Through our journey to 100% USA made bottles, we have experienced a bit of trial and error. As a result, we now have over 750 bottles and lids with printing flaws. These range from scratches and tiny gaps in the color to alignment issues and paint blotches (see photos below for examples). These are minor flaws that don’t affect the quality or functionality of the bottle. We like to think it gives the bottle a little personality of its own, and have been calling the flawed lids our “Broken Hearts”.
We can’t, of course, sell these bottles alongside our normal bottles, but we couldn’t help feeling like they still have a role to play. We are all flawed, and yet still beautiful in every way. Similarly, these bottles have love to spread, regardless of their shortcomings. So we began brainstorming and searching for a way to still use them as a positive force in the world. We used our nickname “Broken Hearts” as a guide.
That’s how we found Kids Helping Kids Fix Broken Hearts.
Kids Helping Kids Fix Broken Hearts is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help families who are financially burdened with travel, food, and lodging expenses while their child is in the hospital away from their hometown receiving heart or heart-related surgery.
It all started when the Kladar kids decided to break through common age barriers and make a difference in the world, despite being told by society that they’re too young. In their family, beginning with their 1st birthday, they request that guests bring donations for the food bank instead of gifts for the celebration. After their 5th birthday, they choose which organization or cause they wish to support. Their various efforts have included collecting books for libraries devastated by Hurricane Katrina, donating money for breast cancer research, and gathering building supplies for Habitat for Humanity.
For Sarah’s 10th birthday in 2008, she decided to collect school supplies for a poor school in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Her family traveled to Playa Del Carmen to deliver the supplies, and afterward, visited the small clinic established there. They discovered a wall covered in photos of children ranging in age from infants to teenagers. When they asked about it, they were told it was called the “Wall of Hearts”, and represented children who were in danger of dying without life-saving heart surgery.
The Kladar kids were heartbroken by this news and decided to take action. Emily designed a logo, and they began printing them onto dishtowels, which they sold for $5 each. To date, they have sold about 7000 towels, and have raised approximately $94,000. They have dish towels in all 50 states and in over 42 countries. The have helped 70 families in 17 states, and they continue to help families by partnering with hospitals across the nation.
To learn more about Kids Helping Kids Fix Broken Hearts, visit their website at www.kidsfixinghearts.org.
A beautiful mini documentary was made about the Kladars' trip to Playa Del Carmen and the beginning of their journey. Click here to watch the 4 minute video.
Emily (who designed the logo) was chosen as one of America's Top 10 Youth Volunteers for 2012 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C.
Then in 2013, the oldest of the Kladar kids, Sarah, gave an awesome talk at TEDxSpokane. Watch the video here.
We decided that we want to help this amazing organization. We reached out to Kids Helping Kids Fix Broken Hearts and proposed our idea to sell our “Broken Hearts” bottles as a sponsorship for them, with a little twist from our normal bottle sales.
We were able to get refunds for some of the parts of the bottles, so we knew we could sell the bottles for a slightly lower price and have enough to cover the costs of the remaining parts and shipping (about $10, on average). However, instead of keeping the remaining $10, we decided that we will donate it directly to Kids Helping Kids Fix Broken Hearts. At $10 per bottle, that’s a potential $7500, which would help them break the $100K mark.
Preparations to launch the project have been fun. We began assembling the “Broken Hearts” bottles and collaborating with Katie, the Kladar kids’ mother. She has been so supportive and grateful through the entire process. We got permission to make a dishwasher safe and weather proof sticker with their logo to go with the bottles so customers can choose to apply it either to their bottle or to something else (car window, planner, laptop case, etc) to raise awareness for the non-profit.
CLICK THE LOGO TO PURCHASE BROKEN HEARTS BOTTLES
The Love Bottle Team