I’d like to ask you to bear with me as I stray from my normal blog content. This one might appear to be a bit self-serving as I’m going to ask you for something at the end. But first, I want to tell you a story.
I want to tell you about Emebet.
Emebet is Ethiopian and HIV positive. She did not know she had the disease until her husband died from it several years ago. Like many Ethiopians with HIV, Emebet feared being shunned by her family and community, so she lived in seclusion near Mount Entoto, making little money and unable to get treatment for her disease.
Then she was invited to work as an artisan in a local partner group created by a company called Noonday. Here she started making jewelry out of beads created from old artillery shells found in the fields by local farmers. She began to earn good wages, well-above the average for women in Ethiopia, found a support community, and began taking anti-viral drugs to treat her HIV. She came out of hiding and seclusion and re-discovered a life that could be lived with HIV. She even fell in-love, re-married and had a son named Yasbera.
Emebet is just one of many men and women in countries like Rwanda, Ethiopia, India, Vietnam, and Ecuador that are gaining financial independence, healthcare, education, and freedom to live life because of their work with Noonday. Noonday is a fair-trade company that purchases hand-made, local goods from these groups — at prices above local market value — and then sells them here in the U.S. as a means of creating economic opportunity for the vulnerable in underdeveloped countries. They also provide scholarships, no-interest business loans, and emergency assistance within these same communities.
I am so excited to tell you that I have recently become an Ambassador for Noonday. For me, becoming an ambassador is not about earning some extra money, or hosting trunk shows. It is not about the jewelry. It’s about spreading the word and creating awareness. It’s about promoting fair-trade. About raising money for adoption. It’s about empowering women in our privileged, first-world, free-state, to in-turn empower our sisters in poverty-stricken and war-torn countries to find a better life. About using our purchasing power for good.
So now, here’s the point where I ask you for a favor. I’m seeking five friends/readers to host a Noonday Trunk Show in September, October or November. If you live within two hours of Winchester, VA, I will personally come and do your trunk show. If you live further away, then you can find an ambassador near you to do the trunk show.
Hosting a show is simple! All you need to do is set a date, invite some of your friends/family/co-workers and serve a few light refreshments. I, or your local ambassador, will do the rest. The trunk show is really an opportunity tell others about Noonday’s mission and impact, show off the beautiful hand-made jewelry and accessories that Noonday purchases from the 2,000+ artisans in over 10 countries, and be the change we want to see in the world.
As a thank-you for hosting the trunk show, you will earn credits toward purchasing jewelry and accessories, as well as special discounts. And, if you are one of the first five readers to schedule a show (whether with me or another ambassador) I will also throw-in one free piece of jewelry as my personal “thank you” for helping us spread the word.
You can learn more about Emebet and the other artisans here: http://jeliseballon.noondaycollection.com/impact/who
Or watch this short video that tells you more about Noonday and what they do:
So, I have one question for you: Will you help me get the word out so we can help transform lives?