Saturday, February 23, 2008

It feels good to do good

As you know, I've been planning an event to create more awareness surrounding the prevalence of Human Trafficking or rather, modern day slavery, here in the US and to also highlight some of the wonderful work of organizations that empower survivors. The event was held on Thursday and was a huge success. A couple of organizations were at the event selling wares made by the survivors of trafficking and labor exploitation and of course I treated myself and a couple of loved ones to some really gorgeous items such a a beautiful red patchwork tote bag, a jeweled coin purse, a colorful screen printed pillow cover, and a journal all for less than $100 with all proceeds going to survivors! At the event, one of the organizations, TEN Charities, supports a school and shelter for women (and their children) who are exploited and essentially enslaved into prostitution. By day, the women and their children go to the shelter and learn skills in screen printing and sewing purses, bags, scarves and other types of handicrafts so that one day they can support themselves. By night, these women and their children return to the brothel to go to work serving customers. The children are present while their mothers service customers and are at high risk for also being abused. TEN Charities is a wonderful program that seeks to provide economic empowerment to these victims by providing a market for their handicrafts here in the US. They sold alot at our event as did another group, Sabiduria Oxlajúj Noj, who represents the collective efforts of a group of Guatemalan artisans producing high-quality clothing and accessories in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This talented group of women was brought together by a raid at their workplace. I bought my tote from them and it is GORGEOUS!! You can check out their wares and purchase items online at You can also purchase items made by survivors in India from TEN Charities at or even sponsor a child or survivor for $25 a month or host an online party at Do what you can - the conditions in India are astonishing. Find out more about trafficking at or the US Department of State at