A year and a gift for you

(psst….there’s a gift from me to you at the end of the post)

Ginger Lane

One year ago today, my husband and I and some friends were sitting at the Rend Collective/Tenth Ave North concert when I felt a tap on the shoulder. The woman behind me wanted to see my bag. One that I had just made a few hours earlier. She passed it to her friends, gave sweet compliments and said she needed one just like it. At the next break, she handed me her card and asked me to make her one.

Then one of the lead singers came out to discuss Compassion and child sponsorship and everything just clicked. God answered all of my questions and prayers together in one instant. Personal relationships and connecting with people is where my heart is. Yes. It just made sense that we would give back by building relationships with children all over the world.

Our sweet girl is in Rwanda. It is such a joy to learn all about her. She wants to be a businesswoman and a great preacher. She knows about you all, how you are praying for her and supporting her. I have huge dreams about expanding the sponsorships, but until we can, we are also giving a portion of all proceeds to Compassion International. Please consider sponsoring a child.

I am overwhelmingly grateful to all who have been part of this Ginger Lane journey over the past year. I never would have dreamed that it would be a real business with and hundreds of bags sewn and photoshoots and customers and goals and trunk shows.

Ginger Lane

Ginger Lane

Ginger Lane

Ginger Lane

Ginger Lane

Ginger Lane

Ginger Lane

The morals of the story? 

God likes to surprise us. Be patient and Trust. His plan for launching my business was a thousand times more fun and encouraging than if I pushed my way and tried in vain to make something happen on my own.

The best free and lasting gift? A genuine compliment. It is selfless for the giver. And highly encouraging for the receiver. Just her words and excitement have carried me through the past year.

Ginger Lane

As a THANK YOU, go to GingerLaneGoods.Etsy.com and enjoy 20% off for the rest of April.

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(All photographs were taken by Cara Soulia Photography. Read more about how gives back with her photography. All of the models are my friends. To whom I am so grateful for their support on this Ginger Lane journey!)

Sak Saum

The End it Movement has declared today, February 27, Shine Light on Slavery Day. Love the concept and love that they are raising awareness and money for some incredible organizations to end slavery. But they make a great point that “awareness must lead to action”. Ending human trafficking needs more than drawing a red X on your hand one day out of the year.

“This is how the battle against human trafficking will be won – one person, one family, one community at a time.” (Sak Saum, About)

Sak Saum, located in Cambodia, restores the physical, emotional, spiritual, social needs of those rescued from human trafficking. They are “dedicated to the rescue, restoration, transformation and rehabilitation of vulnerable and exploited women and men.” Daily life includes housing, medical attention, vocational training, counseling, studying, worship, community, friendship. In addition, they run a vocational training center that employs, trains and then sell their bags and handmade goods worldwide to support their ministry.  Shop their beautiful products!

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Leap Tote (it’s even on sale!)

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Freedom Wrap Watch

Sak Saum anna cotton

Anna Wallet

I am in awe of the women God called to Sak Saum to love and restore the exploited.

Help send my friend to Uganda! {Chrome Buffalo}

Sole Hope Ambassadors were invited to Uganda this summer, to help distribute the shoes, meet the shoe makers, remove jiggers, etc. Unfortunately, I am unable to make it, but I’m hoping we can all join forces and help send my fellow Sole Hope friend, Ashley!

Ashley has partnered with Chrome Buffalo to help raise funds for the trip. Chrome Buffalo, founded by the great folks from Light Gives Heat, is an online crowd funding platform that allows anyone looking to raising money to create a fundraising drive. They then select a t-shirt design, each which sells for $22. But the best part is that the participant receives $11 of the $22! And you get a great t-shirt. Along with the pleasure of helping someone out.

So here’s the only problem. I’m really late on this! We were frolicking on vacation last week, and now Ashley only has 2 days left of her drive. So drop what you’re doing, unless it is feeding a baby. And head over to Ashley’s fundraising page on Chrome Buffalo.

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From Ashely…

I will be traveling to Uganda, Africa for 15 days in July! I will be working with Sole Hope doing jigger removals, foot washing, shoe distribution, and working with the shoe makers. My work with Sole Hope has been extremely rewarding over the past two years, and I can only imagine how my heart will feel finally being in Jinja, Uganda with the shoemakers and children that I have loved from afar for so long. This will also be a very personal trip, as my sons had jiggers when they were growing up. Although I wasn’t able to be there to comfort my sons, I consider myself very blessed to be able to comfort their children during this painful experience. You can watch a video of my son Blake talking about jiggers here: http://youtu.be/vZIgoEqvG0o I know from my travels to Africa three years ago that this trip will forever change me for the good. My trip will cost $3,500 and I want to thank you for partnering with myself and Sole Hope to make this trip a reality!

Big news!

It’s here. After months (years) of prayers, listening, waiting, dreaming, tinkering, playing…it’s here.

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Inspired by Al Andrews, to become an improbable philanthropist.

Inspired by Jon Acuff, to Start. (First inspired by Quitter, but I can’t quit my day job as a mom.)

