Thanks for your interest in rescuing kids and to restoring families! We are so humbled to have come up with an idea that brings such therapy to kids in trauma, that encourages those on the front lines of the rescue, and that brings awareness and mobilizes communities.
We at Lavender Life Company, are passionate about rescuing kids at risk. By producing & selling multiple, excellent lavender products for all ages (including culinary, apothecary, & skin care), God has lead us to create an engine to mobilize others in the mission to give a warmable, lavender-filled Xander Friend (Bunny & Dog) to all 440,000+ children in foster care, and to encourage those on the front lines rescuing kids. We do this through our BUY-a-Xander Friend-We-Give-a-Xander Program, named after grandson Xander, who entered the family as a 2-yr-old child in foster care. Lavender helps lessen anxiety, improves sleep and provides calming therapy for children in foster care going through traumatic transitions. Xander helped stuff the first bunnies we sold and was so helped by his bunny, that we decided right away to donate one to a child in foster care for each one we sold. We hire young adults who have aged out of the foster care system when we can. Since our online store opened in April of 2018, we have donated over 35,000 Xander Friends to state/county & private agencies in 18 states. Lavender Life Farm and Company has a loyal clientele (55,000 customers with a 26% return rate presently & 55,000+ followers on Facebook for example). They share our passion to send children in the system a clear message: “You are loved and not alone.”
Since January 1,2020, we have developed 52 Local community partnerships, many of them church-based, that are committed to "adopt" their county in the Xander Friend Project. We are looking to develop more Partners everywhere. A Xander Bunny Community Partner is committing to:
1. Connecting with ALL foster care agencies in their county;
2. Ascertain the #'s of children entering the foster care system each month, and #'s served annually;
3. Receive Xander kits for the entire year;
4. Put the kits together (stuff lavender pouch in bunny; place in the backpack and tie a bow - approximately 2 minutes/Xander;
5. Deliver to all agencies as they need them; &
6. Freight shipments ($.85-1.85/ea Xander) is a cost picked up by a community partner, and often sponsors pick up this cost (this is if a donation trip is not planned in your area. Shipments may also be picked up on the farm in west Michigan).
6. Spread the word - it benefits us all to help spread the word of the Xander Bunny Project, for we are able to donate one for each sold.
Perhaps sponsors/donors could get involved. We could envision someone buying bunnies for all of the kids in a cancer ward, and a match would go to a child in foster care as an example. This is not necessary for a Community Partner to connect with us, however.
Our present 52 Community Partners in MD, OH, NY, VA, WV, PA, NC, SC, GA, TX, AL, ME, MASS, RI, FL, AR, IA & MI represent 125 counties presently . As Leigh Ann Luttrell of Christ's Church, Jacksonville, Florida reports, "These bunnies are so much more than a philanthropic gesture - they are bringing hope, peace and collaboration to an entire system that is broken and in despair."
Are you aware of a church or group that could be a Xander Friend Community Partner that we could donate regularly to in the future? Do you have any ideas as how to spread the word, to increase sales in your area, so we can secure donations? Send me any questions or ideas that you may have.
Thank you again, for your role and interest in the rescue of the many Xanders out there! Together, we can bring awareness of a great need in our communities, and together we CAN get a Xander Friend in the hands of all 440,000+ children in foster care, reminding them they ARE loved and NOT alone.