This month, we proudly spotlight a young button maker who embodies all that we love about the ABM Button Maker of the Month program. Lana Anderson is the owner of Small Things Matter and the VP of Projects for Difference Makers in Silver Spring, MD and she works hard to live up to the name by making a difference in the world at every opportunity.
Difference Makers is a student founded, student run organization, founded in 2009 by a group of Takoma Park Middle School students. The club is currently primarily an after-school student service program at Takoma Park Middle School but the vision is to begin to expand the program to other schools. The club has grown from about 40 members in the 2009–2010 school year to approximately 160 members this current school year. The mission of the organization is to make a difference in the world at all community levels (local, national, and international). Members understand that the small things do matter, and that these small things can dramatically impact lives. They focus on fundraising to assist other organizations and are deservedly proud that during the past 6 years, Difference Makers has raised over $50,000 for the Maryland Special Olympics.
Lana wanted a way to fundraise as well as spread awareness about different issues for Difference Makers so she looked into making buttons. Using a borrowed machine, she began going to various events and used the money she raised from selling “Color Your Own” buttons that she designed to purchase her first 1” ABM button maker. She fell in love with the machine and quickly realized the small size and affordability of the buttons allowed her to make buttons for all of the Difference Makers members. It was a great way for her club to be able to express their enthusiasm for service.
After seeing how much the kids enjoyed these buttons and her “Color Your Own” buttons, Lana decided to make her own button company called Small Things Matter. According to their Facebook page, they are "a custom button making company that does good". Since starting her business, she has been providing custom made buttons to other non-profits, rock bands, bicycle clubs, and schools.
Her latest buttons celebrate the most important day for youth volunteerism, Global Youth Service Day, on April 22. The celebration at her school involved 20+ non-profits sharing their mission and included the launch of Kokua Foods, Difference Makers new food distribution service. Small Things Matter was there offering various button options as a fundraiser. In preparation for the event, Lana purchased a 1.5” ABM button maker in March to be able to offer a wider variety of buttons to her club. To date, Lana has been able to donate $500 in money and button products to her club as well as paying for her ABM machines. She is currently saving up to purchase a new 2.25” ABM button maker so that she can expand her offerings to include mirrors.
Here at ABM, we are proud to be a part of the legacy Lana is creating and to be able to help her in her mission of changing the world, one button at a time! If you're doing something your proud of with your buttons or helping to make the world a better place with your button-y creations, let us know! You can have your own 15 minutes of fame, 3 months of our amazing Build-a-Button Design Center and $50 worth of FREE ABM PRODUCTS!! Just send us your short story with pictures or a video and you could find yourself crowned as our next button-tastic hero! Until next time - happy button making!
By Brighid Brown, Director of Blogging and All Things Cool at ABM
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