Why Shoes? The Story of Micro-Enterprise

This years Raise Craze is focused around shoe donations and you may be curious as to what that’s all about. shoes raise craze

According to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2015:
• Textiles, including shoes and clothing, represented 16.03M tons and 65.7% of content in landfills.
• In the U.S., each individual produces 4.48 pounds of daily waste, which includes shoes that are thrown away.
Other realities:
• Most people do not know that shoes and clothing can be repurposed.
• 85% of consumer textiles end up in landfills, which is extremely harmful to the environment.
• Consumers are the primary reason for textiles ending up in landfills.
• Approximately 50 percent of collected shoes and clothing are re-used around the world.
• 70 percent of the global population uses repurposed shoes and clothing.

 

Developing Countries Around the World: Focus on Haiti

shoesThe gently worn, used and new shoes that are collected by the thousands of partners of the Funds2Orgs Group shoe drive fundraising brands are consolidated and shipped to many micro-enterprise partners around the world, where they are sold to small business owners for a low price.

The Funds2Orgs Group seeks to provide an opportunity for people to help themselves out of poverty. We do not just give away the shoes, as this would decimate the local market for shoes and clothing and destroy local jobs. Additionally, some developing countries, particularly in Africa, do not permit apparel to be given away. It is for these reasons that the Funds2Orgs Group promotes commerce and business for small business owners. Shoes are sold by these small business owners in communities in need of proper footwear, at an inexpensive price. Additionally, micro-entrepreneurs create a path out of poverty for themselves in countries where there are limited, if any, job opportunities that pay a living wage.

 

Focus on Haiti

Haiti is one of the countries where the Funds2Orgs Group ships the shoes that are collected in shoe drive fundraisers across Northraise craze shoes America. According to reporting by the World Bank:
• Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere.
• It is the third largest country in the Caribbean, after the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
• Of the country’s population of 10.4 million people, over 6 million (59 percent) live below the national poverty level of
$2.41 USD per day.
• 24 percent of the population, or 2.5 million people, live below the national extreme poverty line, which is $1.23 USD.
• Inflation is high in Haiti, and the average per capita income is $480 USD annually, compared to $33,550 in the United States.

 

Meet the Micro-Entrepreneurs

Silvia

silvia shoesSilvia is one of the people who were able to move from extreme poverty to becoming a successful entrepreneur hiring her own team
of people to work with her because of the shoes collected in the United States. At the time of the 2010 earthquake, Silvia was living with her young son, David, earning about $2 a day. She was living in great poverty, and once the quake struck, she and David lost every material possession they had at the time. After a couple of weeks, Silvia’s friend asked her to help her sell shoes, which were
essential to prevent disease, especially in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Silvia immediately set to work, seven days a week for 12 hours a day, determined to find a path out of poverty for herself and her son. She also wanted David to get educated, which was a tall order in a country where poverty is systemic. However, it was with a focused determination that she was able to work hard, save and then start her own business.

Today, Silvia sells the footwear that she purchases for pennies on the dollar from the Funds2Orgs Group in her community, for a fraction of the original cost, but still at a profit. She has a few people working for her, and now she earns over $60 a day, in comparison to the $2 a day or less she was making before the 2010 earthquake. David was able to graduate high school, as opposed to going to work, and is now attending college, which is a first in the family.

 

David

If you were to walk through the main market in Port-au-Prince, Marché en Fer, you might meet another micro-entrepreneur
named David. He began selling shoes off of a thin carpet that he laid out on the street. The initial inventory, which was two dozens ofdavid shoes shoes that he received to begin his business was given to him, and once he sold that initial batch of footwear, he started to invest a portion of the profits for new inventory.

In Haiti, one of the few job opportunities people have to make money is to sell merchandise, including shoes. David’s wife supported him in his endeavor to become a micro-entrepreneur so they too could create a path out of poverty. David said of the start of his time as a small business owner, “It was not easy at first, but I was able to sell all my shoes and have enough to help my family and buy more shoes to sell.”

Today, David earns enough money in his business that he was able to get his wife to help him. He purchases and sells hundreds of shoes annually with his wife. Additionally, he has also assisted his friends and family in creating their own businesses selling merchandise in Haiti since he’s become successful. We estimate there are over 4,000 families that market our shoes WORLDWIDE.

What happens to the shoes that are not sold by micro-entrepreneurs?

Most of the gently worn, used and new shoes that are shipped to developing nations from North America are sold in local markets by micro-entrepreneurs. However, the shoes that are not sold are used to make and fix products or create something new. Some of these new products can be items such as insulation for homes, stuffing for car seats or furniture.

 

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Great Places to Eat Outdoors in Fairfield

Want to go out to eat but don’t feel comfortable with enclosed spaces?

With covid precautions loosening in Iowa, it is normal to feel apprehensive about going out again. A great way to get outside while maintaining a safe distance from others is to enjoy your favorite food outdoors! Here are some delicious local restaurants that all feature outdoor seating.

Taco Dreams

eat outdoors

fairfield outdoor seatingAt Taco Dreams they serve artisan street tacos and more for take-out and contactless pickup in Fairfield. Located in the “Old Harper Brush” Building at 400 N 2nd Street.  Have you tried their Lucky Bunny Salad? Pictured here with the Organic Chicken Tinga and Green Goddess Dressing.

Their hours are Monday through Friday, 11:00 am to 2:30 pm.

You can go to www.tacodreams.com to place your order online!

 

Arandas

food outdoors fairfield

fairfield resturant

Arandas is a restaurant that features delicious Mexican cuisine and a full bar with traditional margaritas. Arandas is within walking distance from the square in Fairfield and has an outdoor seating area with tables that are six feet apart. Located at 203 W Broadway Ave.

Their hours are  Monday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Shokai

shushi outdoorsfairfield foodShokai has a variety of fresh and cooked sushi rolls that are a work of art to look at and enjoy eating. They have a smaller outdoor seating area so if you want to sit outdoors you better grab a chair fast! They are located conveniently right on the square at 101 W Broadway Ave.

Their Summers hours are; Mon-Thur 11am-2pm lunch 5pm-9pm dinner. Friday 11-2p lunch, 5-10pm dinner.

 

Cider House

fairfield foodcider house outdoors

Another great option for eating outdoors is the Cider House, where you can try their award-winning burgers made with local beef. The Cider House is also a Taproom and features their locally made Fishback & Stephenson hard cider.  “Our food pairs perfectly with our wide range of hard ciders that are available on tap. Our ciders range in flavor from dry and tart to sweet and fruity, guaranteed to please any pallet.”

Live music performances can also be enjoyed outside at the Cider House, their summer hours are; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 4:00 pm -8:00 pm, Friday & Sat 4:00 pm – 8:30 pm and Sunday 10:00 am -2:00 pm. They are located at 1949 Pleasant Plain Road.

Lunchbox

seating outdoors

Located at 403 N Fourth Street Fairfield, Iowa, the Lunchbox serves New Americanlunchbox fairfield comfort food with innovative twists. They offer sandwiches, burgers, salads, and soups that are expertly crafted. They take traditional comfort food and layer in their experience, talent, and skills to create something familiar but beyond. Their lunch hours are Monday through Friday 11″30 am – 2:30 pm. They are now open for dinner as well on Thursdays and Fridays from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

Carryout

fairfield outdoorsYou could also take your favorite food to go and sit at the newly constructed outdoor seating area across the street from the civic center!

 

 

Craving a refreshing juice or smoothie?

juice fairfield

Any’s Juice Joint is a New York-style juice bar, with smoothies, juices, and other natural goodies. Whether you’re ordering a superfood smoothie or a fresh cold-pressed juice, all of the ingredients are certified organic. Everything in this joint is also plant-based and Andy provides a variety of vegan (dairy-free) options. Check him out in the food truck on the backside of the Civic Center, 200 N Main Street. His hours are Monday through Friday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

 

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Newsletter Team Introductions

Meet the team

While the entire CCLS class contributes to the newsletter there are three main editors who decide the content for the newsletter—for example, the funnies, puzzles, and articles.

Faeven Gebremariam

My name is Faeven Gebremariam, and I am a sixth-grader at Maharishi School. I have been at Maharishi School all my life, and I learned Transcendental Meditation in fifth grade. I love to dance, sing, bake, draw, read, hang out with friends, and play the violin too. We worked hard on this newsletter, so I hope you enjoy reading it!

