Emma wanted to create self-soothing boxes for the young girls in my community. With Domestic Violence and substance abuse being a large problem in the community there were several occasions that girls believed they would benefit from having a special box of special things, to use to distract them from what was happening in their homes and help them work through the hurt they sometimes experienced. Emma decided to call the self-soothing boxes ‘Happy Boxes’ and decided that all women needed one. When she started brainstorming what could go in the ‘Happy Boxes’, the very limited access to products, given Emma’s school is located 260km from the nearest chemist, became apparent.
It isn’t hard and it isn’t expensive, but it goes a long way.
- Emma came up with a cost effective and environmentally friendly way to gather the products she was looking for. She created an event on Facebook called ‘Stronger Sisters Happy Boxes’ and asked women all over the country to clean out their cupboards and post us anything that they no longer used or needed.
- First thing Emma did was create an event on social media and invited as many people as possible. On the event page she explained the problem, the idea and asked people to collect items.
- Gather old cardboard boxes and start decorating them with the girls.
- Publicly thank people that start to send things on the event page. Emma made a huge deal of the first package received. Upload pictures of the girls opening the package and capture how happy it made them. This reminds people of the project and perhaps motivate others that were planning on sending something to do it sooner. Anyone that sends a package also receives a thank you letter from the girls.
- Emma spent an afternoon with the girls making the boxes and distributing them to women across the community.
- Some items, like soaps and candles have been sold at a regular market stall for $1-$2, a fraction of the cost at the local store. This money is then re-invested back into the Stronger Sisters program.
We have received close to 40 parcels, all of the women writing to say how happy they were to be a part of the project and stating that they think it is a fabulous idea. Since the project started we have created and handed out over 60 ‘Happy Boxes’. We have a community of approximately 350 people so therefore has reached about 25% of the population. Through our market stalls we have raised approximately $500
Emma would love your support for Stronger Sisters, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Emma and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.