// written by guest Krystal // 3 Little Men & A Mommy
I think most people want to live a better story. If you asked around I think most people would say they are not satisfied with the status quo. They want to be involved, they want to make a difference and see change happen. They desire justice too. They just aren’t sure where to start.
If we look at the word poverty and the statistics that follow, it’s overwhelming. Where do we even start? How can we possible tackle this beast with our own hands, while raising families and getting through our own lives.
I felt that way for awhile, wanting to do more but unsure of how to begin. And then I happened upon Trades of Hope. The concept was something we are all familiar with, the “home party” akin to Mary-Kay, or Thirty-One Gifts. Only this was different. It was a party with a purpose. These items being sold in homes all over the United States were not made in factories, but by women all over the world, in fair trade fashion.
These women were given the chance to make fair wages, in good working conditions (not in a sweat shop) with dignity (not in the sex trade) and provide for their families.
Women in Haiti are able to keep their children instead of giving them over to an orphanage because they make jewelry out of cereal boxes. Women in Uganda are paying for their HIV medical care and sending their kids to school. A leper colony in Bethany, India makes gorgeous purses and gains dignity and life where they otherwise wouldn’t have the chance.
Women in California are making beautiful necklaces out of recycled glass, mirroring their own lives and getting a second chance after escaping sex trafficking in our own country.
Women helping women. Out of poverty, out of sickness, out of the slums and sex trafficking.
When I started selling Trades of Hope I wasn’t looking for a job or something to do, and the home party system was never something that interested me, but when I realized that I could actually make a difference and change a life…even just one, I knew I had to be a part.
I was able to go to Haiti with 14 other women from Trades of Hope, what we call Compassion Entrepreneur’s. We met with some of the artisans whose products we sell. We heard their stories and their victories. We saw their smiles and now these items aren’t just pieces of jewelry. They are faces. They are names. They are lives.
What amazes me is the concept that this isn’t just affecting one generation. It’s the generations to come. The opportunities these parents are able to provide their children with like education will have a ripple effect that knows no end.
What started in Florida in 2010 is growing fast throughout the U.S. It’s only the beginning I know, and I am so humbled to be a link in this chain.
An extra piece of this is that the money I make selling Trades of Hope is going towards our adoption fund!
The products are beautiful and I know you will agree! I am giving away a $30 gift certificate to be used on my website!
If you are interested in becoming a Compassion Entrepreneur or would like to order products go to www.mytradesofhope.com/krystlebowen