Posted on June 25 2018
It’s been three years since The Rustic House Co-Founder Emily Warr discovered Rising Minds. To this day, the Guatemala-based non-profit organization still holds a special place in her heart. This month, TRH is relaunching their This Little Light fundraiser with Rising Minds, hoping to make an even larger impact on San Pedro, Lago Atitlán--the Guatemalan Highlands of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.
Warr’s involvement with Rising Minds began with a friend’s mere suggestion.
“My best friend Kelly Turner knew about my passion for travel and helping underprivileged communities,”she says. “Rising Minds places special emphasis on education and providing ‘Hand Ups Not Handouts’--I felt compelled to help out.”
Warr and Turner first traveled to Guatemala in Spring 2016 to help Rising Minds.
“The local community welcomed us with open hearts,” she says. “The two of us--along with a group of college students from Canada--worked specifically with schools for preschool and elementary-aged children. We painted educational murals on basic health and nutrition.”
In addition to painting murals, the group replenished the community garden.
“People were able to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” says Warr.
Although the trip was a success, she yearned to continue working with the non-profit. Fortunately, Warr is planning to return to Guatemala next year with her friend and Chattanooga Yoga Instructor, Maggie White.
This month, The Rustic House and Rising Minds are rekindling their This Little Light campaign. In a three-year span, the project previously raised a total of $2,288. This time around, Warr hopes to raise $3,000 that will go directly to Rising Minds.
So how can YOU lend a hand? The Rustic House is launching a limited edition Agave + Lime candle to benefit the non-profit. $12 from each candle purchased goes toward different projects Rising Minds manages.
Current needs include constructing a garden fence to protect against wild animals, planting a medicinal herb/plant garden, and raising the Educational Garden through the use of wood, recycled bottles and tires.
The Agave + Lime candle is available online, at the Chattanooga Market or Merchants on Main if you live in the Chattanooga area.
In addition to purchasing a candle or donating through the SNAP Fundraising website, Warr and White encourages donors to participate in the “Practice In Action”--a week woven together with daily meditation and yoga practices while working with Rising Minds.
“My main goal is to take a team of 12-15 people who can help with all the projects Rising Minds offers their community,” says Warr. “I am so excited about going to Guatemala instead of just handing over a check. We will be able to see exactly where the money goes.”
White will lead yoga and meditation sessions to help participants stay centered and focused during the trip.
For the past three years, Rising Minds has been the epitome of what the This Little Light Project represents. No matter how big or small the impact, The Rustic House wishes to give back to the world, locally and internationally. Emily Warr hopes the upcoming Practice In Action will open people’s hearts to the importance of helping those in need.
“The smiles and sincere joy that I witnessed two years ago moved me,” Warr says about working with Rising Minds and the Guatemalan people. “It wasn’t about items donated; it was about the time spent with them. When I see photos of children learning and thriving because of our [the Chattanooga community] donations, it truly makes my heart explode.”
White shares mutual excitement in organizing the Practice In Action.
“This unique adventure-week is rooted in Living our Practice through curated practices of self-reflection, service in action and exploring the diversity and beauty of the Sierra Madre mountains.”
To purchase the Agave + Lime candle, click here.