Allison Spates wanted to give her husband a special and meaningful gift as a way of marking the birth of their first child. However, the new mom quickly realized how difficult it is to accomplish anything with a new baby at home. Allison says, “There is just no time to do anything with a new baby. So, I got out a plastic mayonnaise jar and some paper.” On those pieces of paper, Allison wrote personalized messages to her husband. “He treasured it,” she says. “He still has it and looks at it when he has a rough day.” As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention”, and in this case, necessity led Allison to create her unique and beautiful “Jars of Hope.”
The Original Jars of Hope
Allison knew she wasontosomething special with this original Jar of Hope. Her next inspiration came from military when she saw the difficult times her sister and brother-in-law, Heather and RudyCulp, faced. Rudy deployed multiple times to Iraq, and though it was important to him to serve his country, the separations became increasingly difficult. Allison explains, “It is bleak and depressing and you feel like you are missing everything. He felt so alone out there.” Heather made a jar of messages for her husband and sent it halfway around the world to his duty station. Rudy loved receiving such a personal and meaningful gift from his wife. Every day he opened up an individualized message from his wife which connected him to family back at home across the ocean.
Allison knew her idea could help thousands of people get through difficult times in life. She decided she would make Jars of Hope and sell them to the public. At first she focused primarily on military families, creating decorative jars filled with 100 messages for those facing deployments and other hardships. The feedback she received was unanimously positive. People loved these positive and personal gifts.
Personal experience and a little bit of fate brought the Jars of Hope and Project Purple together. When her husband, Jason, lost his business partner, Curtis, to pancreatic cancer a mere four months after his diagnosis, the jars and their messages took a new turn. Jason made a personalized jar for Curtis’s wife, Georgina, telling her all the things Curtis had done to inspire him. Allison says, “She reopens those messages every day.”
Partnership with Project Purple
As luck would have it, Project Purple Executive Director, Elli Erickson found Jars of Hope while looking for a unique gift idea. She reached out to Allison and asked her to design Jars of Hope to help those affected by pancreatic cancer. We rolled out these wonderful Jarsprior tothe holiday season and the response was overwhelming. At that time, purchasers were able to customize five messages per jar. Elli and Allison believed we could improve on the original Jars by allowing more customization.
New & Improved Jars Introduce More Custom Design
Project Purple is now introducing the new and improved Jars of Hope, which allow buyers to make the gift even more meaningful. In addition to the jars with 100 ready-made uplifting messages, purchasers can now also customize up to 50 messages for that special person in their life. Allison says, “It is a simple item, but it can make a huge impact in someone’s life.”
Not Just for pancreatic cancer
Don’t think these jars are only for cancer patients, however. Because these Jars of Hope can be customized, they can be tailored for just about anyone or any situation. For example, these jars could be a wonderful gift for a patient going through any difficult illness. They would make a wonderful gift for a child going off to college for the first time. They can alsoprovidecomfort for a loved one who has suffered a loss. Patients could also tailor messages to comfort loved ones.
Whatever message you would like to convey, know that Allison puts a personal touch and love into each jar she creates. “It is beyond rewarding to make these jars. They fill a missing link when people want to do something for others, but they aren’t sure what will help. This is the perfect opportunity to give someone joy and hope…and maybe even remind them of someone who is no longer here. There is no greater reward for me than to make these jars. They remind you of how precious life is and to embrace every day.”
To purchase a Jar of Hope for someone you love click below (For a limited time, enter “SPRING” at checkout and save $5!):