Celebrate is an annual event held by Trades of Hope, a company on a mission to help women around the world out of poverty and trafficking. This year’s celebration was a little different but extra special because not only was it held virtually, but it was my first time attending and it also happened to be their 10th anniversary!
It was a celebration of the accomplishments of both artisans and partners around the world, and the exciting new launch of the fall 2020 collection (shop here). Not only does our work help empower women and children out of extreme poverty, slave trade, and sex trafficking, it also allows mothers to keep their children, to send them to school, for families to stay together, provide fair trade jobs sharing ethical fashion with healthy living wages for sustainable business, and to improve the quality of life for families around the world.
Attending the event, hearing the speakers as well as the local artisans, and connecting with the sisterhood of hundreds of other radiant women, partners from all around the U.S., truly humbled me and showed me the power and purpose behind this organization I am so proud to be a part of (while still allowing me the flexibility to work when and where I want to, growing my own skills, while earning an income)!
My favorite part of the event was undoubtedly whenever we got the opportunity to hear from the local artisans and their stories of how Trades of Hope has impacted the lives of the artisans, their families, and their communities; one day, I hope to be able to attend a “Vision Trip” and travel to meet some of the incredible women in person. Hearing their stories was so inspiring, and gave me that feeling of being in the right place at the right time, doing God’s work, exactly where I am meant to be. This organization is so different from others because of the mutual benefits which provide dignity, longevity, and appreciation for each other and our work.
And now, I wanted to share some of the statistics to showcase the incredible outcomes of Trades of Hope over the past 10 years:
- 644 bikes given to girls in Cambodia
- 3,616 months of school to boys and girls around the world (300 children/year)
- 20,000+ lunches to children in Haiti
- 21,344 chicks
- 11,020 trees
- 807 water wheels
- 2,464 mama kits (required birthing kits)
- 158 diaper kits
- 1,000+ ultrasounds to women in Madagascar
- $800,000 to organizations and ministries
- 2,615,497 products sold
And the list goes on and on, as Trades of Hope helped provide countless filters, rabbits and goats, baby blankets, shoes, sewing machines, sewing classes, funded entire new classrooms, paid for years of teacher’s salaries, covered cancer treatments for artisans, bought hundreds of school uniforms, helped hope ministries purchase land, provided trucks to help with local travel, gave glasses and farmpacks and years worth of English lessons, started schools, donated for counseling, disaster relief for hurricanes and typhoons, provided healthcare to expectant mothers before and after delivery, and for the coming years after that, provided economic relief due to recent effects of COVID, and donated over $800k to organizations around the world over the past 10 years.
All these things pale in comparison to the amount of hope, healing, freedom and opportunities created for hundreds of beautiful human beings around the globe. I will say right now, to whoever is reading this, that this is not a saturated field. In fact, there is a dire and urgent need for women to show up and become partners and create hope and change lives around the world. And if you don’t then who will?
This is a mission bigger than ourselves, it is opportunity knocking on your door, opportunity to do meaningful work, to serve a purpose, to empower women and children, to connect with others, to spread light and hope simply by buying and sharing beautiful jewelry, bags, and home decor, and to do it all from the comfort of your own home, at the flexibility of your own hours, in whatever way you feel called to do.
Paraphrased from one of the co-founders, Elisabeth Huijskens, many things in life are out of our control, but we will always have the ability to choose how we respond. To choose who we are and what gives meaning to our lives and how we want to spend our time. To decide to become women of passion and action and really do our part. How will you choose to respond to this opportunity?