July 21, 2015

All About Mercy... or really, All About a MercyHouse Home Party & the Fair Trade Friday Club (PLUS a GIVEAWAY!)

I told you last week that I was doing this super cool, ultra fun new thing and as with all super cool, ultra fun new things - I think you should all do it now, too! (Because, of course!)

But also because this: It's also super ultra easy!
Seriously... the folks at Mercy House make it SO EASY for the hosts. 
Plus - hello gorgeous products, 
In. My. House.



I fell in love with MercyHouse in Kenya several years ago.  I have written about this powerful ministry here before.  Kristen Welch said yes to God and oh my what He has done since then!  In the past few years, we have purchased items from the website and have helped to raise funds for things like a new van, computers/classrooms, and a second home! 

About a year ago, Kristen said another yes to God and started Fair Trade Friday. 
“I heard it clear, these words in the middle of the night, “Provide jobs for women.” It was years ago and I didn’t know what it meant. We were a couple of years into our hard work in Kenya, rescuing pregnant teens and I didn’t think I could do much more. But I also couldn’t shake those whispered words. Fair Trade Friday is the response to providing jobs for women. Sometimes God asks us to do something we don’t know how to do. But He does and He leads.”                        ~Kristen Welch, Founder of MercyHouse and Fair Trade Friday
One of the things I love the most about the products is that they come with the name of the woman who created it attached.  So now, whenever I wear my necklace, I pray for Violet. When I wear my bracelet, I pray for Rose. When I wear my earrings, I pray for Pauline. I love that personal connection and the opportunity to not only pray, but in purchasing the items, I know that the money is going right back into their hands, helping them to provide for their families, to buy food, pay rent, go to school.

Speaking of Pauline... Here is part of her story:

Pauline was only 15 years old when she became pregnant through force. When she moved into Rehema House in Kenya, the maternity home funded by Mercy House, she was desperate and hopeless. In just a few short years, her life has been transformed through the Gospel. Her son, Melvin, is thriving. Recently, Pauline graduated from the residence program and moved back home. She attends vocational beauty school 5 days a week, while Melvin is in school because of sponsorship. Every Saturday, she goes into the heart of her slum and teaches more than 20 mothers how to make beautiful product that is then sent to the USA and mailed out in Fair Trade Friday boxes. The women in this community outreach make around $50 a month from the product and that’s enough to pay for rent, provide food and school fees for their children. From a pregnant teen to a mother/teacher, Pauline’s future is bright and she is a beautiful example of what God can do.
                                                                                                           Pauline, Rehema House, Kenya

We have all heard it (and probably said it ourselves) - that every story matters... every life is telling a story written out loud and every chapter speaks volumes to those around us!  

Here's another real life story of lives being transformed by FTF as told by Kristen:
The women of Clothed in Hope, all vulnerable women who have completed or are currently walking through our skills-training program, are so very grateful for our partnership with Fair Trade Friday/Mercy House. The first time I told them about our big order for coin purses to reach the homes of over 500 women across America, over 60 women cheered, screamed, danced, rejoiced. Because to them it's not just some extra money in their pockets to feed their kids or pay school fees. It's empowerment, it's someone who says "I believe in you. I am with you." It gives the message to these ladies, overlooked and oppressed by society, that they are worthy. That they have something beautiful to offer the world, a skill and a story that can inspire women thousands of miles away. Each product made for Fair Trade Friday boxes, from coin purses to earrings, is a way for women to rejoice in their story of hope and redemption that they've written as a part of our sewing and business training program in Lusaka, Zambia.
                                                                                                                Maureen, Clothed in Hope, Zambia 
Maureen, the woman pictured with Regina on her back, is the brains behind much of our jewelry line, specifically a beautiful earring design headed out to women as part of the Earring of the Month Club. Maureen graduated our life-skills training program in September 2014 after completing a 12-month sewing and business curriculum with her daughter Regina on her back. Maureen is showing her children that work is good, and that no obstacle is big enough to keep her from pursuing her dreams for her family. 
 How much do you love that?

Well, I loved it and I wanted to help spread the word and help Maureen and Pauline and so many others continue to know that their story matters... that God is writing a story of redemption, of hope, of glory and I am reading it way over here! How amazing is that?

When I found out that you could host a Home Party either through Mercy House (with various products, individually sold) or through Fair Trade Friday (with items to pack your own FTF Box to purchase) --well, I signed up right away!

They send all that you will need in one box, with an inventory sheet, brochures and cards, a few videos to show, and lots of beautiful items to display for sale.  All merchandise is marked, no sales tax needs to be added, and every piece of jewelry comes in it's own gorgeous handmade pouch. 

Honestly - it couldn't have been any easier!  You could host a party and go all out, Pinterest-style with fancy menu and shmancy venue... or you can keep it casual and make it laid back - Open House style. (I chose the latter this time - but next time I am thinking I will host it at a church event/retreat or have a fancy brunch!)

Just look at how lovely it all came together... I simply cleared off my dining room table and started unpacking... 












People stopped in throughout the Open House times (and a few late comers, too!) to learn about MercyHouse and do a little shopping!  I was able to pack up some of the items and took them with me the following day to church and brought some this morning to Bible Study, too.  

