Our friend Addy from New Jersey is back and continues to support the girls at St. Clare Centre in Kenya with sales of her soaps. You might remember Addy, founder of Soap for Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those in need. Believe it or not, she will soon finish her freshman year in high school! We caught up with Addy recently by telephone to see how she is able to juggle her school work and other commitments, yet still find time to make soap for good causes.
According to Addy, it all started a few years ago when she took a class at a local art museum. It was there that she caught the soap making bug. Soon after, she hosted a craft-themed birthday party where she and her close friends made soap. According to her Mom, Addy is very crafty, with a knack for crochet and needlework. This talent runs in the family, as Addy’s Great-Grandmother Madeline (“Nana” to her grandchildren) was likewise quite gifted. Addy and her friends thought it would be fun to sell their homemade soaps, and that is how the idea to start a non-profit organization, Soap for Hope, was born.
The girls frequent the local farmers’ market where they set up their soap stand; they generally have more than 100 bars of soap to sell to market visitors. This past year, the girls had an opportunity to display their soaps for sale at two local craft fairs. We asked Addy how she finds the time to make soap given the demands of her high school academic and social schedule. She said that she and her friends generally make the soap in early winter, and then take a break after the Christmas holiday rush. They pick up again in the summertime when they have more free time.
Several different charities and causes have been beneficiaries of Soap for Hope. Early on, they donated their proceeds to a young boy suffering from Angelman syndrome. In 2012, the girls donated the money they raised from soap sales to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
In 2013, and early 2014, Soap for Hope selected St. Clare Centre for Girls in Meru, Kenya to receive their donations. We asked Addy what inspired her to donate money to this mission, and she said, “I like helping others. I am crafty and it is fun. I like going to the market with my friends.” Addy and her family have been sponsoring a young girl at St. Clare for a couple years now. Her name is Namusu and she is 14 years old, almost the exact same age as Addy. According to Addy, “Their life … [in Kenya]… is difficult. People in the U.S. take a lot for granted that the girls in Kenya don’t have. I am lucky because I have a solid family and a place to go home to every night. These girls have nowhere to go.” Thanks to Addy and her organization, these young abandoned and orphaned girls in Kenya not only have a home at St. Clare, but they have food, clothing, and an opportunity for a solid education.
Equally important is the knwoledge these young girls at St. Clare carry with them … that Addy and her friends, and other special young people here in the United States, have heard their story and are committed to helping them overcome life’s hardships and look forward to a promising future.
We couldn’t be more inspired by Addy’s incredible heart and dedication. Over the Christmas holiday season, she and her pals raised and donated more than $1,300 to St. Clare Centre through Soap for Hope. Addy is a blessing, to Friends of Kenyan Orphans, and to the young girls in Kenya. Please join Addy and the “Jersey Girls” and help lend a hand by visiting www.friendsofkenyanorphans.com and clicking on the HOW YOU CAN HELP link today. Thank you!