It’s impossible not to be inspired by passionate young people actively committed to a cause, especially when the degree of that commitment is affirmed by the professional choices one makes. Brother and sister team Carmin and Christian—the two ‘halves’ of Half United—are the living embodiment of exactly this kind of commitment. The passion in their goal to help feed hungry children is not only evident but tangible: energy and enthusiasm infuses everything they do, from starting their company, to communicating their goals, to working tirelessly to realize broader, longer-term objectives.
Carmin and Christian grew up in a home where giving was part of their daily life. Their father was a pastor and they often helped with community events, many that involved feeding those in need. Hence it’s no surprise that they founded Half United, in 2009, with the express intention of fighting hunger.
But while Half United was founded with the mission to fight hunger, it is much more than that. Carmin and Christian are motivated by the idea of empowerment. Their mission is not only to feed children, but, by providing education in nutrition, to help individuals and communities become self-sustaining. As well as feeding and educating children, they also provide jobs to adults, which in turn enables those adults to feed their children and send them to school. It is one of the many virtuous circles that, while all too frequently overlooked or undervalued, are so fundamental in the efficient functioning of any society.
Carmin and Christian see the world as a collaborative endeavor and realize their goals by partnering with organizations in the USA and abroad, organizations that feed, house, educate, and—importantly—provide love to the children in their care. Half United’s products, the jewelry which funds these endeavors, originate with Carmin’s designs, all of which are informed by a combination of the intensity of their passion and their sensitivity to local customs and practices. As she designs, Carmin is mindful of the particular cultures of the countries with which they partner, and each design carries in it some reference to the way that their mission of feeding children is realized. Most of their raw materials are sourced in the US and Haiti, and Christian and Carmin know all of their partners on a personal level: some of them have been family friends for a long time, others they have met through mutual friends.
For every Half United product that you purchase you provide seven meals for a child in need. To date, Half United customers have provided over 200,000 meals for children in need in the USA, Fiji, Cambodia, Liberia, Nepal and Haiti. The unusual combination of youth, drive, philanthropy and vision that defines Half United is a powerful reminder of our potential to make a big difference in a small but meaningful way.