Antariksha Sharma

My name is Antariksha Sharma, and I’m in 7th grade. I like to read, dance, cook, and have fun. I want to become an Emergency Surgeon and an Oncologist when I grow up. One of my favorite quotes is: “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” – Winne the Pooh.

Dharma Sumithran

dharma newsletterMy name is Dharma Sumithran, and my family and I moved to Fairfield a few months ago. I learned Transcendental Meditation and joined

the seventh grade in Maharishi School. I like to dance, bake, read, and play the flute. I have enjoyed making this newsletter, so I hope you like it!

 

 

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter please contact Josephine Ruffin, jruffin@maharishischool.org

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Middle School CCLS Newsletter: Quilt Tales; Warming Ourselves with Positives of 2020

By Dharma

dharma newsletterDid we ever think there were many positives in 2020? Probably not. Well, in our classes for CCLS, we realized that there actually were: 2020 was an extraordinary and positive year in many ways for all of us. The 6th, 7th, and 8th graders came together and started to work on a quilt. The purpose of the quilt was to show that even though 2020 was tough, because of Covid 19 and other events such as the wildfires in Australia, the US elections, and the stock market crash, we learned and grew a lot.

The process of making the quilt had many steps. First, everyone was given a square, and we needed to think deeply about what was important and meaningful to us, and what positive experiences we got out of 2020. Then we drew and colored a picture that represented our experiences on the fabric.

Next, an accomplished quilter, Roseline Woods, and a proud parent of a middle school child, Danielle Wallace volunteered to help us quilt the cloth squares. We got to use regular sewing machines and a special sewing machine to write our name, grade, and where we were from, on the cloth. Then Ms. Woods took all the squares and put them together to form one coherent quilt. The quilt now hangs in our school corridor, available for people to see and reflect upon.

Making the quilt helped us understand 2020 more deeply and find joy in it. We learned that everything has a plus side; it just takes a little time, effort, and intention to find it.

Poem inspired by the Quilt by Dharmanewsletter quilt middle school

Twenty-twenty is now long gone,

And in all of us, new qualities were born.

In the pandemic, the new “out was in”,

Giving us time to learn, and be with kin.

At home where we had to be,

Our creativity we could see.

We did and we discovered

Things that had to be uncovered.

We tried and we failed,

But each time, determination prevailed.

In the ups and downs, we were crafting history,

And when this time ends, we can share the victory.

The principle Dharma chose to represent in her quilt piece and poem is

Harmony exists in diversity

 

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter please contact Josephine Ruffin, jruffin@maharishischool.org

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Middle School CCLS Newsletter: Better Sleep, Better Life Part 2

By Kate, Kyran, Poojita

newsletter middle school

When you don’t sleep it can make your attitude change. For example, you could get frustrated or mad. It doesn’t only affect you, but it affects other people. For instance, if you don’t sleep enough, you can get lazy and get on other people’s nerves. For example, if someone asks you a simple question or is trying to talk to you, you might answer in a rude or unmannerly way.

To read part one of this feature click here.

 

 

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter please contact Josephine Ruffin, jruffin@maharishischool.org

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Middle School CCLS Newsletter: Better Sleep, Better Life

By Rahini, Yo, and Faeven

Sleep is an important function of the body that helps us rest and recharge for activities ahead. Enough sleep also wards off chronic diseases.middle school newsletter Your lifestyle could damage your body.

Many people take sleep for granted. Sure, you might need to stay up a little later to study for important schoolwork, but if you can, try to avoid staying up all night by not using your electronics or watching TV. It can seriously impact your health, both physical and mental, in the long term.

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter please contact Josephine Ruffin, jruffin@maharishischool.org

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Middle School CCLS Newsletter: Gratitude

By Phoenix, Antariksha, Max, and Makayla

A simple “Thank you” can mean much more to someone than we actually think. In CCLS this year, we learned many valuable lessons, including how to clearly express our emotions, be clearer with our words, and connect with other people.

One big takeaway was one lesson on gratitude, for being grateful leads to your understanding of how to be a better version of yourself. One point that really stuck with us was that a “thank you” couldn’t be forced. It has to be genuine because the person receiving the “thank you” would be able to tell our emotions. Properly expressed real gratitude could really make someone’s day.

middle school kids

Other people aren’t the only ones we can express gratitude to. We can express thankfulness to ourselves, nature, and opportunities for anything that we think is deserving. Before this class, we might have thought that thanking an object was a bizarre practice. Who does that, right?

