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Hope for the Future: The Meaning Behind Ben Higgins’ Bracelet

hope bracelet


Hope can take on a variety of meanings. You can hope for a snow day. You can hope for a new car. You can even hope that a handsome guy presents you with a rose as a symbol of his affection… But, you can also hope for a drink of water that won't make you sick. You can hope for a job that allows you to support your family and send your children to school. You can hope that in this busy world, among billions of people, that you aren't forgotten.

At MudLOVE, we believe that hope exists for every single person on the planet. When we meet other people who share that belief, amazing things can happen. Together with the Humanity & Hope United Foundation and The Bachelor’s Ben Higgins, we’re excited to announce the launch of a new campaign, Get Hope. Give Hope.


learning to make bracelets
Luke Wright (3rd from left), MudLOVE's founder, teaches Brandon Conley (far left) - VP of H&H, Ben (2nd from left), and Riley (far right) the art of making a MudLOVE band.


Riley Fuller, President and Co-Founder of Humanity & Hope first visited Honduras in the summer of 2007: “I had never seen people who had been struggling so much.” Reluctant to travel in the first place, Riley tagged along with his parents on a journey that would go on to change his life. One of the most striking images from the trip was a shelter built out of found items. A tarp being utilized as a roof had the word “refuse” printed across it. This structure, someone’s home, was literally labeled as trash. 

Upon returning home, Riley put his finance degree to work as an investment banker. Managing large sums of money every week became commonplace, but the extreme poverty he had encountered was at the forefront of his mind. The discrepancy did not resonate well. “I sat behind a desk feeling less and less useful. If I couldn’t be happy, I wanted to dedicate part of my life toward other people’s happiness.” 


Humainty & Hope United
Bertin, a village leader, works on a project in La Carosa, Honduras.


The Humanity & Hope United Foundation was launched in the fall of 2010 with one goal in mind: to build deep, trusting, and loving relationships with people living in some of Honduras’ most impoverished areas. H&H takes the unique approach of listening directly to the people it aims to support. In communicating with the residents of countryside villages, H&H quickly discovered that job creation is one of the most pressing needs. In response, hundreds of acres of unused land have been purchased for the development of farming jobs for both men and women. This year, 50% of the nonprofit’s operational goals will be dedicated to the creation of new employment opportunities. 

On a larger scale, improvements are made through comprehensive programs centered around six pillars: infrastructure, economy, community, health, education, and leadership. This holistic approach to community development is what sets Humanity & Hope apart. From education programs, to clean water projects, to eye care and vision restoration, H&H sets out to bring hope wherever it is needed most. “The goal is to get people to have good lives,” Riley says. “The strategy can change, but we set out to ensure basic necessities, physical needs, and jobs. We want to do tangible acts of improvement out of love; building relationships where love overflows."


Humanity & Hope United
A bright future awaits these three friends in La Carosa, Honduras. 


Right now, a slightly different type of love is overflowing for one of Riley’s best friends, Ben Higgins. While filming an episode of ABC's The Bachelor in our shared hometown of Warsaw this past summer, Ben accepted our invitation to visit the MudLOVE studio. Upon finishing a tour of our production process, we offered up a gift of appreciation: of one of our handcrafted, ceramic bracelets. After careful consideration, Ben chose the word “hope.” On the way home, he looked down at the band on his wrist and made a decision that we believe will impact lives all over the world. 

“I appreciated that MudLOVE gave me the band without asking me to wear it. It felt different, and genuine. 'Hope' is my favorite word, and it resonates with me for different reasons. I decided to wear it throughout the show, and it provided comfort; connecting me back to my hometown. It wasn't necessarily a symbol of hope in finding the right woman, but more about general hope in life. In a situation that can feel selfish and all about me, this bracelet is a reminder that there is hope in the bigger picture.” 


Ben Higgins hope bracelet
That smile though... Thanks for your support Ben!


You can imagine our surprise (and swooning) when, several months later, we saw promotional images for The Bachelor, and Ben was wearing his "hope." band. You can imagine our greater surprise (and greater swooning) when we realized that he is wearing the bracelet, fairly visibly, in each episode. It soon became evident to Ben that this could be an opportunity to make a real difference. The word "hope" also represented an organization that he had previously dedicated his time and passion towards: the Humanity & Hope United Foundation. 

“It hit me, since I care about H&H, and then started learning about MudLOVE’s mission. I wanted to share hope in some way, and got back with the idea to partner together. Everyone involved is from the same town, with the same intentions to do good. In an environment where romantic love is at the forefront, my desire is to have an impact through loving others in a bigger way.”

