I run to support Fair Trade
I am also deeply committed to supporting and promoting Fair Trade. This extends to the thousands of artisans who, thanks to Fair Trade, now make a living wage that empower them to educate their children, put food on the table, and equip their homes with water and electricity.
My connection to Fair Trade led me to volunteer and join the Board of Directors for Partners for Just Trade in 2010. This St. Louis based organization works hard to build partnerships through a just marketplace and I was lucky enough to do two fundraisers for them and many of friends contributed generously.
Running is one of my many passions. I decided to run my first marathon a few years ago and since I decided to run one in every state (a lofty goal, I know, but one that keeps me motivated to stay active.) I'm happy to tell you that I completed my 27th marathon in New York City on Nov 3. It was an awesome race!
I dedicated this last 26.2-mile race to an equally wonderful, non-profit Fair Trade organization, Global Mamas,and support their efforts to make their newest project a reality.
My goal was to raise $5,000 to help Global Mamas build an Eco-friendly production facility in Ghana that will employ 200 women with well-paying jobs, enabling them to better their lives.
This community works together to create a life of prosperity –financial well-being, happiness, and health for women and their families. They achieve prosperity by creating and selling handmade, Fair Trade products of the highest quality.
So why did I choose to work hard to support this cause? Well, here are a few reasons:
1) It Empowers Women. The new production facility will employ 200 women with well-paying jobs. Research shows that women reinvest 90% of their income into the community, so it creates a ripple effect that strengthens an entire community. Plus the Fair Trade Zone will have a daycare center so mothers can continue to work. Global Mamas also provides 12 weeks of paid maternity leave and gives mothers one paid hour at work to nurse.
2) It's a Model for the Garment Industry. The production facility will be a beautiful space that's well-lit and ventilated. That doesn't seem like anything exceptional but when you consider that most factories where we purchase our clothing and electronics from factories like those in Bangladesh, it's really a big deal.
3) An Eco-Friendly Production Facility. It will be built using local, sustainable building materials (think recycled glass, compressed earth walls) and utilize renewable energy and innovative practices to cut down on waste and water consumption. Pretty cool considering the environmental footprint of the manufacturing world is HUGE.
Check out this infographic to learn more about Global Mamas
Additionally, Global Mamas offered a 10-day trip to Ghana to one lucky fundraiser. My name was entered in the hat every time I raised $100. Thanks to the incredible support of many friends and family, I was able to raise nearly $3,200!!!
I'm extremely grateful and blessed to know so many people contributed quite generously to this wonderful cause. Global Mamas will select the lucky winner to visit Ghana sometime in January/February. Keep your fingers crossed for me, won't you? I'll keep you posted!
This is by far the best cause I have ever raised money for. Training and running for Global Mamas helps me get through the toughest training miles, and it pushes me to meet my goals.
We plan to carry many of the beautiful products by Global Mamas in 2014...stay tuned!