It has been just over two weeks since we launched Butterfly Boxes, and the response has been unbelievable. It is not an exaggeration to report that every day has brought multiple Amazon deliveries and/or complete bag drop offs. The generosity of friends, family, online acquaintances, and complete strangers has astounded us both, and reaffirmed for us that the good can outweigh the bad in this world.
In addition to the daily drop-offs on our doorstep, we have heard from community members who are arranging group efforts for Butterfly Boxes. Neighbors who have chosen us to be their winter giving recipients, classrooms working together to assemble bags, work retreats using their downtime to craft for us, and a dental office sending toothbrushes and toothpaste. Each day has brought a new excitement for us, and the number of texts back and forth that contain some version of "Holy cow...can you believe this?" increases daily.
But, we can't get too caught up in all this excitement and awe. The work is just beginning. We are turning all these wonderful donations into complete Butterfly Boxes that will be put into the arms of newly resettled refugees soon. We are working out details for a partnership with a local refugee organization. We are fine tuning our shopping lists. We are working out the best ways to communicate with all of you. You, who have blown us all away with generosity and love for this idea of ours.
And so, before we move any further, we want to take a minute to say THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us, talked about us, shared our story. Please, continue sharing, continue talking, continue supporting. We have big plans for this little project, but none of it will mean anything without the continued support of our community.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
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Welcome. It's a simple word, really. Two syllables. Good consonant/vowel balance. Appropriate in a multitude of settings. But, for such a simple word, a good, heartfelt "welcome" can mean the world.
It's this simple premise that spawned Butterfly Boxes. A call from one sister-in-law to the other to ask about babysitting turned into shared concern about the future of social issues in this country, particularly that of refugees fleeing often dangerous and inhumane situations to seek a safe and prosperous life here. The refugee experience was not new to us (as you can read in "Our Story"), but when brainstorming what role we could play in spreading love back out into the world, it seemed obvious that this is where our focus is meant to be. Dreamed up in that phone conversation - no longer about babysitting - was an idea to greet refugees as they arrive in our city with a box, made by members of their new community wishing to say, "Welcome". That box would include the simple things anyone traveling long distances would want - snacks, water, toiletries - but also items meant to bring comfort, hope, love - a stuffed animal, a hand knit baby hat, a note of welcome. Most importantly, that box would be a message from the community that our new arrivals are welcomed, loved, and home.
A butterfly moves through stages in its life. Caterpillar to butterfly, with time in the chrysalis in between. One stage is not more important than any other, but all are necessary in making a life. For refugees leaving all that they have known behind to find a new place in a new home, it's a bit like taking flight with wings you are still stretching and learning to use fully. What came before - the caterpillar - is still there, still a part of the whole, but the butterfly can finally feel free to take flight.
Welcome to our cause. Thank you for supporting Butterfly Boxes.
- Alysson and Adrienne