Fairness. Equality. Justice. These are not my favorite topics to discuss, mainly because these concepts are seldom brought up without involving trivial matters in our household. Our house. You couldn’t even pinpoint its exact location on a world map. The world is so very big and our family so very small, yet you’d sometimes think that giving a kid the last fractured Oreo in the bag was a social injustice of world-wide proportion. In our little bubble where a child’s social status is granted based on sneaker brand and the number of Apple products owned, it is difficult to make our littles (and bigs) understand that fairness, equality, and justice have nothing to do with the things they perceive to be unfair but with basic human rights.
Let me paint you a picture.
One of our children returns home from a friend’s house to discover that we purchased doughnuts without her. To her, it is an injustice. She huffs up the stairs to her room and slams the door. The door to her room that she shares with no one. The room which has walls painted to match the bedding she picked out. The bedding that is regularly laundered, where she is tucked in every night, in the warm, safe comfort of her home. “It’s not FAIR!” she shouts. What she can’t process in this moment is that in a mere matter of years, when her wings grow a little bigger, she will be set free. Free to pick the college of her choice. Free to decide on her career. Free to fly. (And free to eat doughnuts to her heart’s content.)
A girl across the world returns “home.” It may or may not be where she lives with other family members. It likely does not feel like a home to her. She is a victim of modern day slavery…human trafficking. She is in a room that she shares with many others, yet she feels alone in this world. There is nothing safe or comfortable about her surroundings. “FAIR” isn’t a concept that enters her mind, nor is freedom. What she tries not to process in that moment is that this is her life indefinitely. Her mind is not her own. She is not allowed an education. Her body is not her own. Her wings have been clipped. Even if flying were an option, she would crash land, never having been taught how to fly in the first place.
The girl across the world isn’t a concept. She isn’t a nameless, faceless person. She could be your sister or your daughter if she had been born under different circumstances. But she could be a girl set free if we just step up and help. Let me tell you how.
There is a company literally down the road from me called Girl Set Free that makes it possible for us (yes, little bitty US with our carpools and color coded calendars) to make a difference in the lives of girls and women across the world. They have done all the hard work. You and I can literally change the lives of these ladies, our sisters, by supporting Girl Set Free.
Jeremy and Amy Kratzer founded Girl Set Free, Inc, a non profit fashion brand, after a life changing trip to Africa. They were disheartened to learn that the women and girls who are rescued from modern day slavery often have nowhere to go. With no way to earn a living, they end up on the streets or back in the same inhumane situations as before. Girl Set Free empowers these women by educating them, teaching them a trade, and providing sustainable fair-trade wages. Girl Set Free employs survivors of exploitation, as well as impoverished women living in at-risk conditions, to make beautiful garments using traditional artisan techniques.
So what do we carpoolers and color coded calendar holders do right now to empower these women? So glad you asked! We start by supporting Girl Set Free’s Kickstarter campaign. If you’ve never used Kickstarter before, you’ll soon see how cool it is. When you donate to the cause, you get something in return. (A few years ago, I backed a former high school student’s fundraising efforts to record his first professional cd. So I know that this, in fact, is legit. And I have the tshirt to prove it.) Check out the right hand side of the Kickstarter page, or scroll to the bottom of their page for images. There, you can see what cool GSF items you can get with your pledge. I’m just gonna show you some here because I can’t stand it. They are super cute!
Love this bracelet. Love the colors. It goes with everything!
Depending on your pledge level, you can get one, two, or all three of these cute t-shirts!
And this? I’d totally wear this with boots to a playdate or with the wicked uncomfortable, although very fashionable, heels that I’ve worn exactly 3 times. Because it’s that cute.
Now that I’ve lured you in with fashion, let you remind you what this is really about. It’s not about you or me or our closets. It’s about these girls, our sisters, who are no longer nameless and faceless to you and me.
“Every day I ask God, ‘What’s next?”-Amy Kratzer, Founder & Designer
“I’m just a small town girl with God sized dreams.”-Amy Kratzer, Founder & Designer
“I love creating products that tell a story.”-Amy Kratzer, Founder & Designer
“I believe in a God that can do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine.”-Amy Kratzer, Founder & Designer.
See, this is why I’m going to make Amy have coffee with me. We already have a lot in common. I love her determination and her passion and her belief that God is going to move mountains for these women. There will be big stories to tell, and we can be a part of those stories.
Girl Set Free only has days left to fundraise. Don’t put it off until tomorrow or next week. Click right now and get involved in something big. Something life changing. Give these girls and women wings so that they can fly.