(Me the preachers daughter, at my Nana and Grandaddy's house. Probably about 4 yrs old, .)
You may have recently noticed a while back that I added a few little new tabs in the bar under my blog header. One of these new tabs is called "Give it Away." If you click on this tab you will see a variety of non-profit ministries that our family supports. We have chosen to throw our lot in with these organizations and these people because of the personal connections we feel to both the people serving and those who are being served. If you visit the Give It Away page you can read all about each project, and follow their links and learn more about the lives of those they minster too.
As we all get ready for the holidays (yes, I it. Christmas isn't that far away.) I am going to share with you a variety of ways our family has found to give gifts that then in turn, also give gifts. Some of these things I will even be putting on my wish list!
Because we all like pretty things, I thought I would start WorldCrafts Village.
Growing up a preachers daughter (and granddaughter and niece and great-niece...) meant that I spent a lot of my childhood in church, and I had a fairly informed experience in both large and small churches across the country. Through it all - all the way through college - my very favorite branch of our church was the WMU - the Women's Mission Union. See those words right there together: Women. Mission. Union. Yep. That pretty much sums up everything I loved and love still about it. Women, serving other women -specifically those who have been disenfranchised in some way - together. They would deny it to their graves I am sure, I know my grandmother would, but those WMU women that I knew growing up, well they were (and are) practically feminist in their approach and outreach. They were the first ones to open my eyes to the idea that the world was large, interesting, exotic, and that I should explore it with my eyes wide open. They also planted the first little seed in me as an elementary student, through the the Girls in Action program, that I could affect change. That through giving even the smallest portion of my allowance and by partnering with those who were on the ground, doing the daily hard work of helping meet the needs of women and children - even those half a world- I could somehow make a difference in a child's life who had not been born into the same advantages I had. They also taught me how to fry bananas in an electric skillet.
Recently, I was excited to discover that as I have grown and changed since my GA days, so has the WMU. They now have a wonderful program called "WorldCrafts" and an online shop to go with it.
To sum it up (and quote their website)
"WorldCraftsSM develops sustainable, fair-trade businesses among impoverished people around the world. Our vision is to offer an income with dignity and the hope of everlasting life to every person on earth. Established in 1996, WorldCrafts began with just one artisan group, Thai Country Trim, in Bangkla, Thailand. Today we work with dozens of artisans groups to import and sell hundreds of fine, handcrafted items from more than 30 countries around the globe. And we still work with Thai Country Trim, helping them employ more and more women at risk of abuse and exploitation. That's who we are. Committed. Holistic. Fair trade. "
They have also established the Set1Free campaign
The Set1Free campaign actively empowers WorldCraftsSM buyers and aids artisans by highlighting those groups working to free women involved in human trafficking and sexual exploitation. From August 2009 to August 2014, WorldCrafts will focus on this issue by highlighting some of our artisan groups that are working with women freed from sexual exploitation or women at high risk of becoming victims of human trafficking. We're calling it the Set1Free campaign, and there are multiple ways you can get involved."
So you can see why I think WorldCrafts is great. And why I think they would make a stop for your online holiday shopping They make and sell really pretty things, which you can buy here, which also serve a greater purpose. Christmas will be here soon my friends and it is never to early to spread some hope, joy and blessings around the world.