Art for Adoption: Meet Chris and Zaira.

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Hey everyone! Josh (@jmhenriquez) here. I’m so excited to share more details about the #art4adoption campaign. Over the last few years, I have developed a passion to see foster and orphan youth reached with the love of God and be put into families. After helping the team here at dprture on some campaigns, I knew that a campaign through them was the best way to go. Over the next few weeks we will be releasing limited edition art prints sold exclusively though the dprture store. 100% of the proceeds from these prints will be donated to Chris and Zaira Latham to help cover the costs of their adoption of a little boy from Africa. 

Before they were even married both Chris and Zaira had individually decided that when they were married they would adopt. 

Chris had grown up in South Carolina and when he was a teen his family had taken in a good family friend and had unofficially adopted him. Zaria, born in Mexico, grew up in Orange County and was a part of a family that always helped people. She told me of memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners when her family would take in the people others would reject. She recalls when she was little, there were some neighbor kids whose mother was in prison. Because of this, her mom became their unofficial mother. They would come over for meals and if one didn't want to go to school, for example, they would call her mother and she would come over and help get them ready. She attributes her parents to her desire to adopt. She even went as far as to say that she wouldn’t even consider dating a man who wasn't willing to adopt. 

When they met in 2010, Chris was in the Marine Corp and Zaira was attending Point Loma University getting her masters degree. They became friends at first and didn't realize their feelings for each other until Chris was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. It was then that they began to talk more and fell in love. Chris returned in October of 2011, they began officially fating in Novemeber and were engaged just two months later in January of 2012. Chris was honorably discharged from the Marines in June 1st and they were married just eight days later on June 9th. 

When they got married they both knew that they wanted to adopt. It was then that they realized that most adoption agencies required a couple to be married for at least three years. So this June, they hit the three year mark and began the adoption process. They knew they wanted to adopt a child from Africa, so they signed up with and adoption agency and found an orphanage. In most cases a couple is not paired/matched to a child until much later in the process. So when they called the orphanage just to get information you could imagine their surprise when they were told that there was a four year old boy up for immediate adoption. Even though they were anticipating adopting a child ages 0-2, they just knew that this was the child for them. Because of legal reasons the child isn't officially paired, and we cannot yet share many details about the little boy, such as his name, home country, or any photos.

One detail I can vaguely give is that when they signed up with the adoption agency, they had to sign a document called “No Healthy Child” which essentially states that they will not receive a “healthy” child. Even knowing this they were more than happy to continue the process. When they were told about their child they were made aware of a challenge he may be facing.They told mein regards to this: “One thing that we had to learn during this process is to stop and really examine our motives. When you are told that this kid that you may adopt will probably have a disability or challenge, it really takes you back. I had to think ‘Well, if I were to have a biological child with same challenges what would I do? I would love him anyway.’ And its the same. Adopted or not. This adoption isn't about us. Its about him. We see no difference between an adopted child and a biological child. God puts some kids into family through birth and others through adoption. Either way, God puts them into our family.”

This adoption is expected to cost anywhere from $27,000-$31,000. Their next step in the process is the home study and dossier. A dossier is basically a collection of legal documents that are needed to meet the legal requirements for adoption from a foreign country as well as the immigration requirements of the U.S. Government. Their hope is to have the home study and dossier completed by the end of the year. Once that is completed they will be officially matched with their little boy. 

If you want to keep up with their adoption you can check their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/czlatham

Introducing: dprture production

Hey guys! I wanted to take a minute to talk about something I'm really excited about.

For a long time, me and several of my friends have wanted to find a way to use our gifts and talents to help others—photographers, filmmakers, designers, writers, and creatives coming together to create content that makes the world a better place.  Well, I'm excited to say that we're making this happen through dprture production.

We're already up and running, and just recently did one of our first major projects under the dprture production name. The idea is to create content for brands and companies, and donate a portion of the profits to one of our partner charities. This is very early in its development, but we've already been privileged to work with and form relationships with several clients.

If you want to learn more, head over to the production page and check out some of our projects, meet the team, or submit a project for us to work on. 

We're excited about adding another way to help our partner charities. Thanks again for all the support!

Ethics in Production: Supply Chain Responsibility.

Recently, a popular social commentator did a report on supply chain responsibility in clothing. In this segment, many alarming statistics about popular clothing brands were mentioned—many involving hazardous workplaces, unfair wages, or even child labor in the production of their clothing.

We're not interested in creating low-cost products at the expense of ethics, and we're also not interested in creating bad publicity for other companies. However, we do want to personally address the issue. We're proud to say that our supply chain from start to finish is 100% responsibly managed, United States-located manufacturing. We take our ethical responsibility to create products that help people very seriously, including the people who manufacture our clothing. This isn't the most glamorous topic, and it's definitely not one that's fun to discuss; but it is important.

Thanks for listening!

Here's to you.

It can be difficult to see progress on a project with big goals. Sometimes it seems like all the work you put into a cause falls into a bottomless pit, and there's never any visible progress. That's why it's so exciting to see that we're actually helping to make a difference in causes around the world. With a mission as big as "loving and helping people around the world," it can be had to see actual, physical progress.