Inspired by Rebecca at Better Life Bags (where I first admitted my dream “Design something awesome + Change people’s lives”), Megan at She Does Justice and Sarah at BeCause to start a business that combines creative talents & giving.

Inspired by Mike Donehey to sponsor children through Compassion.

Grateful for the encouragement of friends and strangers that have purchased bags already.

Come on over to GingerLaneGoods.com or the Ginger Lane Goods Etsy store or the Spoonflower fabric store!

BeCause ~ Beautiful Jewelry for a Cause

I received the most wonderful Mother’s Day gifts from my family. Beautiful jewelry from BeCause that provided 66 school meals for children. Sixty-six meals! That’s incredible!

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(She even included a note from my boys…so perfect!)

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(Let’s just focus on the earrings, and how these provided 33 school meals through WFP,  and not my eye wrinkles…)

Sarah Manthey started BeCause with a heart for giving and a talent for jewelry design. A grant writer for World Food Program USA (WFP USA) and an avid jewelry maker, she combined interests by giving school meals with every purchase. In her own words:
 “After I had been with WFP USA for a few months, I thought that there might be a way to merge two of my passions–handmade jewelry and giving back.  I started brainstorming and came up with the idea of BeCause.  With lots of help and support from my friends and family, I launched my Etsy page (www.etsy.com/shop/smanthey) in November 2012 and then officially launched BeCause in December with a Trunk Show.
With each sale, I donate 15% of the proceeds to fund WFP USA.  I translate each purchase into the amount of school meals that it would provide to give my customers a lasting understanding of the real difference they are helping to make.  As of April 23, 2013, BeCause has provided 1,691 school meals!  This number gives me hope that every piece sold makes a difference because it means another few meals that we can provide–another future we can brighten.”
In just a few months, she has donated around 1700 school meals! That is amazing. And her jewelry is gorgeous and beautifully made. Here are a few beauties, but be sure to check out her entire collection on Etsy!

To Boston, with love

I was born in Boston, raised here and still live in the vicinity.

Marathon Monday has always been my favorite day in the city. The cheering is relentless. The runners, inspiring.

I worked in the building behind where the first bomb went off. We used to gather in the windows to watch the marathon, having the best view of Boylston and the finish line. I would walk home along the marathon route, clapping and cheering for those who had been running 5+ hours. But they were still going. They never stopped. Their will and determination always left me with goosebumps.

I am heartbroken for my city. For the families who lost loved ones. For those that lost limbs. For those whose lives will never be the same. For the runners who didn’t get to finish. For the evil that remains in this world.

But I am also encouraged by the love. Of the first responders. Of strangers. Good will always triumph over evil.

OldTryPatriotsDay

Within hours of the bombing, my favorite print shop, Old Try, created a print, based on the first flag of New England, where 100% of the profits will be donated here to benefit the victims.

Please join TUGG and the technology community in supporting those impacted by the bombing at this year’s Boston Marathon. All proceeds will be donated completely to programs working with victims of the attacks including Red Cross, Children’s Hospital, and others. Both TUGG and fundraise.com are donating 100% of their fees so that all of your support goes directly to helping those in need. This is a terrible injustice and we are proud to stand as a community to help repair the lives of those who have been hurt.

Learn More: TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good) on Fundraise.com

Buy the Print Here

or

Donate Directly

Lisa Leonard hope{full} collection & Jungle Kids

While doing a little online browsing (hi, love this), I came across Lisa Leonard’s new hope{full} collection.

For every hope{full} piece sold, one meal is donated to Jungle Kids.

Lisa Leonard Hope{full}

Each piece from our hope{full} collection is fair trade, organic and sustainable, giving work to Ecuadorian women and building families and communities. Necklaces, bracelets and earrings are made from tagua seeds, which are harvested, carved and dyed vibrant, beautiful shades.  We are also offering hand-made scarves that can be worn in your hair, around your waist, around your neck and any other creative way! Additionally, with the sale of each piece from the hope{full} collection, Lisa Leonard Designs will donate a portion of the proceeds back to Jungle Kids. For each piece sold we’re buying lunch for a child in need. That is awesome.

Lisa Leonard Blog: our hope{full} collection

Shop the hope{full} collection and help empower Ecuadorian artisans and provide a meal for a child in need. Click on the images below to learn more!

Lisa Leonard ocean view necklace Lisa Leonard long wrap sunshine necklaceLisa Leonard yellow_diamond_earrings_01Lisa Leonard deep_blue_bracelet_01 Lisa Leonard ruby red braceletLisa Leonard aqua blue scarf

What is Jungle Kids for Christ?

We are a group of people who are passionate about empowering children of the jungle of Ecuador so that they will break the cycle of poverty and share a message of transformation with their family, community, country, and world.

Jungle Kids for Christ, Who We Are

They established a school, Antioch Christian Academy, to provide excellent education for children in the jungle. Consider sponsoring a student through Jungle Kids to help with the cost of their education.  Learn more here.

I have more posts about Purposeful Shopping…Check them out!

Purposeful Shopping