OUR STORY BEGAN WITH UNCERTAINTY…
It was January 27, 2017 —just two days before my 24th birthday—when the first Travel Ban was issued. I stared at the television and it was like the Hoover Dam opened up inside my eyes. I felt every emotion all at one time: Sadness, anger, confusion, frustration, helplessness, everything. Being one couple, I couldn’t fathom how we could help. And honestly at that point, I wasn’t sure what “help” even meant.
I had interned in 2015 with ReEstablish Richmond, not knowing anything about refugees or the population of refugees in the Richmond area. Within the first few weeks of this internship, I had visited homes of newly resettled refugees, ridden (and taught) the city bus system with them, observed the intake process of those who had just arrived in the states the night before, and even ran child care for families while their mothers were taught the Virginia laws & safety measures of driving. Within those first few weeks, I had found a group of people who welcomed ME into their homes, offered ME their time, and even nourished ME with their food. Our refugee population here in Richmond had nurtured my heart in the smallest amount of time, and it was their kindness that spoke the loudest.
FAST FORWARD TO MAY 2017. I HAD AN IDEA.
Andrew and I had been making cards for all occasions because we were tired of paying so much for them. So, why not make cards, sell them, and use them as a platform for advocacy for our refugee and migrant neighbors? It sounded scary to us at first and we were unsure if anyone would be interested in our sarcastic and “punny” artwork. Thankfully, ReEstablish Richmond hopped on board and we vowed to give them 15% of our purchases for the next 4 months.
After three years, we have partnered with 5 non-profit organizations throughout VA and beyond, have donated thousands biannually to designated funds, and have made over 15,000 cards..all by hand. We took a leap of faith and turned our frustration into action. Thank you to those who support our art, who support our mission, and who support our communities.