I have to tell you about something that is near and dear to my heart. It’s something I’ve been doing for almost a year and I think you should do it too. You won’t regret it. Last fall I enrolled in a membership club that has the power to change the world: Fair Trade Friday Club.
Fair Trade Friday is a monthly membership club that delivers high quality fair traded items to your door. The items in the box are fairly traded and provide employment to women all over the world. Plus, they are really cute! There are currently multiple monthly options: the original (and very popular) Fair Trade Friday box—this include 3-4 surprise items (think stylish accessories, organic soap, coffee, etc); the next option is a one-time-box to try out as a trial or give as a gift; and finally, the brand new option: Earring of the Month. 100% of the proceeds from each product go toward the empowerment of impoverished women as an avenue to introduce them to the Gospel.
One of my favorite quotes from the Fair Trade Friday website: “We truly love helping people and especially empowering the oppressed. The best way we have found to do that is let them discover their own value. Our desire is that one day, they come to see their value in the God who made them. For now, we can help them see their value in creating something beautiful that, with some marketing, will sustain or supplement their families. Plus, we work hard to establish real life relationships with many of the artisans we work with.”
I’ve been getting a Fair Trade Friday box for several months now and each month I am excited to see the package arrive at my door! The items in each package are unique and beautifully crafted. There’s such a wide variety of items that I am always surprised and excited to see what’s new. I have added several of the items to my own wardrobe but have also given many items as gifts. I’ve received items such as necklaces, bracelets, tote bags, lip balm, soap, coffee, earrings, coin purses, headbands, scarves, and so much more! The variety is so fun!
This past month I received a pair of earrings from the new Earring of the Month Club. These earrings are so cool! They are wonderfully constructed and just so beautiful! I just love them.
Today is Friday. It’s the first Friday of the month and that means a Fair Trade Friday package is due on my doorstep. Eek!! Even better, I got my shipment early this month and it arrived on Wednesday. That was a fun surprise! This package contained one of my favorite items so far: a beautiful frame from Village Artisans. Isn’t that gorgeous?!?!
As much as I adore these products, increasingly more so, I love the heart behind this membership program and the fact that my contribution is empowering women. It is giving work to hundreds of women each and every month. It is helping them send their children to school. They are able to put food on their tables. They wake up in the morning with purpose and pride because of what they can create.
The women of Clothed in Hope, all vulnerable women who have completed or are currently walking through our skills-training program, are so very grateful for our partnership with Fair Trade Friday/Mercy House. The first time I told them about our big order for coin purses to reach the homes of over 500 women across America, over 60 women cheered, screamed, danced, rejoiced. Because to them it’s not just some extra money in their pockets to feed their kids or pay school fees. It’s empowerment, it’s someone who says “I believe in you. I am with you.” It gives the message to these ladies, overlooked and oppressed by society, that they are worthy. That they have something beautiful to offer the world, a skill and a story that can inspire women thousands of miles away. Each product made for Fair Trade Friday boxes, from coin purses to earrings, is a way for women to rejoice in their story of hope and redemption that they’ve written as a part of our sewing and business training program in Lusaka, Zambia.
Maureen, the woman pictured with Regina on her back, is the brains behind much of our jewelry line, specifically a beautiful earring design headed out to women as part of the Earring of the Month Club. Maureen graduated our life-skills training program in September 2014 after completing a 12-month sewing and business curriculum with her daughter Regina on her back. Maureen is showing her children that work is good, and that no obstacle is big enough to keep her from pursuing her dreams for her family.
Who knew that I could help change the world and look good doing it?!?! You can too. You won’t regret it. Read more at fairtradefriday.club.
Love the idea of a box of goodies every month at your door? Sign up for the Fair Trade Friday Box here. Have you fallen in love with the idea of a new pair of earrings every month? Sign up for the Earring of the Month Club here. These memberships are so popular, there might be a wait list (there was when I got started too) but never fear, add your name to the list and you’ll be contacted before you know it. It’ll be worth the wait!