The teen-led nonprofit organization, S.A.V.E. - Sustaining a Village Everyday - is hosting its 4th annual Christmas Marketplace Craft Show. It will be held on December 6th, 2014 from 10am to 5pm at the Rutherford County Agricultural Center (located at 315 John R Rice Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37129).
The event is free to attend and will have over 75 vendors and a silent auction, as well as a bake sale. It is the only teen-led nonprofit in the state of Tennessee, and focuses on teen mentoring, business management, and other leadership skills.
Tayllor Cochrane, the founder "S.A.V.E.," described to us what she saw when she visited a Haitian village in the past with the purpose of helping others...
The goal is to empower tomorrow's leaders today. Your participation in this free event helps to give the teen leadership the skills they need to succeed.
How Did S.A.V.E. Start?
In the early spring of 2011, Tayllor Cochrane (above photo) was inspired by an episode of 20/20 to raise $25,000 to feed a malnourished village for a year. Tayllor held an interest meeting, in which Tony Allen, Brock Baker, Laura Bean, Mary Cate Ownby, and Shelby Hardison attended. Representing 6 churches, 2 schools, and 2 grade levels, these 6 teenagers formed the nonprofit S.A.V.E. Her mother, Kristi Cochrane, served as the adult director. However, the group decided to shift their focus towards sustainability, starting with the village of Boukeron in the central plateau in Haiti. Pastor Fred Wall, a permanent missionary in Haiti, served as a connection between Murfreesboro and Boukeron. With this intent, S.A.V.E. set out to raise the money needed through various fundraisers, including a 24 Hour Famine lock-in, a letter campaign, a car wash, a "Be The Change" drive, business sponsorship's, a 5K, a Christmas Arts & Crafts Bizarre, and a worship concert. By the end of December, just 9 months since their first meeting, the teenagers had raised over $27,000.
In 2012, as the older leaders graduated high school, new leaders were brought into S.A.V.E., including Madison Bivins, Jay Hicks, David Newman, Stephen Powlis, and Seth Waldecker. Again, S.A.V.E. met it's goal by raising another $25,000. In 2013, S.A.V.E. brought in Caroline Bass, Allie Brent, Brooke Connelly, Nicole Gardner, Rachel Soetje, and Madison Underwood as new leaders. So far, S.A.V.E. has raised $15,000 in 2013, totaling over $67,000 since it's beginning two and a half years ago, and hopes to raise a lot more from the 5K at the end of the month.
With this money raised, S.A.V.E. has been able to help the village of Boukeron get off its feet and toward the path of success. In the heart of the central plateau, Boukeron is a rural village with a population of about 2,500. Most villagers make around $150 a year, resulting in a lack of stability, shelter, health, and education. As a result, this village barely hangs on from collapsing, a clear picture of why Haiti is now the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and characterized as a 4th world country, or a "least developed country." In response, S.A.V.E. provided Boukeron with its first fresh water well, a solid-structured church, Bibles, 10 pairs of goats, latrines, cisterns, metal roofs, and seeds. S.A.V.E. also established a school, so far teaching kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade. S.A.V.E.'s future plans include building a sugarcane mill to increase production in the area, teaching more efficient methods in agriculture, and producing a solid economic system to increase overall wealth. However, within all of these projects, S.A.V.E.'s main focus is to spread the love of Jesus to the Haitian people.