One of my goals this year (I set new goals every year, a practice I posted about here and here) has been to increase my efforts in tikkun olam, a Hebrew phrase meaning "healing the world." So in addition to giving money and services to church and other causes, sponsoring a child in Peru, and renewing and redoubling our efforts to conserve, reuse, and recycle as much as possible, I have also explored and implemented other ways to make a difference in the world. So I was thrilled to learn through a friend about Trades of Hope.
Trades of Hope provides an avenue for women around the world to create sustainable businesses and improve their lives in measurable ways. For example, some have been rescued from sex slavery. Others are raising handicapped children alone. Some are in war torn countries and others have AIDS. They face daunting obstacles and odds, but are willing to work hard to provide for their families and realize a better life for them.
Trades of Hope markets those women's products through the home party model, so they can put food on their table, a roof over their head, get medical care and an education for their children. They operate separate successful non-profit organizations and businesses to achieve their goals (see here about the Gifts of Hope ministry).
I can testify personally to the beauty and value of what they offer; I gave my wife a Trades of Hope scarf and necklace for her birthday. She loves them. And even more so, wearing them in the knowledge that these beautiful accessories have helped a woman provide for herself and her family.
I want my readers to discover Trades of Hope. I'd love it if some would consider becoming one of their "Compassion Entrepreneurs" (what a great job title!). So for a little incentive, I am offering this handmade journal (see photo at right). For a chance to win it absolutely free (and shipping paid by me), simply visit the Trades of Hope site here and then comment below or on my Twitter feed or Facebook page to let me know you clicked on the link. I hope you'll stay and look around, of course, but a click and a short comment will be sufficient to enter you in the drawing. I'll draw names out of a hat on July 30, and will notify the winner and post his or her name in the comments below.