Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kris: Part 3 - Shop Noonday Collection, Change the World

It is estimated that there are 30 million slaves worldwide today, more than any other point in history.  That shocking statistic includes sex trafficking, child labor, and forced labor in dangerous, violent, and deadly working conditions where families are being ripped apart, and live-able wages are not even close to being earned.  Christmas is upon us and according to Business Insider, Americans spent $52 billion on Black Friday in 2011.  That is a LOT of money we are spending on Christmas gifts...gifts that are very likely to have been made by the hands of a slave.

This is a topic that warrants {an endless amount} of blog posts, but I wanted to touch on the topic as a way to introduce you to Noonday Collection and show you just one example of how you can use your purchasing power to change lives around the world.  Would you like to join me and become a modern-day abolitionist?!
Isaiah 58:10

Noonday Collection sells jewelry, scarves, bags, and more which are made by artisans around the globe.  These artisans have gone from homeless and hopeless, to earning a live-able wage to support their families through dignified work with the help of organizations like Noonday Collection.  Kris says she fell in love with Noonday through a specific story of transformation and redemption while attending her first Noonday Trunk Show
"My favorite story thus far is the one that planted the "Noonday seed" in my heart - the story of a 26-year-old artisan living with HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia.  She makes beautiful jewelry out of beads made from old artillery shells from previous war conflicts.  Her partnership with Noonday has given her a source of fair income that has enabled her to afford medical care.  Because of that, she is able to take care of her son and have new dreams for his future."
That story of redemption is the one that led Kris to her first Noonday purchase - the Bethe Rope Necklace:
Bethe Rope Necklace worn with the teal Dewdrop Necklace
When Kris would get compliments on her necklace, she says "I would stop and share the story, and I would get goose bumps every, single, time.  Not only are the remnants of objects made for destruction transformed into something beautiful, but the lives that touched them have been transformed as well!"
Noonday Collection has had such a huge impact in lives around the world, and there are so many more stories.  Kris says "the more I shared the stories, the more I wanted to tell them again.  Before I knew it, I was advocating for the Noonday mission!"
Shalom Necklace - rolled paper beads made in Uganda
Inca Steps Necklace - made from Tagua seeds in Ecuador
Kris decided to become a  Noonday Collection Ambassador so she can help spread the mission of Noonday, and look stylish while advocating for the oppressed :)  There are SO many ways you can help those in need this holiday season as well as throughout the entire year:
Shop Noonday Collection
Visit Kris's website and get some holiday shopping completed.  Your purchases will not only provide pathways out of poverty and slavery for others, but your gift-recipients will be honored to share these stories while wearing their beautiful gift {handmade} and gifted with love. 
Host a Trunk Show
Contact Kris at  kjlovesnoonday@gmail.com to host a Trunk Show and learn more about Noonday - have the opportunity to try-on the beautiful products, and shop with your friends in the comfort of your own home.
Shop Fair Trade
As I've been learning more about modern-day slavery, I've been challenging myself to shop with intention and try to avoid "fast fashion".  Just like with the food I buy, I've learned to read labels on other products I buy and research where and how the product was made.  Yes, this can be time-consuming and difficult to shop this way in every aspect of my purchases.  Change starts with small steps, which slowly get easier over time. 
Resources
  • Follow my Purchase with a Purpose board on Pinterest for MANY other ways to shop fair trade.
  • GoodGuide is a free app for your phone to scan barcodes while shopping.  An easy way to learn more about the business practices of the company before purchasing their product. 
  • Take this Slavery Footprint quiz to estimate how many slaves are contributing to your lifestyle via forced labor, and what you can do to make a change.
  • Read Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide to learn more about the many ways women are being enslaved, and what you can do to help change the world.

LEARN.  SHARE.  GROW.
Because there are lives depending on it.

Stay tuned for your chance to win a Noonday Collection clutch!  There's a giveaway on the way...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Kris - Part 2: Her 8-Year-Old Negotiator

