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Cyber Monday: How you can buy gifts AND save and change lives

Cyber Monday, or the smart alternative to Black Friday (see horror above), serves that purpose or may help aid in the recovery of those who have attempted Black Friday and, as a result, never again wish to leave their homes.  Just a few days after the stampedes at the big box retailers, and after people have had so much turkey leftovers that they no longer have the motivation to move, online retailers take over.

Interestingly, my husband Robert works for a rather large retailer, and he informed me that many of their online deals are better than the sales were in the stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, so you really may be better off shopping from home.

Robert and I simplified our Christmas gift giving a few years back, but if we were still up for the commercialism, I have found some great resources we would use because they also support good causes, mainly fighting human trafficking.  I only have a small list compiled, but I am sure more wonderful resources are out there.  Though we live in a time of horrible injustices, we also live in a time where more movements seem to be rising almost daily in order to stand against and combat these injustices.  So, if you know of any more, please feel free to add them to the comments so others can also be informed.

  • First of all, Amazon has a great program of non-profits being able to get a small percentage of purchases (Amazon Smile), but you need to sign up for the organization so that as you buy gifts, or even a few treats for yourself, you are actually contributing to a cause.  You have options, but I found out about this through Love 146, one of my favorite organizations that combats trafficking, spreads awareness, and offers aftercare.  Follow this link to sign up.
  • I also know of a few great places set up with the purpose of empowering people who may not otherwise be able to make fair wages, and they are truly beautiful items.  Imagine Goods is one I discovered through Love 146, as they have a line of clothing, but there are also other artisans on their website.  Another, Trades of Hope, was actually started locally where I live and they have artisans worldwide (and some right here in the US).  Through today, TOH is offering selected items at 50% off.
  • You can also donate to organizations in someone’s name as a gift.  Again, I discovered this through Love 146, but there are other organizations out there if something else suits you better. These are called Giving eCards.
  • Not For Sale, another great organization fighting human trafficking has an online shop as well. I’ve had the Rebbl tea, and it is delicious.

There truly are a number of other places where your shopping can do good for the world.  Please consider this as you check off your shopping list this holiday season. If Black Friday has left you feeling ill towards your fellow man, you can remember people with third world problems instead of first world problems, and touch their lives. Happy shopping.  Happy holidays.

*Since this post is all about helping your fellow man, and I plugged places mostly with a heart towards freedom and empowerment and human rights, this will be my human trafficking post for the week.


A New Hope

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… or in present time, right here in our own world… injustice seemed to have the upper hand in the lives of women all over the world- held in captivity, worked in sweatshops, and abused in just about every way imaginable.  And all they wanted was a chance to live in health and to provide for their loved ones.  Trades of Hope is a company that seeks to give these women just this chance at dignity, and I’m excited that I will now be part of their efforts as a Compassion Entrepreneur!

I consider myself to be an abolitionist and an activist for justice, and I have found that empowering women is a passion of mine (especially in the area of redemption from human trafficking).  Women are by nature the nurturers in any society; therefore, it is said in many parts of Africa, “If you educate a man, you simply educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”

Please understand that I am not bashing men.  I’m just sharing the shocking knowledge I have learned…the knowledge that made me realize one of my heart’s deepest passions.  Two interesting facts I found while reading The Hole in Our Gospel, written by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision:

*Women own less than 1% of the world’s property

*Women work 2/3 of all the world’s labor hours, but earn only 10% of the world’s wages

Stearns believes, “the single most significant thing that can be done to cure extreme poverty is this: protect, educate, and nurture girls and women and provide them with equal rights and opportunities- educationally, economically, and socially.”  I agree.

What I really love about Trades of Hope is that it is not a provider of charity, but it gives women the ability to work in fair conditions and for fair wages in order to support themselves, their children, and their communities.

I once sold Mary Kay, but not successfully.  I lacked a passion for it.  Sure, I enjoyed the products, but cosmetics are cosmetics.  There was no deeper cause.  Now I have a deeper sense of purpose because I am not just raising money for myself, but I’m helping women around the world live a better quality of life… and for the first few months I will be using whatever I earn towards my Guatemala mission trip this summer!

I am so excited to see where this leads and I hope it opens more doors where I am able to minister towards and in defense of  women needing justice.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
and see that they get justice.”

Proverbs 31:8-9

If you are interested in ensuring justice for those being crushed, please support me in my endeavors with this blessing of a company, Trades of Hope.