June is just barely out the door, and we’re already planning for the fall. Yikes! As we prepare new product lines and plan for ESL & sewing classes, it’s time to clean out some inventory – in particular, some of the Journey Home Kitchen collection towels and napkins. This collection was sewn by two of our artisans, Ann from Zimbabwe and Diim from Myanmar.
Instead of just having the normal markdown clearance, this sale will have a twist – choose your own price. The items in this sale will be a fundraiser for fall projects, including buying materials for the cork + carpet bag lines (we’ll preview soon), having an income “buffer” for paying our ESL + Sewing students (more on changes for this program’s below!), and exploring the launch of a non-profit refugee help center in West Charlotte (more on this below too).
This fundraising sale is through Etsy only —> Choose Your Own Price sale
For our ESL + Sewing students, we’re committed to paying them for every hour worked, even during training. This allows refugee moms to grow in their English skills and sewing skills without the pressure of having to find outside work. This is important because once a refugee woman has to go to a factory job, hours are VERY long and all ESL classes and skills training are usually dropped because of the job’s demands. This means that it’s hard to ever get a better job or even have the time and energy for parenting.
That’s why our dream is to provide a regular income for the refugee moms who attend the ESL + Sewing class. Eventually, we’d love to run a 6-month training program that pays for women to attend in-depth ESL classes through Refugee Support Services or Project 658 in Charlotte and then to receive on-the-job training in various skills. Big dreams? Perhaps. But your towel purchase can move us towards that goal.
Second initiative is to open a refugee help center that’s based in West & Northwest Charlotte. This area of town boasts some of the lowest house prices and apartment rents in the City, and a growing number of families are moving into these neighborhoods. But at this point, there’s no refugee non-profits based out of here, meaning there’s no ESL classes, no employment support, no tutoring services, no citizenship classes, etc that are local for the community, particularly for those with limited transportation! We’re planning a community survey to listen and learn what the needs and interests are of the families that live here. Stay tuned for more updates on this.
If you’re interested in supporting these initiatives, the best way you can do so is through purchase of products in the Choose Your Own Price sale. Whether you choose a lower or higher price truly doesn’t matter! Every bit helps. Thanks for partnering with us in serving refugee women.