As Thanksgiving approaches I like to focus on what I am grateful for, as so many Americans do at this time of year. There is what’s right in front of me - my wonderful husband, amazing kids, incredible friends and relatives, and the home in which I live. But as I reflect deeper, I take a look at the things I take for granted every single day: enough food on the table, plenty of clothes to wear, clean water, modern plumbing, heat in the winter, a car, a comfortable bed, a roof over my head, access to quality healthcare…….I could go on and on!
Then I think about the artisans whose beautiful handiwork the Women’s Peace Collection is featuring. They live in the most impoverished conditions, many without the basic living conditions I mention above. We carry so many products from Guatemala not only because they are beautiful, but because Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in the world and without access to American markets many of the artisans could not survive, and would not have enough food on the table (many still don’t!).
And then there’s Kenya, which has no public school system, so parents have to pay if they want their children to be educated! A group of talented mothers has gotten together to craft beautiful mobiles made out of banana fiber, as well as stunning jewelry. We hope that by contributing in our small way by selling their products more kids in Kenya can receive a basic education.
Even more horrific are the thousands of women and girls who are victims of human trafficking all over the world. So we do our part to support the ones who have escaped or been rescued, selling the stunning Live Free and Freebird jewelry they handcraft as their way of supporting themselves.
I will be spending this Thanksgiving with relatives who live in Plymouth, MA, of all places, home of Plymouth Rock. I am ever so grateful for the feast we will have in a warm, cozy home. But I also have incredible gratitude for having the privilege to help artisans across the globe, many of whom may never have such a feast. And I am grateful for the artisans themselves, who share their incredible talents with us. This is why I do this work – because I know in my heart of hearts that we are all in this life together and that every human being deserves what we in this country take for granted.