view current print edition







Burton+BURTON & Beacon Technologies launch Weaving Hope

Georgia-based burton+BURTON, a balloon, gift and floral supply company, is partnering with NC-based Beacon Technologies Inc., a digital marketing agency for higher education, to “weave hope” for children in Rwanda, according to a news release. The new philanthropic partnership targets Rwandan children’s educational and nutritional needs.

RWANDAN-BASKETS “Rwanda is bouncing back in a big way from enormous challenges in the last two decades,” said Mark Dirks, Beacon’s chief executive officer. “We want to help keep the momentum going by providing the youngest generation of Rwandans with a solid foundation built on good nutrition and education.”

Only about 13 percent of Rwandan children attend preschool and 50 percent have stunted growth due to malnutrition. The idea behind the charitable venture called Weaving Hope is to fund new schools for Rwandan children with sales of handcrafted baskets made by local artisans in the small Rwandan village of Gitarama. The proceeds go directly to building schools that will nourish the minds and bodies of children — weaving hope for their future.

“Weaving Hope is a longtime dream that is finally coming to fruition,” said Maxine Burton, founder and president at burton+BURTON. “Both teams have dedicated tremendous time and effort to make this possible. We are so excited to be able to build schools that will in turn provide Rwandan children with fuller lives and brighter futures.”

The initiative not only helps the children, but also offers opportunities for Rwandan women to earn a steady living and escape gender-based violence, inequality, and discrimination. These authentic, handmade African baskets arrive directly from a women’s cooperative in the village of Gitarama. Proceeds create meaningful jobs that provide for their families, moving them from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency.

“Women are the backbone of Rwandan society,” Burton said. “Helping them leverage their traditional skills and know-how into real, economic gain is so personally rewarding. I love the fact that our efforts start and end with the Rwandan people.” The logistical and architectural designs for the school are already in place and construction will begin as soon as the $30,000 fundraising goal is met.

For more information, visit www.burtonandburton/weavinghope.