After several phone calls and emails between Ben, Riley, our founder Luke, and various members of the MudLOVE and H&H staff, we’ve created a way for everyone to spread hope and love to those who need it most:

Through the Get Hope. Give Hope. campaign, 50% of the proceeds from every "hope." band sold will go directly to Humanity & Hope’s job creation initiatives in Honduras.  The purchase of each band will create 1 day of work for a man or woman in the villages of La Corosa and Remolino. On a larger scale, every 300 bands sold will create 1 full-time job and provide 1 family with economic security. 

In honor of MudLOVE’s standard giving commitment, every band will also provide 1 week of clean water in the Central African Republic through the work of our longtime partner, Water for Good. 

The final piece of this partnership is you. Whether you decide to purchase a "hope." band of your own, or simply share this story with others, even the smallest of actions can make an incredible impact. This campaign is not about MudLOVE, Humanity & Hope, Water for Good, or even America’s most eligible bachelor. At it’s core, Get Hope. Give Hope. is about redirecting the spotlight onto those who have remained in the dark for too long. Whether that darkness manifests itself as poverty or disease in another country, or despair and sadness in someone's heart, we hope that you’ll find the love, encouragement, and hope to carry on. 


hope bracelet
Join the movement by purchasing your own "hope." band here.


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Learn more about H&H at humanityandhopeunited.org. Stay tuned for progress reports and stories about the individuals who will benefit from your generosity. For updates, follow @humanityandhope and @mudlove. What does hope mean to you? Use #gethopegivehope and let us know. 

6 comments

Oct 27, 2016

I have to admit that I found out about Mudlove from watching Ben on ABC. After researching and giving everyone in my life a bracelet, I feel as if we are a part of this great organization giving to others or better yet serving others. I am thankful for this company and how you serve others.

Thank you!

Amanda Reed Taylor
Mar 30, 2016

Hi Audrey,
The bracelets are made here by our team at the MudLOVE studio in Warsaw, Indiana. Each “Get Hope. Give Hope.” band will support job initiatives in Honduras through the work of the Humanity & Hope United Foundation. Hope that makes sense. Let us know if you have any other questions!

MudLOVE
Mar 30, 2016

Do the people in Honduras make the bracelets?

Audrey
Feb 17, 2016

Hey John, thanks for your questions! Here is some information directly from Humanity & Hope:

“This is a difficult issue especially since it involves both money and culture. We consulted many Hondurans, both male and female, older and younger, as well as those who are employees and those who employ others. We found that most unskilled laborers who work in agriculture in the Sula valley and surrounding areas (where we work) get paid between $4-7 per day for a workday that lasts from 6am-12pm. The majority of the work is considered informal (no formal employment contract), so laborers only work when they are needed. In the areas where we work, this means that most people only get between 2-10 days of work every month.

H&H has tried to improve on both the amount paid and also the number of days worked. So the people we employ get paid $7.50 to work from 6a-12p, and most get to work 5 days per week. For those that work less than 5 days per week, we continue to look for new economic opportunities so they can eventually be employed full-time. Also, we know the people that we serve very well. When they need extra work, they ask for it and as often as we can, we give them more. This happens quite a bit.

From a high level, if someone works 5 days per week in a business we’ve started and works no extra shifts, they will earn $2250. This is about 10% higher than average family income ($2070), and most people in the areas we serve are poorer than the average Honduran. This is mostly due to the normal urban vs. rural income skew. We also focus on helping women in the villages where we serve to become household earners too. In most other rural areas, women are tasked with taking care of the kids and fetching food & water. This means that they are able to contribute financially too, pushing family income up towards $3000, or about 50% higher than the normal family’s income.

So on the surface, $7.50 doesn’t seem like much. But it is a step forward compared to the average Honduran, and a leap forward compared to where they are coming from ( $1-2/day in most cases)."

Hopefully this helps clear things up! If you’d like any further clarification, feel free to email us at social@mudlove.com

MudLOVE
Feb 16, 2016

I’m curious as to how much in USD goes to Humanity & Hope’s job creation initiatives. It says 50% of proceeds…what does that mean?

Also – it says it creates 1 day of work for someone in Honduras. How much does this person make in that 1 day?

I do appreciate the fact that these are made in the USA and it isn’t “support jobs in Honduras (support outsourcing)”

Just curious before I jump behind something

John
Feb 04, 2016

Thanks for seeing my tweet asking about Ben’s braclet and for the link to your organization. May the “platform”/influence he has right now continue to spread the word of what you’re doing! It looks like what your doing is really well thought out.
May God’s favor be upon your valueable work! :)

Rebekah

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