Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sewing Their Way to Freedom

Think about this: Just one Fair Trade purchase from every American churchgoer this Christmas would lift one million families out of abusive poverty for one whole year. Let’s make sure that when gifts are given, they speak of the sort of world that Jesus came to show us — one where the last is first, where the poor are included, the sick are healed, and the captive is set free. -

I'll be writing a great deal about Fair Trade over the next few weeks.  Fair Trade allows spending to become redemptive.  Isn't it exciting to think we could be a part of freeing the captive and loving our neighbor by simply buying the products we were already going to buy anyway?  If you want to learn more about fair trade and how you can use your money to invest in Kingdom things, stay tuned in the weeks to come.

Since we're talking about Heartline this week....
Heartline isn't just a ministry to pregnant women and their babies.  Heartline also offers weekly Bible Study for their ladies.  They teach them to read.  They also give them the skills they need to break the cycle of intense poverty in their lives and their children's lives.

At Heartline, women are invited to be a part of the sewing program.  They learn to sew.  Then Heartline helps these women sell their creations on the internet.  The money these women earn through working for the sewing program is literally freeing them from the chains of slavery.

I wanted to share with you one of the simplest ways you can be involved with Heartline Ministry.  Are you ready for this?

Buy a purse.

The purses these women make are on the internet.  You can see pictures of the woman who sewed your bag.  What a beautiful way to love the people who make our products.

I want to be really, really clear about something.

Fair Trade companies and other ministries that care for their employees by offering them living wages are not asking for your pity.  You aren't buying a product that is worthless.  You aren't giving your hard earned money to someone living in poverty and in return getting merchandise that's not up to par.

Fair Trade companies and ministries like Heartline are making quality items by skilled workers.

My Heartline Purse is my favorite purse I own.  It is well made.  It was worth every dime I spent on it.  I bought the grocery style bag.  My word.  It's majorly hip.  I love it.

After buying a purse from Heartline and getting to be a part of something so redemptive it makes the purses at Target seem like a major let down.  When I'm wearing my Heartline purse, it brings my soul great joy.  I think of the sweet woman who made my purse.  I think of how her life is different now because she is connected to Heartline and now has skills she can use to support her family, raise her own children, and break free from poverty.

If you'd like to buy a Heartline purse you can check them out on the website.

The second way you can tangibly be a part of Heartline's Ministry is to host a purse party.

I know.  Purses + Party + Women = Guaranteed Fun

I had one last year, and it was a blast.

Here's the info in a nut shell:

You contact Heartline.  You tell them the amount of people you're expecting to attend your party.  They send you a bunch of purses.  You give them your credit card number.

Nothing is charged to your credit card.  Got that?  Nothing.  Promise.  Cross my heart.

They send you a box of purses.  You open them up, swoon over them, thanking God you had the good sense to be a part of something so lovely, and that YOU are the host, so you get to pick out your purse first.

You set a date for your party.  Invite your friends.  Then you party it up.  People buy purses.  You watch a great DVD about Heartline.  The party is a ton of fun.

After your party you mail your purses back (shipping is paid for by Heartline).

I have an extreme hatred of the post office.  Really.  I don't know if it's the lighting or the smell of stamps (which I love by the way) but my kids turn into monsters in the post office.  Their heads spin around.  I leave sweaty and on the verge of tears.  Because of my hatred of all things post office, I was kind of late getting my box of extra purses back to Heartline.  They will not charge your credit card for the remaining purses before telling you to get your act together, find a babysitter, and take the dang box back to the post office.  Heartline is sweet that way.

At the party, your friends can pay with cash, check, or credit card online.  Isn't that easy?

I recommend having a party because you get such a great variety of purses.  I love Heartline, but the options on the internet aren't all that great.  The purse parties are where it's at.  You get a bunch of different kinds of purses that are not listed on the website.  If I were you, I'd ask them to send you plenty of the grocery style bags and lots of purses made of burlap.  Those were the favs in our fashionable college town.

If you want to organize a purse party, you can read all about them here.

If you decide to have a purse party, I would love to help you advertise your get together.  I'm not sure if I have readers in the city where you live, but we can give it a shot, okay?  You host a party.  I'll advertise it on the blog (minus your address).  Sound good?   If you have a party, please send me pictures of your get together.  They will make me smile.

Christmas is approaching.  I can barely tell it's getting close to Christmas time here in Haiti, but I hear it's actually getting cooler in other parts of the world.  Blows my mind.  These purses make excellent gifts.

Will you think about having a purse party in time for people to buy purses for Christmas?

Women fighting poverty and injustice by buying a purse.  You've just got to love that.

Just One Fair Trade purchase from every American churchgoer this Christmas would lift one million families out of abusive poverty for one whole year.


