Every time I hear someone say Haiti my heart jumps. I've never even been there but I believe one day I will go. I've been talking about this mysterious connection to this foreign-to-me place for many years.
So when I received an e-mail from Heartline Ministries, asking me to share something with you, I was more than happy to do it.
I absolutely love programs that empower people, teaching them skills to make life better for themselves and their families. This is what Heartline Ministries is doing. Their Women's Program provides teaching with classes like Prenatal care, Early Childhood Development, and Literacy. On top of that, they are helping women earn money by teaching them sewing skills.
"None of the women that started the program were able to provide for their families before the class." *
Now that is something, isn't it? Just think of it. One skill learned and it changes the course of a woman's life forever.
Through Haitian Creations, women are taught to make beautiful bags, sewing them with their hands. The beautiful fabrics and details are honestly breath-taking. I know that now, but to be honest, after I was told I'd be sent one of these bags, I didn't know what to expect at all, even though I'd seen pictures on their website.
So I wasn't quite prepared for what happened when I pulled my Haitian Creation from the box the day it arrived...
I don't know how to describe it. I had this goosebump inducing moment when my hands touched the heart and fingertips of a woman so far away, so hard-working, and so lovely.
I felt that fabric and looked at it's color. I threw the strap over my shoulder and ran my fingers over the seams that held it all together, so careful, so straight. I cried because I suddenly felt connected to the very woman that had hand-crafted that bag. Her story was reaching out and touching mine. I didn't expect that. It was the best kind of surprise.
You can learn more about Heartline Ministries here. You can purchase a bag that will give you goosebumps and a lump in your throat (just in time for Christmas) by going here.
Lastly, have you heard about the Heartline Runners? These amazing people are going to run the Disney Marathon/Half Marathon, raising money for the impoverished women of Haiti, specifically for an ambulance, something greatly deserved and needed.
You can help by sponsoring an individual runner, like my friends Tara, Kristen or Corey. (You can check them out in the sidebar of the Heartline Runners blog. I'm sure they'll really appreciate that I sent you over there to gawk at their photos.) (Donations are made through ChipIn, a safe and easy way to give what you can.)
And get this. A generous young woman (who just graduated from grad school) said that if the Heartline Runners can raise another $10,000 by January 17, she will match that goal. Amazing.
I love it when good happens.
*taken from the Haitian Creations brochure that arrived with my sob-inducing bag.
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