But the truth is that when we go out of our way to recognize somebody, it makes us feel good about ourselves. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an object or a person. Just that we can appreciate someone else without expecting anything in return except for the feeling of fulfillment we get.

Being grateful is a human thing, here is what some 7th graders are grateful for:

Makayla, for the new shoes she got for Christmas; Max, for his parents allowing him to build a PC; Phoenix, for being able to win level 44 of a game; and Antariksha, for the opportunities in America she has in her life.

Consider being grateful for any of these things: pets, family, education, travel, fun, sunny day, technology, laughs!

 

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter please contact Josephine Ruffin, jruffin@maharishischool.org

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From the Desk of the CCLS Middle School Teacher

Written by Josephine Ruffin

It was a great joy to be offered the opportunity to teach the CCLS class in Maharishi Middle School this year. You might ask: “What is CCLS?”

The Consciousness, Connections, and Life Skills course (CCLS) has grown out of the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI). All around us in Nature and in human life, we see patterns of orderliness or intelligence. Every field of knowledge studies some aspect of orderliness in Nature. Maharishi’s Science of Creative Intelligence is unique because it studies intelligence itself. Like any science, it has a practical aspect and a theoretical aspect.

First, students learn and practice the Transcendental Meditation technique.

Then they study other sciences and arts appropriate for their level of development and connect them to their experience of pure awareness.

For example, in CCLS class they studied the art of giving and receiving an apology. This raises their awareness of the importance of letting an individual know when you recognize you have done something wrong, and that you are genuinely sorry. This clears the path for moving forward, healing, and improving relationships. It shows how our words and actions can nourish the fine feeling level. This demonstrates the Life Principle: Purification leads to progress.

They also studied the life science of AyurVeda (Ayur means life, Veda means knowledge). This included selecting the appropriate diet and exercise regimen for themselves, sleep, meditation, and how to detect imbalances in their body by taking their own pulse.

We also created a colorful quilt to focus their attention on the positive aspects of 2020 when Covid-19 had such an impact on their lives. They related their experience to a principle of Creative Intelligence and illustrated it on a cloth square. These were then integrated into a quilt.

They learned the anatomy of an effective email—the receiver, subject, salutation, body, and closing—and how to connect with the consciousness of the recipient to uplift them and inspire them through communicating at a profound level.

This quarter we are working on connecting with cities and countries, to reinforce the principle: “The world is my family.” Our students have connected to those in Maharishi schools in Canada and Australia. They discovered how similar our experiences really are.

I hope you enjoy this newsletter that the students have created. Special thanks to the editors: Antariksha, Dharma, and Faeven.

Maharishi said to the press: “Watch, and report what you see.

josephine teacher maharishi school

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter please contact Josephine Ruffin, jruffin@maharishischool.org

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From Maharishi School to Princeton

Yenet Tafeese graduated from Maharishi School, six feet apart from her friends in the summer of 2020. What is she doing now you might ask? Well, she’s currently in the process of taking her mid-terms at Princeton, one of 12 Ivy League universities in the United States. I was lucky enough to steal a few moments of Yenet’s time to find out her story.

Can you tell me a little bit about growing up in Ethiopia?

While I was in Ethiopia I went to an international school so I was able to learn some English however I obviously didn’t know much. When I was younger I really liked jumping rope, even when I moved here I would jump rope a lot. Some specific memories that stand out in Fairfield were breaking my leg about 2 weeks into 5th grade. I had just moved here and I was trying to make friends and I ended up breaking my leg. Honestly, I was really scared about making friends especially after I broke my leg but I realized that through that I was able to meet the people that I am friends with now.

How has Maharishi School helped you on your journey to Princeton?

Maharishi School had helped shape a lot of what I think and it has cultivated my personal thought on a lot of things. Because of programs like project-based learning and consciousness-based education during my time at Maharishi School I was taught to think for myself and try my best to accept others and meet different people. The international environment and the home-like community at Maharishi School gave me a safe space to learn both academically and just general life skills. 

What was your first reaction to being accepted at Princeton? 