Brandon and April said...

booking my purse party this week!

and I can't wait for your info about fair trade. after feeling a little inadequate in my searches online over the past few weeks, I could use the help! our family is new to this journey, but we're committed to using our money for good and sharing the gospel rather than it being neutral, or worse, enabling companies that enslave or exploit. ...we just need to be educated! :)

The Lopases said...

i LOVE my heartline grocery bag style purse!
EXCEPT that i don't use it as a's Abigail's diaper bag!
This has worked out AMAZING for me. It's big enough to cram everything i need in there. i keep 1-2 burp cloths, my travel diapering kit, nursing cover, a toy, sometimes a blanket, an extra outfit in it, plus more! i have 2 travel zippy pouch things for storage (there is only 1 small storage pouch in the purse). 1 pouch has gas meds, eye drops, tylenol, cotton balls, and q-tips in it. the other i dont always use, but when i do i put her bow, socks, and change of clothes in it. and there is STILL room in there for me to cram my own purse on top so i dont carry 2 bags.
it really is perfect. im naturally not very organized, so it does look chaotic- but it holds everything i need. i thrive with a little bit of unorganization :)
it might not work when she is a toddler and needs more pouches for sippy cups and snacks and whatnot, but we will see. maybe by then ill be close to needing to use it for a baby again :)
just wanted to share an alternative use for the purses! i LOVE my super trendy, crunchy granola burlap grocery purse!! yay!

Anonymous said...

You can tell it is getting closer to Christmas here in Mexico, because beside the bi-centennial red,white, and green pointy sombreros are Christmas decorations. I don't know if they are made by slave traders or not, but they are ubiquitous gaudy plastic ones and handmade straw ones. poppi

Hendrick Family said...

April! Yay for your party! They are so fun.

Whitney, you need to send me some pics of your bag...the little storage containers and all.

I want to show people your creative idea for a diaper bag. I remembered you thinking about getting a heartline bag for a diaper bag, but didn't know if you ended up doing that or not. I'm so glad it worked!


Carissa said...

Ok, so you don't know me but I have been really inspired by your blog.

Fair trade is honestly something I have never thought about (I feel stupid that I made it thought college and never really thought about it at all!). I am very interested to hear what you have to say about it.

I am also very nervous, it is daunting to think about the bigger effect of the things we buy... I enjoy finding good deals at large box stores and want to be a good steward of my family's money and I worry that fair trade things might be VERY expensive.... Then I will just feel bad..

Anyway I emailed and asked if I could throw a purse party! I am very excited about that!


Hendrick Family said...


Nice to meet you. I'm glad you emailed about the purse party.

So excited for you and your friends.

About Fair Trade...

We'll talk all about your concerns. It can be overwhelming at first, but what's exciting is we can start small and ask God to grow us in this area.

One fair trade purchase makes a huge difference in the lives of people around the world. That's exciting.

There's so much grace along the way as God continues to open our eyes and teaches us to vote for Kingdom things with our money.

For now, I pray you don't feel overwhelmed. Instead, I pray you feel excited about how God wants to use you and your family to live out the gospel towards others with your spending.


Jenn's boys! said...

So here's a really cool thing. I read your blog yesterday, and emailed Heartline today to set up my party and just ready your party blog post! Can we say confirmation and WAYYYY excitedness! I'm hoping to set mine for October 12th. When I finalize the details with Heartline, I'll let you know so we can advertize!! And I will take tons of pics! Super excited! Love on those Heartline women for me.
PS- I had tears looking at your breast feeding pics in the last post. Maybe it's the mommy or the NICU nurse in me, but they hit my heart with a bang! Praying daily for you and your family!

Hannah Andrews said...

Thank you Heather for teaching us and not keeping all this to yourself! I want to have a purse party!

Jennifer Hubley said...

You don't know me either, but we have a few mutual friends in common. My husband and I went through Countdown with the Bacaks several years ago and we met the Apels and the Mosiers. I'm a stay-at-home mom now and I've been reading your blog for a while to soak up all your Godly wisdom.
And I just wanted to say thanks for sharing so much of your journey with us. Thank you for being real. Thank you for making these issues real to so many others.
I sent an email to host a purse party and I can't wait. I've already made a guest list!
Thank you for everything you and your family our doing.
Our family lifts you up daily.
(PS I'm reading "Radical").

The Lopases said...


i send info and pics of my diaper bag your way soon. ill try by the end of the weekend. we are going out of town tonight and tomorrow, so i won't get around to it until sunday. but i will do it!

hope it helps other mommies!

mandi said...

I'm doing this. Fo sho.

I'll email them tomorrow and get something set up.

Marla Taviano said...

One of my favorite parts of visiting Cambodia this summer was going to the new Daughters of Cambodia shop. Everything is made by women who have left the sex trade, and their stuff is INCREDIBLE. I bought as much as I possibly could. The girls are also trained to give manicures, and there's an adorable little coffee shop upstairs.

Thanks so much for sharing this!

Brandon and April said...

got a big box of purses on my doorstep today. I rushed in and opened them up and the first thing I did was to stick my face right in all the cloth to see if I could smell maybe it would make me closer to these women that made these purses. and then I cried over them. and then I prayed over them. and then I cried some more. we're still a few weeks away from the party, but already these amazing women and Heartline Ministries has been a blessing to our home. A box of purses has taught us so much about frugality, responsibility, and the ultimately, the Gospel. thanks so much for sharing about this so that our family could be involved in this way. Can't wait to see what happens!
oh and the Bananas Flambe recipe sounds YUM!