to cover just this remaining term. And the Fanny Laptop Case, Leticia Clutch, Amara Makeup Bag, and Jose Apron all cover one student for the term. [shop here]

This year has offered me the unique perspective to have two of my own sons attending the school No.41 feeds. It has always been an honor and privilege to be a part of the No.41 team providing lunch, but now I have experienced, first hand, the immense blessing of knowing that my boys are taken care of and being given the very best chance at a bright future. It's what any mother wants for her child. For any child. Will you join us?

See ya Tuesday!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Hey there!! Tara, here. It's been a little while since you've heard from me, but I'm here to let you know that the world spins madly on; and we are still rocking, rolling, and changing our little piece of it!

I'm not that great at explaining things. Often times, I just assume certain things are common knowledge. But I realize that my experiences over the last 4 years have opened my eyes and my heart to a world I couldn't have fathomed before. Those experiences ignited a passion within me that propels my every day. I read and research, I seek out friends and mentors with like passions and experiences, as we all do, and I forget what I didn't know. You see, God rejoices in small beginnings. And I believe he takes what we offer him and multiplies it beyond what we would have ever comprehended.

So, I was wondering if you know. I wondered if you know that what you are doing matters.

Sometimes people say nice things to me about starting No.41, and I think that's really kind, but starting it was not the hard part. I often wonder if you know that none of this would be possible without your support. And I do mean YOU, sweet reader right now. You because you bought a bag. You because you shared a link and 3 of your friends bought tshirts. You because you sponsored a child. You because you offered your talents to further our mission. We can't sustain or grow this without you.

There is a community in Rwanda that is being changed by the efforts of No.41. There are formerly unemployed women and men, working and providing for their families. We don't give them everything we think they need, but we give them a skill, and hope, and love, and the chance to work for themselves and to give back to students in their area.

There is a school that had 250 students enrolled before our feeding program came along. Today, 1,200 students and teachers strong, they are bursting at seams and having to turn students away. For many, they have come to school to eat. Possibly their only meal of the day. I have met with mothers and fathers who couldn't say thank you enough, because, before, they could only afford to feed the youngest in their families, and now, knowing their older children were provided for, they felt relieved. Not only are the students provided for, but they are being educated. That is generational change. The hope they feel for the future is palpable. And it's spreading.

There are so many other schools in our area, asking to be fed, whose parents have joined together to try and do what they can to also provide lunch for their students. They have seen what this one meal is doing at our school, what it means for the students, the families, and the future of Rwanda. They have gathered what they have and it's just not enough. Y'all, we can meet this need. We can pull our community together and partner with a community on the other side of the world. Because we believe that where you live shouldn't define how you live. And no matter where you are, food should never be too much to ask. We believe that, right?

Can I be frank, for a moment here? I love you because you're reading this, and I hope you love us, too.... Well, because you're reading this. I appreciate your kind words; they mean so much and some days are really tough and a kind word goes a long way. I love it when you like our posts at No.41; it would be embarrassing if no one ever did. I am so thankful when you share a post with your friends. So, please don't think for a second that I'm not. The problem is, I can't feed your words, or your likes, or your shares to the students in Rwanda. We need you to get involved! And we're going to make it so easy! Please don't click away.

On April 1st (FRIDAY!), we will have our 4th Annual 41Day. This is a day where we join with people all over the world, chose to give up our lunch for one day, and donate what we would have spent to feed students in Rwanda. One meal costs just $0.25. How much do you spend on lunch?

$1 feeds 4 children for one day,
$5 feeds 20 children,
$10 feeds 40 children...

Over the last 3 years, just on this one day, we have fed nearly 200,000 meals!! One person and one dollar at a time. I know y'all hear stuff all the time; this world is off her rocker and there are no less than a million "issues" asking for your heart, your partnership, your dollars. But I would just ask you stop and digest, that the cost of one Starbucks drink a month, you could feed a student, every day, and drastically change a life. If just half of those of you who are reading this post could spare $10 a month, we could feed an entire school in Rwanda!

Are you in?! Here's what you can do:
  • On Friday, April 1st, you can fast, pray, donate what you would have spent on lunch.
  • If you're the crazy kind, you can set up a recurring monthly donation. Just $10 month, will take care of feeding two students!!
  • Share our story with your friends on Facebook, twitter, instagram, your blog...
  • Make a purchase in the shop. The Solange Tote feeds 93 meals!
  • Donate here to sponsor a child for the year. ($60. Done and done!)
  • Find us on Instagram. You know, just for fun. :)
  • Hit that little share button down there and tell your friends about how you're changing our world in Rwanda! 
See you Friday!