My husband, Scott, leads mission trips quite frequently to the Dominican Republic. He has actually been there 7 times in the last 18 months. I had the privilege of going to the Dominican Republic on one trip during the summer of 2012. The teams spend most of their time in a community that is literally a trash dump. They have started working in villages called "bateys" which are Haitian communities located in sugarcane fields. The poverty is overwhelming! The people are beautiful and amazing!
I came home with a list of things that needed to change in our lives. No more throwing away food after seeing so many who have next to nothing to eat, using more coupons to save and help others, researching more about each purchase I made, and the list goes on and on. In the past few years, learning who makes our products has become more and more important to me.
About four months ago, I heard of Fair Trade Friday. I immediately fell in love with this organization. If you know me, you know I love surprises! Each month, I receive a box in the mail. It is filled with three to four fun surprises such as jewelry, accessories, totes, soap, etc. The artisans who make item are paid a fair wage. Better yet, I can actually know the name of each artisan and can pray for them specifically! Even better, 100% of the proceeds from each product go toward the empowerment of impoverished women as an avenue to introduce them to the Gospel.
What do I do with the items in the box? I use some of them right away. It is amazing how many chances I have had to share about this organization by wearing a necklace. Some items have been given as gifts. For example, I have a friend who is praying about adoption from India. When I received a journal made in India, I knew it was perfect for her as her family journals and seeks God's will in determining if He is calling them to adopt or help orphans in a different way.
My dream would be to teach the women in Dominican Republic how to make a product that you can receive in a Fair Trade Friday box. It may just be a dream for the DR in the future, but you can currently help support women in 18 different countries now. I would love for you to consider partnering with Fair Trade Friday and helping to redeem consumerism. You can learn more about how to receive a monthly box or how to order from their store at http://fairtradefriday.club.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!