Created in the Corridor: One Mission

John Rhomberg (center) and Amanda Rhomberg (right) pictured with employees and volunteers of One Mission Fundraising.

As people go about their holiday shopping many are also deciding on charitable causes they hope to support without breaking their budget. If you’re looking to adopt a cause as you shop for Christmas, you can do both at One Mission Created in the Corridor.

“It really was sort of a ‘back of the napkin’ kind of a scenario that One Mission was developed,” said John Rhomberg as he recalled where the idea for his family business came from. It actually stemmed from his mission trip to Haiti five years ago when he met two young boys at a medical clinic where he was serving. “They just stole my heart from the first moment I met ‘em and I called (my wife) Amanda, I think the next morning.”

The couple agreed to adopt the boys and during a subsequent visit to Haiti to start the process, they met other adoptive families, mission and church groups who all had fundraising needs. “So on the plane ride home we just started talking about ways we could plug in and try to help groups like that continue to do good work,” explained Amanda

John sold his stake in another business he had launched and the couple hired a web developer to harness all their ideas. Two years after that first trip to Haiti, One Mission was born—an online fundraising platform that combines crowdfunding with product fundraising. They sell high quality candles, an expanding line of jewelry, custom canvases, Haitian-made products, soaps, cards, coffee mugs and their biggest revenue generator, message-based T-shirts. Forty percent of each sale goes to a fund of the buyer’s choice.

“Our T-shirts typically run at $25.00 so $10.00 of each t-shirt sale goes back to the fund,” said Amanda.

People wishing to raise money simply create a profile on the One Mission website and share the profile with friends, family and other supporters. One Mission is helping adoptive families, medical causes, non-profits and schools from all over the country. “We’ve got funds in about 40 different states right now, probably upwards of 200 funds that are active today,” John said.

Amanda added, “We like to work with world changers and we define world changer as somebody who’s making a difference for somebody else, even if it’s just one person. If you’re making a difference for somebody, we want to work with you.”

One Mission’s storefront at 108 1st Street SE in Mount Vernon has brought significant visibility and awareness to the business, often surprising people who don’t know about One Mission’s purpose. The couple recalled a woman who stopped in while visiting from Michigan. “I think she bought a T-shirt or two and supported a local fund and then went back to Michigan,” John said. “I think we had about four new funds start in and around her hometown within a couple of weeks.” Explaining the experience further, Amanda said, “First, her best friend started an adoption fund and then her sister’s best friend started one for her husband who has a brain tumor.”

Most of One Mission’s products are produced in-house and they take care of all the shipping. In addition, there is no platform fee typically charged by other crowdfunding sites that collect a percentage of monies raised. That’s one reason why the Rhombergs think One Mission can be a substantial player in fundraising.

“People are just really conscientious about purchasing with purpose and making a difference. You know, you can go to Target or any of the mass stores and buy a T-shirt. But why not buy a T-shirt here and give forty percent to somebody?”

Nelson, 16, and Jackson, 14, --the two boys from Haiti-- have been members of the Rhomberg family since last summer. They joined the Rhomberg’s four biological children in the household: Annie, 16, Sara, 13, Joey, 12 and Tommy, 9.

One Mission is having an open house to benefit Haiti on Thursday, December 12 from 5-8pm. They’re calling it a “Hope ‘n House –Christmas for Haiti.” You can access the One Mission website HERE.

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