I was extremely surprised I got accepted to Princeton. Princeton was one of those schools that I applied to as a why-not school. The school that I just wanted to apply to for fun. So I was surprised to finish my application let alone get accepted!  I went through the Questbridge application process so I applied to almost all of my reach schools through that. In that process, I applied to WashU, Northwestern, UPenn, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, Duke, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, and Rice. My plan had been to finish my Questbridge application then depending on how it goes I would have applied to some of my “match” and “safe” schools through the common application. 

What is life currently like for you at Princeton?

My life at college has already started and I am currently taking my midterms. It is very odd to think that it had been a year since I started this process. I think college is very different than what people say it is; but, it is also exactly what people say it is. To further elaborate, college is really based on what you make of it. There is a lot of freedom so discipline and time management are very necessary. There is also the aspect of college that is non-academic and for that time you really have to get yourself out there! 

A lot of the things I do here has been based on me making an active decision. This might be obvious but I didn’t fully grasp this concept until I came here and understood that every decision that I make is up to me and I have to be the one managing things. 

We want to thank Yenet for taking the time to talk to us and congratulate her on this incredible accomplishment! The Maharishi School community is so proud of you, we cannot wait to see what more you will conquer in your life!

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Top 10 Achievements from Maharishi School

Teacher’s Holiday Party 2020

 

 

 

Top 10 Achievements for 1st Semester
2020-2021
Outside is the joy of the drop. Inside is the joy of the ocean. —Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
richard beall
Head of School Dr. Richard Beall
1. During the summer of 2020, prior to the opening of school, we formed a COVID task force to prepare the learning environment. Dr. Beall confirms that we met our commitment to make informed, data-driven decisions and preparations for the coming school year.
Families were given a choice: students could attend in person, online locally, and online internationally. Our website describes these detailed decisions and preparations in the “Return to Learn” plan required by the Iowa Department of Education.
We are proud to say that we got through 2020 without a single case of COVID.
Niche Ranking, woohoo!
4. In 2021, Maharishi School ranked #1 in FIVE categories through Niche.com: #1 Most Diverse Private High School in Iowa, #1 Best College Prep Private High School in Iowa, #1 Best Private High School in Iowa, #1 Best Private K-12 School in Iowa, and #1 Best Boarding High School in Iowa. Click to see our success!
Harmony Exists in Diversity
6. Being ranked as the #1 Most Diverse Private High School in Iowa (of 51) is a huge benefit for our students as they prepare to navigate through our multicultural society and world. In our dorm alone we currently have boarding students from China, Korea, Germany, India, Vietnam, and the US.
“Lets talk about race” Book Club
8. Our Diversity-Equity-Inclusion (DEI) Committee sees a strengthening in our DEI programs with new diversity curriculum and workshops, resilience surveys, and expanded counseling services.
Beautification in the School
10. We have successfully completed renovations of all three levels of the Hopson Building. New colors, flooring, and other visual features have brought our main building into the 21st century. Notice the social-distancing decals?
montessori in elementary school
Montessori in the Elementary School
2. The Lower School successfully integrated a half-day Montessori curriculum into the 1st and 2nd grades, and also brought kindergarten into the Lower School building this year. The Lower School also lengthened the school day to provide Social Studies and Science lessons on a daily basis. Click here to read more about this.
Cooking in the Maharishi School Kitchen
3. The Middle School Team works closely together to provide a wide variety of hands-on, project-based learning experiences, from science labs—in the kitchen—to communication skills shared with the community.
Student Council meeting
5. The Upper School Student Council has provided outstanding leadership during the pandemic, organizing weekly safe social activities to sustain school spirit and social-emotional well being. Pictured above is a New Year’s party organized by Student Council!
Acts of Kindness
7. Raise Craze, our biggest fundraiser of the year will officially become a new annual tradition. Students asked friends and family to donate to Maharishi School, and as a way to pay their generosity forward, they performed Acts of Kindness for others. Surpassing our goal of $15,000 we were able to purchase much needed COVID supplies and increase technology for online instruction.
#GivingTuesday
9. Maharishi School is deeply grateful for the support shown during our December “Season of Giving” campaign. Our Development Team together with your help, raised $37,000 through Giving Tuesday and Matching Funds–more than we ever thought possible.
Thank you all for your wonderful support!
Cheers to your good health, happiness, and abundance in 2021!
Maharishi School | www.maharishischool.org | 641-472-9400

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