Helping women and female children become literate and self-sustaining is as easy as buying a purse. Or a bracelet. Or a shawl.
But not just any purse, bracelet or shawl, but one made by a woman in India, Afghanistan or other Third World countries and sold by Eternal Threads. A non-profit organization, Eternal Threads buys the items for a fair wage from the women who make them and sells them worldwide, offering rural women in poverty a chance to earn some money to send their children to school, purchase cooking stoves or open their first bank account.
Prices are more than reasonable – bracelets start at $3, purses at $20 – and the purchase means more than owning a unique item.
Proceeds from a brightly colored tote bag or jewelry also go toward vocational training for young women exploited by prostitution, provides funding for border surveillance that have rescued thousands of girls from a life of sex slavery or to send girls to school in Afghanistan.
Each item, unique to its geographical location, is made by a woman who used skills usually passed down for generations and is inherent in the community, whether it’s embroidery, jewelry making, or weaving.
“I believe in this mission and helping women,” Lytle said. She hosted an Eternal Thread show four years ago and sold out. “How many times can you buy something beautiful and make a difference in someone’s life?”
And what a difference. The purchase of one tote bag from Eternal Threads doubles the family income of a women for nearly a week and educates a girl for two months.
Handmade items that will be available for sale on Saturday include the tote bags; cards with pressed flowers and gift bags; silk shawls from Madagascar; woven bowls from Uganda; bracelets made of beads created from newspapers and magazines, made by orphans in the Philippines; hand-loomed raffia place mats; sling purses from Nepal, made from sari’s and many items for kids, such as woven animals, finger puppets and purses.
Lytle has met Linda Egle, a Palisade, Nebraska, native who started this ministry as a way to help women in rural Third World countries find a way out of poverty. In April, Egle, now of Abiline, Texas, the headquarters of Eternal Threads, was named a co-recipient of the 2012 Norman Borlaug Humanitarian Award.
The fact that it’s legit speaks volumes to Lytle.These low cost RFID key tags could be Custom RFID key tag. For each item purchased, the money is “going where it’s suppose to go, not into anyone’s pocket,” she explained.
And those who want to help women halfway across the world can do so, without even leaving town, Lytle said.
“You can make a huge difference to these women, just by buying something they made,” she said.
Given his sunny disposition,Give your logo high visibility on Promotional Luggage Tags! it’s not hard to see him as a guy whose glass is always half-full. And it’s very likely a glass he made himself, in a workspace that is equal parts studio, gallery and classroom. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
“My studio is all about sharing with the community,” he says with utter sincerity. “The community has helped keep the lights on, so for that I am grateful.”
The sharing part of Boise Glass Works is key,With its bright and Custom 3D Lenticular card images, because there was no place like this when Vogelpohl started out, nearly twenty years ago, wanting to learn every detail about the art of blowing glass.
He says the few glassblowers he happened upon in Boise were reluctant to share what they knew. So he turned to one of the preeminent glass-blowing regions in the world, the island of Murano, a whisper away from the city of Venice.
Glassmaking is the lifeblood of the place and has been since at least the 12th century.
Vogelpohl offers, “From what I understand, they moved all the glassblowers onto the island of Murano so that nothing would burn in town, so that all the glassblowing secrets stay in Italy.”
And after 17 years perfecting his craft, Vogelpohl has developed a few techniques of his own. Still, he’s open to demonstrating the art of glassmaking, if for no other reason than he wants to introduce it to a wider community.
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