💛 Winter Newsletter 💛

Published: Wed, 02/14/18

❄ We raised $5,161 during the holidays - thank you!
When we heard that the Newman's Own Foundation, along with Crowdrise.com, were launching a "holiday challenge" for non-profits that could raise the most money by the most people, we knew it would be a good platform through which to hold our annual Stardust holiday fundraiser. Our expectations were exceeded when we managed to raise $5,161 in just two months. Thank you for the continued love and support!
And a huge thank you to Erin Moloney who generously gave her time to lead the initiative.
 We're grateful to our recurring sponsors
These two wonderful foundations have given The Stardust-Startup Factory almost $10,000 in donations for the new year. Thank you! 

​​​​​​​Know of a potential Stardust sponsor?
 News from one of our first funded projects
Since Stardust funded his project proposal in spring of 2016, Elvis Morris Donkoh along with the Alliance for Youth Development has clearly demonstrated the potential for poverty reduction, food security, and health improvement to the Asomdwe community in the Abura Asebu Kwamankese District in rural Ghana through the introduction of sustainable non-wood resources farming (SNRF). This initiative focuses on introducing the rearing of land snails to rural people caught between government restrictions on cutting down forests for agriculture and lack of viable employment options. Elvis sent us a detailed report and some great photos that we're excited to share with you!
Participants, who are also beneficiaries, are trained in choosing sites for their snail farms and taught how to construct them, either by using local raw materials such as bamboo and nets or by making wooden hutches. They're also taught right ways to breed, feed, nurse, and manage the snails using various types of equipment!
Participants are introduced to potential markets for snail businesses, and guided through the process to find the niche marketing approach.
They are also in the process of forming a local union that could help in the financing and management of the snail business.
For three months, participants were monitored by the team and mentors. By the end there was a total of 8,000 eggs laid! In the fourth month, a practical training workshop was done for the participants on how to deal situations such as presence of parasites, and emergency situations as well as protecting snails from predators and unsuitable weather and environmental conditions. 

Thanks for the update Elvis!
 Welcome to the Stardust team!
Fran Pigott-Harding joins our Board of Directors! She is a marketing communications executive with 30 plus years’ management experience in the insurance/financial services, retail, professional services, non profit, education and entertainment fields. Fran also serves as Ambassador for the Carteret County (NC) Chamber of Commerce and is an Advisor for the Carteret County Food Network. Fran is involved in other philanthropic work as a member of The Rotary Club and the Beaufort Woman’s Club.
Mosiur Imraan Rahman has joined our IT development and digital marketing team! He started out as an web developer and later on learned email marketing, PPC, Facebook marketing, conversion optimization and advanced web analytics. He is currently completing a bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering at the State University of Bangladesh in Dhaka. Imraan is working primarily with ABEM Digital Creations (our partner company) and also with Stardust, to help us improve our web conversions and digital strategy.
 News from the Lumbrick team
Wow, we are amazed at how much the Lumbrick team has progressed since we funded their pilot project in Cameroon last summer. They have continued experimenting with innovative ways to build their eco-briquettes and are continuing to network with briquette companies, local initiatives, and refugee communities. Currently they are in Nairobi, Kenya conducting field research. Sarah Pellerin (pictured above) is there along with Judith Lee. There are so many more photos and updates on their Facebook page so go like it!
 Spiritual Alchemy membership site coming very soon!
Our beta memberships went live in November of 2017 and since then we've heard feedback and have been improving our content, guides, and online presence as much as possible. ​​​​​​​Did you know we are creating an entire membership site so members can log in and see content organized by theme and stage of the journey? Stay tuned for more!
 Did you see this in your inbox?
'The Constellation' is our new, monthly newsletter run entirely by three of our volunteers: Nicolette, Paul, and Barbara. They sent out the first issue, with the theme of Physical Health, on February 1st! Each issue will focus on a new theme and include exclusive interviews with Stardust grant recipients, board members, and volunteers.

The goal is to create a meaningful, informative, and positive little letter to our subscribers, reminding you of how diverse Stardust can be and how much we just want to share with everyone. Make sure to read the email with the subject line: "The Constellation: PHYSICAL HEALTH 💪" and let us know what you think!
 We're accepting Spring applications!
The Stardust-Startup Factory is taking micro-grant applications for the Spring 2018 awards, which close March 21st. If you are thinking about applying, please visit our Apply page. We have already received a ton, but we're always open for more great ideas. Please forward this email to anyone you know that might be interested! 

Have questions?
 Goals for the new year!
  • Award six micro-grants in 2018
  • Propel Spiritual Alchemy and ABEM Digital Creations as Stardust partners, creating financial stability
  • Fostering a sense of community within Stardust (connecting past and current micro-grant recipients, keeping up with social media, and widening our Stardust team)
Remember to donate to help keep our goals afloat!
Each of us can produce a marvellous glow to illuminate the path of others.​​​​​​​
               - The Kabala Deck: Pathway to the Soul by Edward Hoffmann
Laura Jean Palmer-Moloney
Laura Jean Palmer-Moloney &
Camille Babington