Kris has an 8-year-old son who is "one smart cookie".  Do you have a child who loves to challenge authority, think they are always right, and can also build a case to support their side?  So does Kris, and I think all kids have at least a little of this feisty spirit in them.  Sometimes it's temporary as they are shaping their personality and learning their boundaries, and sometimes that's who they are forever and always.  Kris is hoping his "very spirited" nature is just a phase, because "otherwise, I will probably need to learn some secret service grade, ninja-caliber negotiating skills."  Kris also describes her son as "extremely insightful, very expressive, and has yet to learn how to hold his opinions - when and when not to share them - and to control the use of 'no offense meant, but...'" 
What does Kris enjoying doing with her very spirited son?  She makes a great point, that children spend their lives taking instructions and following a lot of rules, so a "state of just being is important to balance it out".  I think we all need just being time! She enjoys doing things with her son which put them on a "level playing field - no one has authority, and no one needs to be right". Together, they like to watch Dr. Who on the weekends, run around in parks, pretend sword-fighting, him talking her into baking, and "tuck-ins".  Kris says "Tuck-ins are a real treat.  He craves goodnight ceremonies when he gets to tell me his adventures of the day, and I get to ask him questions that give me the pulse on the state of things in his world.  I'm blessed because he tells me his precious little secrets."
Definition by Kris:  Snuggle-buggying.  Verb.  "Snuggling and bugging each other at the same time.  I would think that if I had a daughter, the bugging part would not be there.  But because he's a boy, it's part of the equation.  An improvised gadget of some sort will make it's appearance in this setting, and will be used to zap me into the future and back."

No matter what they are doing making memories, the most important aspect for Kris is that they are doing something together.  "If he watches [Dr. Who] alone, and doesn't have anyone to interact with, it's an entirely different experience."
Kris says that her son is "all kinds of smart that I am not", but I say I think I know where he gets those beautiful brains :)  "He is a pretty funny kid.  And he can get himself out of trouble by trying to make me laugh.  That's worth being around.  Safe to say, we enjoy getting ourselves out of a fight.  But let's be honest - not always.  Just sometimes."
*          *          *
Stay tuned as we learn how Kris is impacting lives around the world, and what you can do to help!
 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Kris - Part 1: Living and Loving Life

Meet Kris, the Momster of the Month for November.  Kris is a friend of mine from church, and I am just so encouraged by the way she lives life and I wanted to share her amazingness with you! In case you're wondering, amazingness is in the Urban Dictionary, so it's close enough to being a real word.
Kris was born in the Philippines.  When she was 20-years-old, she was a "beneficiary of an immigration benefit" that her grandparents filed in order for her parents to move to America.  Kris has a passion for people and that is even evident in her line of work.  She works as a Communications Manager for Wellspring EAP, a "social enterprise division of Wellspring Family Services, which is a non-profit, for-impact organization that helps vulnerable - often homeless - families and children rebuild their lives."  Kris loves what she does, serving families within her community.  "I know that my work goes toward making other peoples lives better, and that makes my job really satisfying."
To say that Kris is well-rounded when it comes to living and loving life is an understatement, in my opinion.  She is definitely making the most of what this life in the Pacific Northwest has to offer! She loves photography, hiking, rowing, cycling, and more.  She is also a fan of the opera and serves on the board of the Seattle Opera BRAVO! Club for young professionals.
"My brain thinks I have a lot of energy - my body has its limits", says Kris.  So she rotates between the various activities her brain is requesting, rather than pursuing them all at once. 
"I shifted through activities over the years.  I spent a few years in tennis, golf, running, pretty dedicated to hiking (up to a point I was doing Mt. Si once a week like a crazy person and in the winter snowshoe once a week).  And then I take a break a few months and start a new activity.  I started rowing about 3 years ago.  It's the only sport I dared to compete in.  And...it's the sport I've embraced longer than the others. Maybe because I like how I have the option to be both competitive and laid back.  I sometimes row as fast as I possibly can, and then other days I can row to the middle of the lake and sit there and listen to the waves." 
 Outdoor activities in wide open spaces, around beautiful nature is what Kris loves most. 
"Outdoor activities...have a way of putting me in a place to feel the closeness of God.  I think it is in the silence - devoid of the world's clutter and noise - that His peace is amplified in my life.  It quiets my mind and helps me focus on just being."
 Kris enjoys the same activities when it comes to unwinding, relaxing, and regrouping.  She just enjoys them at a slower pace. 
"As long as I'm outside, can see the sky or the sea - I can be walking, riding a bike, rowing - I feel closer to my source of energy.  These are the times when I draw my water from the well, be still, have longer than the regular prayer conversations with God.  It's when I get to sit back and watch the rest of the world move that I find rest.  In stillness, there is rest.  Sometimes, just sitting and watching  my son's joy and innocence at play.  It's watching him dance, dress up as a king, a bee keeper, a wizard, a doctor, or pretend that he's a police officer, a mailman, the president of the United States, a baker or chef.  It's listening - and I mean listening to him laugh, sing, tell jokes, tell stories, write new laws, build his own dirt company.  There are times when my threshold for the noise is low, but there are those times that I see them as gifts.  Those times would be unwinding for me.  Sometimes when everything gets overwhelming and I can't think for myself anymore, I reach out.  God has blessed me with a man who is patient; knows when he needs to take my hand and just hold it and pray for me when I'm too tired to do it."
*          *          *