There are times I liken myself to an ostrich with my head in the sand. If I don't know the bad stuff that's going on in the world, it's really not happening, right?
No. It's not right. It's irresponsible. If I'm not aware of issues that need my attention, how else am I supposed to do anything to help?
Did you know last Wednesday was National Human Trafficking Awareness Day? I couldn't believe this issue was being brought to my attention yet again; I was first confronted with it at the Relevant Conference.
Freeset, one of the sponsors at the conference, gave out keychains signed by the women working at their India-based company. Because I was so busy getting stuck in the elevator, enjoying the snow, and talking to my roommates until the wee hours of the morning, I didn't really get what Freeset was about. When I got home, looked up who signed my keychain, and watched this video, I finally GOT IT. And was shocked. I never knew the numbers of women just in Kolkata who were victims of the sex trade until I watched this. But that's not the end of the story, if Freeset has anything to say about it. Please take a few minutes to watch. It will break your heart; it will give you hope.
The last scene with the crayon-box array of saris makes me tear up every time I watch it.
Back in December, Kristi Griem, a blogger who works with Freeset contacted me and wanted to know if I'd be willing to do a review of a Freeset bag. Hmm, let's see...a bag of my choice, made by a woman whose life has been given back to her and her family, designed to be as unique as she is? Yes, please! (Please forgive the awful lighting...it was nighttime and this was the best shot!) I chose a Farmhouse Jute Bag in Earth Brown, and I love it! I compared it with another jute bag I have and this one came out the winner in my opinion. The Farmhouse Bags are made from a sturdy laminated jute material, meaning they have a kind of plastic backing on the inside of the bag, keeping it much sturdier than if it was regular jute. They each have two gusset pockets on the inside of the bag, one on each end, as well as an internal purse with velcro closure. Have I said I love it?
My favorite thing about these bags, though, is the recycled sari material they use for the front of the bag as well as the inside of the handles. Isn't that gorgeous? Each bag is unique...just like the woman who made it. No, I don't know who sewed this bag together, but I know that her life will never be the same since coming to work for this company.
If you didn't watch the video, PLEASE watch it now and find out more about Freeset. YOU can make a difference by purchasing a bag or a Freeset t-shirt.
You know, Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Why not send a little birdie to your husband or boyfriend and let him know you'd like one of the many (did I say many? I mean MANY) bags to choose from in Freeset's line, or maybe a unique tee. You will be giving purpose to women's lives, aiding them in their flight from the most heinous trade there is...human life.