So, on with the excitement! We have 2 things to announce today!
1. We have raised $400 to fund a literacy program in Haiti! Our Made with Purpose line was created with the specific intent of sponsoring a child slave in Haiti, Benitha. We met our goal of raising $360 for her very early in 2011 and wanted to pursue another option with that line. After your votes, we began raising the funds to help sponsor a literacy program through The Restavek Freedom Foundation. Through that 6 week program, adults in charge of the care of many restavek children will be able to learn to read. The pilot of that particular program occurred this past summer. Check out this excerpt from the Restavek Freedom Foundation blog on graduation day of that pilot program.
"Recently, on a rainy day in the hills of Fontamara, forty-five women walked to take their first academic diploma. They had learned their letters, numbers and for the first time in their lives, they could write their own names.
About a decade ago, the Haitian government created the Alphabetization program – a video-based curriculum aimed at helping improve adult literacy. Sadly, today Haiti still has about a 47 percent illiteracy rate.1
This summer, the Restavek Freedom Foundation (Fondayson Libète pou Restavek) leveraged the Alphabetization program in order to reach out to the host parents of kids in our Child Advocacy program. Providing literacy classes allows us to build stronger relationships with host parents and the community and gives us a good opportunity to engage in discussions about healthy ways to value children.
These women went to school for the first time and they worked hard to attain these diplomas. They walked up mountains, literally, to get to class and sometimes sat scrunched together under tarps so they could learn their lessons despite the downpours of the rainy season."
Isn't that powerful? And now, because of your purchases, YOU are going to provide that experience to more women!
One of the primary goals of DFC is to assist the non-profits doing the on the ground work with survivors of human trafficking and the elements included in it. And I think we've found a new way to go about that through our little shop with purpose. Which brings us to the......
2. Change It Today Drive - This is a brand new program we are initiating. With it, we will be able to assist many nonprofits in their efforts to make tremendous differences to so many people around the world at risk or already involved in human trafficking. Here's how it works.... Each month a different non-profit will be chosen and during the course of that month, for every ITEM purchased (over $5), will we donate $1 to that particular group. Each month we will choose a new beneficiary and we are going to need your help in making those choices.
To kick this brand new program off, we have chosen to work with Gracehaven House, a non-profit group fighting child sex trafficking in Ohio. They work on prevention and awareness and are in process of building a 10 bed shelter in order to rehabilitate children in the United States who have been trafficked. Did you know there are only 120 beds for this specific purpose in the US?
According to the US Department of Education, "thousands of men, women, and children are trafficked to the United States for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. An unknown number of U.S. citizens and legal residents are trafficked within the country primarily for sexual servitude and, to a lesser extent, forced labor. "1
Thousands of children - and only 120 beds available for their rehabilitation.
We want to step up and help more become available.
So for the month of January, we'll be donating $1 for every item purchased to Gracehaven. If you'd like to make a donation to Gracehaven in addition to your purchases, you can do that on our shop here. Every single dollar makes a difference! Because we are not a non profit, the donation you would give through us would not be tax deductible and would simply be given to Gracehaven. If, however, you would like to make a tax deductible donation to Gracehaven you may do to so here.
As January moves on you can check out our progress on the side bar of our blog. We can't wait to work with you to make tremendous differences in the lives of children in the US as January and 2012 begin.
So, stay tuned and thank you again for the tremendous difference you are making simply by shopping!