what i wore wednesday

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As you know this past year my eyes have really been opened to the idea of shopping with a purpose. {You can read more in this post.}  I want to be more mindful of were we are spending our money and where are clothes are coming from.  Recently I purchased my first piece of clothing from an ethical fashion label.  I have been loving my Symbology tank and it will be one of the staples in my summer wardrobe.  I love the fit of this tank and of course the hand stamped elephant print is pretty awesome too.  What I LOVE the most was that this item was ethically made by women in India giving them a sustainable income.

Outfit Details:

*linking up with The Pleated Poppy for WIWW.

41 Day

Recently I got connected with a  new friend Tara, who runs a ministry called No. 41.  Tara is originally from Oklahoma but she currently lives in Nashville.  Her heart though is in Rwanda.

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Today, No. 41 is hosting their second annual 41 Day event. The premise is this: for one day, engage in prayer and fasting for Gisenyi, Rwanda and donate the cost of your lunch to No. 41. Their feeding program, 1,200 students and teachers, provides lunch for one child for just $0.25 a day. How much do you spend on lunch everyday?

1 feeds 4 children for one day,
$5 feeds 20 children,
$10 feeds 40 children.

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It is pretty amazing how much we spend on our lunches compared to how little it costs for a child to eat in Rwanda. I know for at least one day, we can all afford to give up one meal for the sake of giving 10 for children who have no control over when or what they get to eat.

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When No.41 started, there were, roughly, 100 young adults over the age of 18 living in the Noel Orphanage. With no family and limited resources, the prospect of university or becoming gainfully employed was low. Along with that, confidence was low, dreams were small and hope was almost non-existent. It was important, not only to provide a means of sustainable employment doing a culturally relevant trade for these girls, but also to remind them that they were created for a great purpose, by an even greater God. We all have been given gifts and talents and, once realized, we should spend those helping others and that is where the feeding program came in.

In our village there are three secondary schools, grades 7-12, and these students go to school all day, most without eating. The schools, generally, offer a 20-minute break for lunch where children who live close enough or have money, may go home to go to the market to eat. Most do not.

All that has transpired at No.41 is beyond our wildest dreams. We have had ten girls move themselves out of the orphanage and we now have 19 enrolled in university. We have career fairs and business trainings, bible study and English class. I never believed this couldn’t happen, but I never imagined it would happen like this. No.41 is a testament to all that God wants to do in you and through you, if you’ll just say, yes. -Tara

For more information on No. 41, check out their website  HTTP://WWW.NO41.ORG. Also, for more information on the event itself, please check out the Facebook invite HERE.  If you would like to donate to No. 41, click HERE.  And follow NO. 41 on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM.

Blog Train: Shopping with a PURPOSE + {Giveaway}

If you are visiting my blog for the Noonday  “Blog Train!”, WELCOME!   To celebrate the launch of our gorgeous Spring line, a few Noonday ambassadors have been sharing how Noonday has made a difference in their lives.  I’ll also be offering a great giveaway at the end of this post so stay tuned!

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A recent adoption trunk show

Over a year and a half ago I posted about why I became a Noonday Ambassador.  The short of it is that I wanted to be a part of Noonday to make a difference in the life of someone else.  As soon as I heard about Noonday and the ambassador opportunity  I applied, interviewed and dived right in. I absolutely could not wait to be a part of this amazing company advocating on behalf of women around the world.

I’m a total Type “A” girl”  and I’ll be honest a few weeks later these thoughts went through my head…. “Wait!  I hate speaking in front of people maybe this isn’t for me. Am I fashionable enough?  Will some of my friends un-friend me if I ask them to host a show? Will people take me seriously as an advocate? etc…..”

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Ya’ll it didn’t take long though for me to get over my fears.  Sure it can be intimidating putting myself out there and I still get nervous sometimes when I speak in front of others.  But, I want to be BOLD to say “YES” to what HE has called me to even if that means stepping out of my comfort zone and being vulnerable.  I want to be a part of this generation of women that God is calling to come together to seek justice for the poor.

Vulnerability is not knowing victory or deafeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging.  It’s being all in.  – Brene Brown

Being an ambassador is really not about me. It is about other women all around the globe.  It is about mothers trying to provide for their children.   IT IS ABOUT OUR ARTISANS.  I am doing this for them.  If I can use my voice, my God given talents, and my passion for the orphan to bless even one artisan than it has all been worth it.  God has used Noonday to wreck me for the things he cares about; the orphan and the oppressed.  Noonday is such a tangible way for me to advocate and be a voice for others around the world.  Sometimes it seems like the small part we can play in doing good in the world is not enough to make a  difference.  BUT that is so NOT TRUE.

I would love for you to join me in being part of the Noonday story simply by using your purchasing power for good.  When you shop with companies like Noonday you are buying goods that are handmade and created {with love} by artisans.  Your purchase is literally helping to lift men and women out of poverty.  You are helping them to have access to healthcare and to be able to send their children to school.  You are also helping them to create long term change within their communities. You are preventing families from having to give up their children.

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Meet Jalia, our lead artisan in Uganda!  Jalia and her husband were the first artisan group that we ever started working with.  Two and half years later their group has grown to 300 artisans! Ya’ll that is 300 FAMILIES that are being impacted!!  By purchasing {with a purpose} from Noonday you have helped Jalia and Daniel create change within their community!

I am guessing, that just like me, you have never lived in extreme poverty.  Jalia knows extreme poverty.  She has lived it and has come out on the other side by the grace of God.  It was so powerful to hear her story and testimony recently at our ambassador conference.   The Lord used Noonday to literally create a pathway out of poverty for her family (and eventually 300 other Ugandan families).  This was all possible because of your purchases with Noonday!

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Our artisan group in Uganfa -photo by Wynne Elder

 This year I want to more conscious about where I shop.  WILL YOU JOIN ME?  Let’s seek out companies that make a difference in the lives of others.  Using our purchasing power for the good of others is just one small thing we can do.  I promise you it will make a HUGE impact and be such a blessing to someone else’s life. Visit my purchasing with a purpose page for a list of great companies, who along with Noonday, sell goods that are making a difference in the world!

I would LOVE it if you would consider partnering with your local Noonday Ambassador to host a trunk show.  Introduce your friends to the idea of “purchasing with a purpose” from a company that has ethically made products.  Sign up to host a trunk show here!

Make sure to enter yesterday’s giveaway from Carey and then head on over to Kristin’s blog for her giveaway tomorrow!

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And now how about a GIVEAWAY!!! I am so excited to be giving away one of my favorite necklaces from the Spring Noonday Collection…. The Tushabe Layerd Necklace!  This gorgeous statement necklace is handmade {with LOVE} by Jalia and her talented artisan group in Uganda!  Throw it on with a plain t-shirt and head out the door looking fabulous!

For a chance to win the Tushabe Layered Necklace head on over to Rafflecopter to enter!

** This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only**