It’s my favorite story right now. The art & eden story. We gave you the introduction with “a small tale”, where we revealed earth shattering giving back that led to a beautiful connection which has now developed into a beautiful collaboration. They had us at giving back. They had us even more at “Buy better. Do better.“ Now they have us standing in awe as we discover the many stories of giving back that continue at art & eden. It’s these connections and collaborations that have me writing with much emotion.
What makes the art & eden journey so beautiful are the key concepts they embrace:
- Conscious capitalism
- Power of connecting and collaborating
- Future of profit in finding its greater purpose
- Harnessing the power of business for the greater good of our local and global communities
And their love for their community: what they call the Un-Revolution. That’s right, they are turning the fashion industry on its head. It cannot be ignored. It’s a force to be sure. Let’s define it, because hey, you know me and my love for words. I am savoring this beloved concept like my coveted caramel. It’s that worthy.
“It is the return. It is the radical belief that we are–and have–enough. It is love. It is humanizing humans. It is honoring our earth, our ancestors, and one another. It is resting down the ego and lifting up the heart. It is being. The Un-Revolution is not a new and innovative idea that will save us. It is not a prophetic revelation. It is as old as mother earth. As old as the spirit within each one us.
This world is wrought with wisdom. Our problems are born with solutions. But it is up to us to slow down, remember what we have already learned, and allow ourselves to care. It is a matter of saying: the world is too beautiful for us to let it decay in our own hands. Even if it is hard to look, even if it can hurt to love, it is the only way to fully live—it is liberation.”
~ Nandita Batheja – Editor, art&eden
In October, 2016, art&eden began the next chapter of their journey of social impact through their partnership with Camden Street School in Newark, New Jersey. It is a school in much need. Ninety-five percent of the students live below the poverty line and forty percent of the students are special needs kids.
CHANGING LIVES ONE STUDENT AT A TIME
With the Camden Street School mentorship program that art&eden has developed, their team regularly volunteer to provide literacy support, leadership development, creative engagement and mentoring to a group of students ranging from 9-14 years.
This spirit of the Un-Revolution is vibrantly alive in all who have joined the team at art&eden, especially in one of their newest members, Amey Pasarkar, from Fairlawn, New Jersey. This incredibly bright seventeen year old grew up with the privilege of pursuing activities outside of school. But even though these activities were very fulfilling, he felt the need to not just enjoy them for personal enrichment, he wanted to inspire those around him to become lifelong learners.
He dreamed of a world where many more children could have the kind of intellectual freedom that he had. Through chess, math, and social outreach, he started to pursue this vision. For the past few years, he has taught chess to elementary school students, where he learned that it’s not just about teaching them to make the right move, it was about providing personal interaction, acknowledgement and compassion to kids who suffered serious poverty and violence.
Amey wanted to do exactly the same thing with the Camden Street students, not by teaching them chess, but with computers. Amey knew the sad truth of the near impossibility to pursue a full education without access to what has become a basic technology. With computers, the students could take full advantage of the opportunity to continue exploring. His goal was to be able to provide a refurbished computer to each student and teach them the essential computer skills. But, he soon realized that the refurbished laptops weren’t going to be enough. They were too slow and he knew that the kids would lose patience and end up discouraged. These kids in need already had so many battles to fight, he didn’t want to give them another. Never deterred, Amey and his parents decided to gift new laptops to the students.
That was my heart bursting, because on May 19, Amey not only handed over the promised brand new laptops to the kids, he gave of his time and talent to teach the kids some computer skills and familiarize them with all the programs he had uploaded individually for them. It was an exciting day for all as they witnessed the power of coming together to do something that matters.
See for yourself the joy as the kids received these treasured opportunities in the form of a laptop that would allow them to be the person they decided to be and would let them decide their destiny.
I heard that. It was your heart, wasn’t it? I know. Mine too.
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