Our Story 

I consider myself very fortunate. That’s not something a lot of people expect to hear from someone who was born with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy and who gets around with a power wheelchair, but it’s true. It’s a fairly safe bet you’ve never met someone with Centronuclear Myopathy, but if you have, they likely weren’t 38 years old. We don’t tend to last that long.

I grew up in a North Carolina. We weren’t wealthy, but we probably had more than most. That’s partly due to my father building our house himself with the help of my grandfather. We also raised a lot of our own food. We always had chickens, pigs, and fresh vegetables that my mom canned in the summer.

My parents have always been an example of how to live. They wouldn’t describe themselves as people who give to charity, but they do, in ways that are obvious and in ways that are not. My father went to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and they have both done missionary work building houses and churches in Jamaica for more than a decade.

They don’t just do work overseas. If my parents have it to give, they give it. If you came during dinner, you ate. If you needed a place to stay, you stayed. Go to my parents’ house in August and see if you don’t walk away with a grocery bag full of tomatoes, squash, and whatever else is in the garden. This is the example they set.

Not everything has been easy, though. Aside from the general day-to-day annoyances that come from being in a wheelchair and not being able to lift more than five pounds, if you have a disability like mine it’s difficult to find work. People don’t want to hire you. It can be frustrating to be mentally strong but physically weak.

I’m blessed to live in a community that has helped look out for me, whether it be building a ramp on my house or converting our garden to raised beds so I can get in there with my powerchair and do the work myself. When you are disabled you constantly walk a line between not wanting to ask for help and needing to. It leaves me with a desire to give back in some way.

I come from a line of builders and farmers, so making things and growing food comes naturally. I’ve set up a stand and sold tomatoes and other vegetables from my garden to my neighbors. I got a lot of pleasure from how much they seemed to enjoyed them.  This Christmas I made candles and lip balm as gifts and found that doing it scratched an itch I didn’t know I had: making something with my hands. I considered trying to start it up as a home business, but something was missing: I wasn’t giving back. That’s where Bushel Candles comes in.

So here’s our pledge: Half of all profits from Bushel Candles & Lip Balm will go to charity. That’s right. You read that correctly. After deducting the cost of production, Bushel Candles & Lip Balm will give 50% of our profits to local charities that feed the hungry.

Farmer Foodshare in Durham, North Carolina.

The first such charity will be Farmer Foodshare, a local organization that works to get fresh, healthy food from local farmers to those who need it. Additionally, we buy local products where we can. For example, the wax and scents come from a local distributor and the honey from a local beekeeper.

My hope is that there is enough interest that we have to enlist an army to make candles and lip balm. The more interest there is, the more we’ll give. Eventually we would like to be able to set up a nonprofit to distribute gifts to multiple charities, but for now, we’re taking it one day at a time.

Today, everything is made by hand at my kitchen stove. I’d like that not to be the case one day, because that means we’re doing a lot of good in the world. The bigger we get the more lives we can touch.

There are a lot of us who look around and see a world that appears to be spinning more and more out of control. The problems seem so large that there is nothing we can do, but there is. Look around you, find someone who needs help and give it to them. That’s what Bushel Candles & Lip Balm aims to do. If we lift each other up, no matter what happens in the world, we’ll have each other to rely on. You might feel powerless in the face global issues, but take my word for it, just because you’re weak doesn’t mean you can’t be strong.

Never hide your light.

Jason Revill

 

To learn more about Farmer Foodshare check out their site: