On Poverty and Hope

My mind and heart can hardly bear to imagine the things. I can try to ignore the stories but that doesn’t stop them from happening. 

While I live comfortably in a country with extraordinary freedoms unlike any other in the entire world, women and children are being raped, abused, and belittled on a daily basis. What’s even more heartbreaking is that these precious souls see no means of escape most of the time.

And what I’m learning is that these unthinkable acts are often the result of extreme poverty.

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Why do I have it so good while horrific things are happening to others? What can little ole me do to end this vicious cycle? Can I alone really put an end to slavery, world hunger or poverty?

Perhaps I have it so good because I am destined to be a part of the solution.

I don’t mean buy a pair of shoes so that a pair can be donated. No, that’s charity. Charity is often a short-term band-aid to a long-term problem.

What if there were a way to equip women with tools to interrupt the vicious cycle of poverty and it’s effects on her, her family and her community?

In 2010 two moms just like me were so broken over what they saw happening in impoverished communities all over the globe. It was crystal clear God was about to use them to do something beautiful and amazing. Trades of Hope was born and today there are over 3000 women (Compassionate Entrepreneurs) who have stepped up to play an active role in helping release women from the cycle of poverty all over the world. We currently partner with 16 different artisan groups in over 25 countries.

The idea is simple – give a woman the tools to make a living wage to provide food, shelter, medical care and education for herself and her family & she becomes an unstoppable force in her community. As a Compassionate Entrepreneur I am her marketer. I’m working #forher. She makes beautiful handmade jewelry, scarves, bags or home decor and then I sell these for her through home parties and online events. Because of this partnership she now has a dignified and sustainable means of income and can care for her family in a way she has always hoped she could.

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It’s been said that each time we purchase something we are casting a vote for the kind of world we want.

When you purchase a Trades of Hope product you are casting a vote for a woman in extreme poverty to have a better life.

When you host a home or online party you are letting others know of her talent and the beautiful contributions she can make to this world.

When you become her partner as a Compassionate Entrepreneur you are honoring her bravery by inviting others in to this life-giving work.

The absolute highest honor you can earn as a Compassionate Entrepreneur with Trades of Hope is not a million-dollar salary, a vacation, or a brand new car. The ultimate goal for so many Compassionate Entrepreneurs is securing a seat on a Vision Trip, where we have the honor and privilege to meet our partners, the artisans, face-to-face. We get to spend time learning about their communities and daily life. We get to shadow them on the job and hear directly from them how our partnership is making a difference in their lives!

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I am eager to share the heart of Trades of Hope with anyone who will listen. If you’d like to take a look at all the beautiful pieces up close, or learn more about how you can join this world-changing sisterhood hop on over to my website mytradesofhope.com/aprilemery. If you have questions or are interested in hosting a world-changing gathering in your home or online email me at the address found on my website (link above).

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