We are so thankful to have good people work at Connected to promote Fair Trade and sell the goods of the artisans and farmers around the world. We are a group of ten women who keep Connected running and we have a wide range of ages, experiences and expertise among us. Alex Brammer is a Junior at Bethany College and has worked at the store for close to a year. It is fun for us to have the light energy and hopeful vision of Alex lift us all up.
I asked Alex to be a guest blogger for us this week and share why she chooses to spend her time with Fair Trade. She is a talented woman... she could do any number of things while she is finishing up her business degree. What makes her choose us? Here it is in her own words:
Even before I was aware of the concept of fair trade I’ve had a heart for people in developing countries paired with a passion to serve them. With each day I spend at this wonderful store, that passion grows exponentially. As people walk through our door and learn about fair trade, rarely do they not also exhibit an interest and desire to contribute to such a great business model. As humans, we long to be a part of something bigger than ourselves; to help people achieve things they never believed they could. Fair trade presents exactly that opportunity.
For Christmas I gave my Mom a hand stitched throw made of recycled sari’s by women in Bangladesh who have escaped from the sex trade. After sharing the beautiful story of the throw, my mom was in tears. Completely and utterly taken aback that this product was giving women a second chance; giving them redemption. It wasn’t the first time I had seen this reaction in response to these throws, but it reminded me, once again, why I love fair trade. I’m a woman who can credit everything that I have to the mercy, compassion, love and encouragement of others. I can’t begin to count how many underserved second chances I’ve had. In fact,I have received more than I would ever proudly claim. More than anything, I want to pass on to others the second chances that I have been blessed with. I want to empower people in other countries to grasp accomplishments that seem unreachable, whether it be a college education through the purchase of a pair of Sseko sandals, or the freedom and redemption for women who were prisoners of the sex trade, or the feelings of relief that comes with knowing there is work coming, and that you will be paid and treated fairly for your work.
Fair trade gives individuals and families all over the world hope. Hope brings joy. Hope brings change. Hope brings the strength and courage to dream. I want to bring hope to people in developing countries and other areas lacking apparent resources to be sustainable because hope is what changes the world. THAT is why I love fair trade.
(And THAT is why we love Alex.)