(DISCLAIMER: Obviously, we aren't solely responsible for the progress our partners are making, but we wanted to give you guys an idea of the progress that our partners have made in recent days.)

Since we've introduced charity: water as one of our causes, they've funded 3,000 more clean water projects providing clean water for over 200,000 more people. Obviously, this wasn't just a result of what we've done here at dprture, but it's unbelievably exciting to see so much progress in a cause that we care about.

Compassion International now supports over 1,500,000 children in 26 countries, nearly 200,000 more than when we announced Compassion as one of our partners. As more and more people become involved in child sponsorship through Compassion International, entire communities are seeing change and growth.

Embrace Grace has continued to grow and touch lives, and they've recently launched a new website that makes resources for helping young mothers easily accessible. They now have over 50 programs in over 25 states helping young women through unplanned pregnancies in a time when nobody else will.

As we continue to look towards the future, we're excited to have a small part in helping make an impact in the lives of people, and partnering with even more causes to make a difference in the lives of even more people who desperately need love and help. Obviously, our mission is impossible without the help and support of people like you guys, and we're beyond thankful for the support.

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. . . You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. . . And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

-Apple Inc.

Here's to you.

Our Partners: Children Mending Hearts

Art is something that transcends culture and time. Art can inspire, entertain, or protest—even all at once. It's a medium that sets rules aside, and allows creativity to take over. Boundaries seem to vanish as the only limit becomes imagination. Art is freedom.

In 2008, Lysa Heslov founded Children Mending Hearts—an organization founded with the purpose of giving children worldwide the ability to express themselves through creativity and art.

CMH's first global project was in the war-torn areas of Sudan that had recently experienced tragic genocide. Sometimes the media can desensitize our minds to the reality of a situation—the fact that there are children left in the aftermath of these events who desperately need an escape. Lysa found an escape for these children through art. She made and decorated kites with a group of children and saw the happiness and empowerment on their faces as they watched what they had created come to life in the sky.

Unfortunately, the social and emotional health of children in areas like this can be largely overlooked though physical needs are being met. Through creative and artistic therapy methods, children can express themselves and their emotions in ways that otherwise can't be expressed. 

Through their Global Arts Program, CMH works with underprivileged children to help them find a voice through art with programs in photography, drawing, painting, textiles, and more. This arts program is also integrated with social activism and empathetic outreach to youth in other countries.

We're excited to partner with CMH's vision with our "Art Is Freedom" design. When our new releases go live, you'll be able to pick up this design and support CMH. With every sale, we're donating $10 to Children Mending Hearts.

Guest Post: Your Departure

Every one of us is going to leave a legacy. When you DEPART what kind of influence will you leave behind?

Legacy is inheritance. Legacy is your gift to the world. Legacy is your act of gratitude.

I honestly can’t think of any “famous” girls growing up that were beyond my age that I looked up to because their life inspired me. It is sad to say that. I want my legacy to be one of love and encouragement. I want the SON to shine through my heart daily and my story through Christ to portray who I am through him. That SON beingJESUS CHRIST.  

As Paul told the Philippians, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Hebrews 3:13-14). There’s no better time than the start of this New Year to set our sights on new goals that will, over time, develop a legacy worth leaving.

I want nothing more to inspire. Whether that be washing dishes while doing my job, cutting someone’s hair at the salon, or simply by what I say and my actions. Day by day, my heart yearns for more “legacies” to be noticed. Your actions do speak louder than words. How will your actions make this world a better place? How will they show and display love for people who don’t know the maker of LOVE? Your legacy shows that you are better because you serve a better cause than your own.

When we all depart, what will you want your name to forever be associated with?

Anger? Love? Money? JESUS?

I urge you all to see the goal at the end of the finish line to hear Jesus tell you, “well done, my good and faithful servant.

Can you imagine if we all left a legacy of this importance? Our world would be changed forever.

What is your story? Your legacy? Your departure? Start to write it now.

xoxo Kaley

Read more on Kaley's blog here.

A better way to live.

More than ever, humanity has become comfortable with its current condition. Though many people try to make their own lives better, few actually take steps towards making the world a better place for others.

We’re okay with children starving in other countries as long as we don’t have to think about it. Sure, there are places where people have to walk 3 hours to get clean water, but that’s not me, so why does it matter? 

We’re fine with sitting in our clean homes, sipping our perfectly brewed coffee, endlessly searching for entertainment, and doing our best to live a perfect, comfortable life while there are millions of people in the world who are just trying to survive one more day.

That’s the society we live in, but we don’t have to be a part of it. There’s a better way to live.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it this way in his speech, The Drum Major Instinct:

You want to be first? You want to be great? You want to be important? You want to be significant? Well, you ought to be! … Yes, don't give up this instinct! It's a good instinct if you use it right. … Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity …  If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness.

