Almost two years ago, HHI was looking for a film team, not just any film team, but the best we could get, for as little as we could pay. We let our friends at Vermilion Films of Portland, Oregon know, just as they were celebrating their Sundance Award for best documentary. Much to our delight, they are fans of Hands to Hearts’ work and they made it possible for us to work together to create HHI’s Baby Massage DVD. Still the perfect baby shower gift for any new parents!
I was delighted to learn that our friends at Vermilion, Irene Taylor Brodsky and cameraman SibyVeliath, have been nominated for an Oscar for their documentary short, “Final Inch”. This film documents dedicated individuals in India travel throughout the country urging parents to vaccinate their children against the disease, contributing to the global efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. See the buzz and cheer them on!
Congratulations to our friends who at Vermilion – doing important work, and doing it the best!
Now think about it… you can give the coolest baby shower gift ever. It provides simple baby masage instruction for new parents, it is easy to follow and beautifully crafted, all proceeds benefit HHI’s on-going work with vulnerable children, it features an adorable baby, and it was created by a film team that has won at Sundance and is now heading to the Oscars! Buy the DVD today!
Global Sistergoods is a sister-owned small business that imports fairly-traded crafts from women artisans from around the world. Their work is in-line with HHI’s mission and values. They provide a living wage to economically disadvantaged women in fragile economies by supporting entrepreneurship, self-reliance and micro-enterprise development.
Global Sistergoods partners with international non-government organizations (NGOs), governmental trade associations and individual artisans; sustaining traditional craftmaking techniques while providing high-quality products and educating consumers about women’s issues in the countries our artisans live in.
Global Sistergoods believes strongly in the value of “women’s work.” They have beautiful bags, jewelry, toys, clothing, home decor, holiday gifts and oh-so-much more! I encourage you to shop with your hearts and your smarts ~ shop the Gifts that Give Back at Global Sistergoods now! A full 5% of your purchases of “Gifts that Give Back” will be gifted to support HHI’s work.
I just heard the neatest story about HHI’s new Tiny Revolutionary tee shirt. If you haven’t seen this fabulously designed, beautifully made and high quality tee shirt yet, here is how adorable it is -
Tiny’s tees attract people, parents in particular, who are inspired to raise their children as positive forces for change. Recently Tiny created a specific tee to benefit the women and children of Hands to Hearts, they call it a “Giving Tee”. For every HHI Giving Tee they sell, we get $20 (which immediately becomes $40 for HHI, given that we have a matching grant going on now).
I talked to BreeAnne, one of the owners and master design-divas at Tiny and she told me that HHI’s Giving Tee has been a big hit, so much so that one mom recently purchased this shirt as a gift for all the caregivers in her son’s childcare center. I asked if this mom would be willing to share about what she did and why.
Here is Jennifer’s story of how she made goodness grow from the Giving Tee:
“My son attends the University of Houston Childcare Center and started there in the infant room. As a first time mom, I was very anxious about his being cared for by non-family in a group setting. From the first moment he started in the infant room, I was wowed by the wonderful teachers and student workers who cared for him. I had such peace of mind knowing that my son was being cared for by a group of such incredibly nurturing women. My son has since moved into one of the toddler rooms and is blessed with terrific caregivers, but I will never forget his experience in the infant room. I knew I wanted to do something special for those teachers and student workers for the holidays, something that would be meaningful to them. I had a eureka moment when I saw Tiny Revolutionary’s new Gandhi “Where There is Love, There is Life” tee’s. When I read about Hands to Hearts International’s training program, I was moved as I thought about the babies in world who live without love and those who will be able to experience love as a result of HHI. What better gift for my son’s teachers and student workers than the “giving tee” “Where There is Love, There is Life” that not only acknowledges and celebrates the love that they express to the infants in their care but also contributes to HHI and supports its mission to bring love into the lives of infants across the world. I also ordered a “Where There is Love, There is Life” tee for my mother.. She has shared so much love with her first grandchild, and their bond is so special, that I knew the order would not be complete without a tee for her as well.”
How cool to see that goodness grows in so many directions! Proof that “where there is LOVE, there is LIFE”. A big thanks to Jennifer, all the loving caregivers who serve her son and of course to Tiny Revolutionary!
Now go get your Tiny Tee in honor of those you love – click here!
It all began as a unique idea from HHI’s Advisor, Michael Smolens. He suggested that as a part of HHI’s training materials, we would create a DVD to demonstrate the baby massage techniques used in our orphanage trainings. He sweetened the idea by offering to gift HHI his company’s dotSUB technology, which would allow us to create this training tool in up to 200 languages. The great part is that baby massage can be used on all babies: from Anytown, USA to Mumbai, India. HHI Advisor, Todd Lofgren, said that he as a parent would love learn from HHI’s massage techniques and he believed other US parents would want the DVD as well.
So, last summer, as HHI was overhauling all of our program materials, I embarked on what I thought would be a new “little project”, that of making a short instructional film about the benefits and techniques of baby massage. Wow – I had NO idea what I was getting myself into! Experts in: baby massage, film production, videography, screenplay writing, etc… as well as recruiting HHI staff and an adorable baby in India. Then – only because I was delusional in my naivete – I planned for 2 days of filming to capture all the footage we would need. Our adorable model baby, Palak, was on her own schedule and I soon learned that she was calling all the shots on the film shoot!
Well, after returning with all the footage of Palak (our cute, but very wiggly baby star) the production team here got going. A voice talent narrated the film, over 20 people from around the world got busy translating the film into their own languages, a graphic designer created beautiful art to go with it, and a video house was found to package all of this in 100% recyclable materials. I’m giving you the briefest description of the highlights over the last 8 months. But, finally we are ready to release HHI’s first training video tool–Baby Massage: Nurturing & Bonding Through Touch. It is available to people around the globe – literally – with subtitles in 19 languages! And (BONUS!) it is coming just in time to be the perfect Mother’s Day gift. With a minimum donation of $25, you can give a great resource to a new parent, and at the same time you will be supporting HHI’s efforts to serve children around the world!
Whew! This was a way bigger project than I expected, just as HHI has grown larger, faster and with a greater impact on the lives of thousands in bigger ways than I ever could have anticipated. The outcome is that once again, and with the support of dotSUB, HHI is on the cutting edge with this training tool can be used in countless countries around the world!
Its all been worth it. Now we can share a small part of HHI’s training with you – wherever you may live. See a preview of the film and the full list of languages at our website at http://handstohearts.org/hands-to-hearts-products/baby-massage-dvd/.
For 10 years, I served children suffering from severe emotional disorders. These children were hurt so badly at such an early age that by 5 they had already failed repeatedly in foster homes and adoptions. I realized that I could no longer stand to be the "ambulance squad". In 2004, I founded HHI as a way to reach the world's neediest and youngest children with the simplest, most cost effective forms of healing available. Just as important, I wanted to empower women in the developing world to act for positive change in their families and communities everyday, weaving a stronger social fabric for the benefit of all.