Everyone loves to see the products in person, and to hear the stories.  It's so encouraging to know that God takes our little, and makes much of it!  

The price ranges are affordable and many said that they would not only attend another party, but that they would look into joining the Fair Trade Friday or Earring club!  Once the party is closed, you simply return any unsold product along with the proceeds, and if you are like me, you start thinking of the best time on your calendar to sign up to host again!

As I mentioned, I had purchased items (T-shirts, jewelry) online previously. I am also part of the FTF Blogging team, so I received a FTF Box, and I purchased several other pieces this weekend including the gorgeous coasters that I have been eyeing for quite some time now! 

So between the FTF box that I was gifted and a few items purchased at my Open House, I wanted to share the love with you, my sweet readers! 

Enter the Giveaway* below... we'll have Rafflecopter draw a winner next week!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

* This GIVEAWAY is limited to USA entrants only. I do apologize to my International friends!




You can choose a subscription for a Fair Trade Friday box ($31.99 per month) or try it out with a One Time Gift Box ($35 plus $10 shipping.)  Another option: join the Earring of the Month club ($11.99 per month.)   If there's not currently an opening for the next month, you will be added to the wait list! (It's usually not much of a wait and adding your name to the list helps with planning future purchases!)         
                     
If you are not ready or able to sign up for the monthly club(s), you can still make a purchase directly from the Mercy House online shop.  There are so many ways you can be a part of changing lives with us. One of the funnest ways, of course, is to host a Home Party like I did! It's oh so easy and you can make it whatever you want it to be: big and fancy, or low key and casual... knowing all the while that every purchase is changing the world for sisters and children around the world!  
For more information, check out MercyHouse and/or Fair Trade Friday.

P.S.  I'm also linking up with these lovely writers:

Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp


JENNIFER DUKES LEE FOR #TELLHISSTORY


















HOLLEY GERTH FOR #COFFEEFORYOURHEART


Some images above were used with permission, courtesy of Fair Trade Friday

26 comments :

  1. Hello neighbor at the #raralinkup!!! Love all this Fair Trade stuff! Wish I could've come to your party, but there's this little thing called distance that prohibits it! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes - I know! The good news is, you could host your own if you so desired! (or shop the items online!) ;) What I love is how affordable it is! So often Fair Trade stuff is so much more expensive that my budget doesn't allow it, but because no one is trying to make money above the fair trade cost, they are able to keep the prices down! xoxo

      Delete
  2. So many beautiful products, and so many beautiful stories. I love all these items - so glad to see this post today. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen! Thanks so much for stopping by Amy!

      Delete
  3. I love your heart to support this wonderful organization and spread the word. I love the tag line: wear a story change a life - brilliant - just brilliant and so true. blessings, your neighbor at #Coffeeforyourheart

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that a great tagline? I can't take credit for it - but I sure think of it every time I put on a piece of jewelry or a tshirt! xoxo Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. They do some amazing work with rolled paper and beads! Gorgeous - I agree! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. Love!!! I am glad you mentioned how easy it is to do one of these parties. With four kiddos "EASY" is always good to hear so that I'm not overwhelming myself. I am so hoping to try one of these parties later in the year. Love your words, beautiful friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh - I have done other parties - and this was by far the easiest! xoxo

      Delete
  6. So cool! I love how the products come with a name to pray for. And indeed every story matters!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is one of my favorite parts as well! xoxo

      Delete
  7. Love the Fair Trade items you pictures; and the concept of helping out a young woman who is trying to overcome adversity! Thank you for bringing this to us!! I have purchased items from "fair trade" in the past - our Christian Women's Fellowship has held a "Quadrennial Assembly" every 4 years for quite a number of years; and they always have a set up of items for sale...

    Thanks again for sharing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, my friend! There are so many ways that we really can make a difference!

      Delete
  8. Sweet! That party looks awesome. Love that and thank you for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was so fun... and so doable! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  9. I love the necklaces! Especially the ones with the columns of paper beads hanging down!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Stacy! It was so hard to choose... I wanted one of everything! :)

      Delete
  10. I am in love with all...but I guess the bracelets

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? Because who doesn't love a little arm party? I love the bracelets too! Good choice!

      Delete
  11. I have seriously fallen in love with Mercy House and Fair Trade Friday products. I really hope they'll start shipping internationally one day :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I hope so, too! Their products really are even more amazing in person! I am sure you would not be disappointed! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  12. Hey friend, it's been a while since I commented, but I'm loving your words of encouragement in all your posts. It's been so great to be part of the FTF with you. Not sure what the blue/green/purple loveliness is there, but those colors just call to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw - thanks friend! That blue/green/purple loveliness is the FTF bag! It's gorgeous, right? #Kindred

      Delete
  13. I love the little zipper pouch (coin purse?) with the bright yellow flower on it! And....just signed up to join the Earring of the Month club - yay! Can't wait to get my first pair! Thank you for this awesome giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Valerie, that is so awesome to hear!!! I have loved every pair of earrings! You will not be disappointed! (And yes - the coin purse is so bright and happy... good luck on the Giveaway and thanks for stopping by!)

      Delete

Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

Blog Archive