LOVE—it takes someone else’s problem and makes it your own. It’s no longer some distant place where some unknown person needs some insignificant thing. It’s personal now. Love finds a way to overcome.

But just caring about an issue isn’t enough. Look at the last bit of that speech again, "But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.” A servant does something about it. A servant is someone who works. Someone who takes action. Someone who puts the needs of others above themselves.

HELP—it takes our love and does something about it. We’ve been blessed beyond measure. The fact that you can read this means that you can see, and for some people, that in itself would be a miracle. It’s time to use what we’ve been blessed with to bless others. 

This is a call to action for everyone. We can all do something to make the world a better place for someone else. 

Our Partners: charity: water

Since its formation in 2006, charity: water has funded over 13,644 clean water projects in 22 countries around the world providing clean water to almost 5,000,000 people.

Over 30,000 people die every week because of unsafe water or unclean living conditions. Over 90% of those deaths are in children under the age of 5. By simply providing clean water, that number can go down by 21%. Hand washing can reduce deaths by over 30%.

Not only is this helping people stay healthy, it's also having a huge impact on the local economies of the communities impacted. For every $1 invested into a clean water project, the local economy grows by $4-12. Clean water is not only helping people to live healthier lives, but it's helping them to live more prosperous lives.

The walk that used to take 3 hours to get to clean water is shortened for most people to 15 minutes. The women and children that used to spend much of the day gathering water can now spend more time in school or earning extra income for their families. Clean water also allows a community to grow their own food, helping to eliminate hunger problems as well.

charity: water is having an impact in millions of lives all over the world, and we're excited to partner with them. On January 24th, you'll have the chance to purchase the Droplet tee from our store. With every purchase, $10 will go to charity: water to help provide clean water and a fresh start to communities all over the world.

 

Our Partners: Embrace Grace

Embrace Grace was founded to provide support for single young girls who find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy. During a time that can be confusing, stressful, and lonely, Embrace Grace creates an environment for these girls to find acceptance and help. Whether the girls decide to keep the child, or place for adoption, the support they receive during this time is something that these girls desperately need. 

Embrace Grace is already in 65 locations across the US, and by the end of 2015, they plan to have 1000 locations in which thousands of young girls can find support and hope.

Embrace Grace gives both mothers and the children a chance at a better life. When our store goes live on January 24th, you'll have the chance to purchase the "Amazing Grace" tee. With every purchase, $10 will go to help young mothers through Embrace Grace.

Our Partners: Compassion International

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Compassion International has been doing amazing things for children in need for over 60 years, and we're excited to partner with them in our launch collection to help them reach even more people in need. 

For those of you who don't know much about this organization, Compassion International is a child sponsorship organization that provides for children's needs physically, spiritually, and emotionally. They currently sponsor over 1,350,590 children all over the world, and are making an incredible difference in the lives of these children. 

Recent statistics indicate that children who are enrolled in a sponsorship program are up to 80% more likely to graduate from college, and up to 75% more likely to become leaders in their communities.

With every sale of the "Create in Me" tee, $10 will go towards releasing children from poverty through Compassion International. Together, we can make a difference.

For more information on the work and history of Compassion, click here.

Droplet Tee (Winter Collection 2015)

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The final product in our Winter Collection is the droplet tee.

Water is one of the most basic necessities of human life. However, access to clean water isn't always a reality for people who need it the most. We're trying to change that. charity: water has already funded nearly 15,000 clean water projects helping nearly 5,000,000 people. For every shirt purchased, $10 will go towards getting clean water to those in need through charity: water.

This, and the other launch designs, will be available for purchase on January 24th! Mark your calendars!

Amazing Grace Tee (Winter Collection 2015)

Our third product in the launch lineup is the Amazing Grace tee for Embrace Grace. 

Embrace Grace exists to provide emotional, practical, and spiritual support for single young girls that find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy. Whether they keep their baby or place for adoption, Embrace Grace is a support system as they begin their journey of being a young mother or blessing another family with their baby. Through Embrace Grace, lives are being saved and generations are being changed. We're excited to partner with Embrace Grace to make an impact for hundreds of people who are in desperate need of this support.

This, and the other launch designs, will be available for purchase on January 24th! Mark your calendars!

Create in Me Tee (Winter Collection 2015)

The first benefit product in the Winter Collection is the Create in Me Tee for Compassion International.

The overflow of a clean heart is always love. We're excited to partner with Compassion International to help release children from poverty. Compassion helps over 1,500,000 children in 26 countries by providing for them spiritually, economically, socially, and educationally. By purchasing this item, you're giving someone hope. For more information about Compassion and the work they do, click here.

This, and the other launch designs, will be available for purchase on January 24th! Mark your calendars!

The Identity Tee (Winter Collection 2015)

It's time to start sharing with you guys the Winter Collection for 2015!

This is the first of our launch lineup, the identity tee. Our identity tee proudly bears the LOVE | HELP logo, and is an awesome reminder of our mission. The proceeds from this shirt will go towards our next lineup of products and causes.

This, and the other launch designs, will be available for purchase on January 24th! Mark your calendars!