Trades of Hope and a Giveaway!

I have another special guest today along with a giveaway! And the guest happens to be my sister–yes, I guess this is sister’s week. :) I’ll let her take it away from here, and I hope you can take the time to read every word.  This is a different kind of giveaway and it will touch you.

Haiti, 2007: Our yelling, heavy-on-the-horn driver was unfazed by 3-foot-deep potholes, roadside trash fires, or even the lanky black cow. I choked on hot diesel fumes. Bells tinkled. A sad trumpet bellowed in the distance. Children swarmed the vehicle- shouting, arms outstretched. One young girl, maybe 12, was naked. The desperation & chaos were overwhelming- I inhaled deeply, double-blinked. Nope, not a dream. As if I could make this up. I don’t recall unzipping my purse, but my arm was suddenly out the window- pressing green bills in to brown hands, “helping.” I shudder now to think of the fights that probably erupted in our wake. My “help” caused hurt. :(

Texas, 2012: Drivers honk and holler merrily at one another. There are several cows in the road. The air is thick with the scent of warm cherry pie. Two Haitian boys, now our sons, are on the couch- warm, fed, secure, engrossed in a riveting Mario Kart race against Pop. I laugh at their threats to leave Dad in the dust, pet a furry kitty, take a sip of hot almond tea. I flash back to Haiti, even more desperate now than she was then, and sigh. Those women love their babies and dream of a better life for them. They are just like me, but lack opportunity. The heavy desire to do something rises again in my chest. But what can I do? Abandon my family and fly down there? How can I help without hurting them?

I was overjoyed to learn about Trades of Hope, an organization that was created to give women in poverty (in Haiti and across the world) an opportunity for a better life. Trades of Hope is giving a voice to hurting women around the globe by marketing their hand-made products (home decor, jewelry, scarves, journals, etc.) through the home party model so that they can provide their children with food, shelter, medical care and an education. We work directly with female artisans and with organizations that are helping women in extremely difficult circumstances. Artisans include the mentally disabled and physically handicapped, women who’ve been abused and abandoned, former sex slaves and sweatshop employees, AIDS victims, civil war widows, and women who’ve been disfigured by leprosy. (Can you even imagine?!)

Women in Nepal creating leaf journals for Trades of Hope.

I believe that Americans have generous, open hearts and want to help but that it is our cultural tendency to think BIG- that helping means forgoing electricity & cars and ignoring our homes and children to work in a soup kitchen, or selling everything we have and dragging our families overseas to start an orphanage. Yes, the needs are crazy-extensive, but honey- don’t look at the whole dang ocean! Just choose a drop. You can do that today, right where you are- with Trades of Hope. It’s easy to make a difference.

Become a Compassion Entrepreneur and help women in Uganda, Bangladesh, Kathmandu… while simultaneously supporting your own family. There are no sales quotas. Set your own hours, and work only as much as you like. Or, host a party in your home. (or online- no need to clean the house!) You’ll be changing lives while earning free and discounted products. Or simply visit the TOH web site and get your daughter some earrings that will help keep someone else’s daughter out of the sex trade. See? I told you it was easy!

If you’re interested in becoming a Compassion Entrepreneur we’re running a special this month to help you get started for just $99. Email me with any questions you have!

Don’t let the word “hand-made” scare you. These are lovely, quality works of art.

Silver Indian princess filigree bracelet, also available in gold.
Raffia Basket designed by Uganda Crafts- a
group made up of 85% women! In Uganda, colored baskets are traditionally
given as gifts to friends and relatives for holidays and special
events. Basket weavers wrap raffia palm around the core of banana leaf
fiber to form each coil. This group is bringing hope to disabled people,
youth, and those suffering from HIV/AIDS. Uganda Crafts recently
purchased an 85-acre plot of land where they plan to build a village.
The center will be used mainly to teach youth with disabilities about
income generation. Many young people have successfully started their own
A nun started a capiz shell
earring business in the Philippines to provide work and wages for
impoverished women. Trades of Hope buys them through fair trade, and has
several styles available. I wear these often! They’re lightweight and
so easy to dress up or down.
One of my personal favorites.
In the evening women in Nepal gather silk threads from the floor of a
silk factory, take them home, and weave them in to amazing scarves. Colors vary, each is unique! Besides being lovely and handmade
they keep women out of sweatshops and the sex trade.
These necklaces are made by
young ladies in remote areas of India. These unmarried women are
commonly not allowed to leave their impoverished villages because of
their society’s conservative mindset. If
they do leave their small villages they often end up in the sex trade
or in harsh sweatshops. Fair trade wages enable these artisans to be
self-reliant, something that is unheard of in their villages! Being so
empowered restores a sense of value to these women as they fight against
gender bias. They are able to take care of themselves and are earning
respect in their villages.
Leaf Journals, set of two, educating young women out of poverty in Nepal. 5″ x 6″
I have lots more product photos in my fair trade facebook photo album. (You don’t have to be on facebook to view it.)

And now for the giveaway! Two of our most popular items are up for grabs. First, we have the beloved Haiti necklace. The beads are handrolled- made of recycled cereal boxes! They are gorgeous, have a great weight to them, and go with everything. No two are exactly alike.

The vast majority of Haiti’s “orphans” have not been orphaned by
parental deaths or natural disasters, but by parents who gave them up
simply because they could not feed them. The Apparent Project is the un-orphanage, helping with the orphan crisis by providing Haitian mothers with a sustainable business in making cereal box beads, enabling women to keep their own children and raise them with
dignity! $38-
Haiti necklace close-up

Next up, the love bowl from India…

Wire Love Bowl- Noah’s Ark
Mission (India) trains artisans in their own businesses so that women
can work from home and provide for their families. No more 12-14 hour days in sweatshops! Noah’s Ark has also
started a school for 3 of the poorest villages in the area & helps
provide clean water. 11 inches, $20-

There are four ways to enter the giveaway. Combine them to increase your odds! (Leave separate comment for each thing you do)

1) Leave a comment below.

2) Like my personal Trades of Hope facebook page.

3) Place an order (between February 8th-14th) through my Trades of Hope affiliate link. You’ll receive an additional entry for every $10 you spend on gorgeous, handcrafted, fair trade products. (tax & shipping excluded)

4) Facebook or Tweet about this giveaway including a link back to this post so we can help spread the word about Trades of Hope.

Giveaway will be open until February 14, 2012 and will be chosen via

*Update* Ladies, thank you for opening your hearts to hurting women around the world! A lot of you have asked about ordering, and yes, you can order by going to, choosing “online store” and then, “Cara Green.” Or- just click here:

A very special thanks to my sister, Decorchick, for having me as your guest today! Love, Cara
Oh, did I mention that Trades of Hope also helps to create MORE sustainable businesses for women in poverty? We do! This is Muniratu a woman from a rural village in Uganda whose husband died by falling in to a well. Thanks to Fair Trade sales, Trades of Hope was
able to buy her a chicken to give her a
sustainable income in selling eggs to feed her family. Other “gifts of hope” have included goats and sewing machines to women in Haiti and Uganda.
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  1. Thank you for telling me about this amazing company. I will certainly take a good look at their products.

  2. I liked your Fb page.

  3. Wow! Thank you for sharing. These items are gorgeous and I plan to order when I have more time to shop. I must share your story with my sister-in-law. A few years ago she raised over $100,000 dollars for a medical clinic at an orphanage in Haiti ( Many of the children were not orphans but their mothers had no choice.

  4. I just went to order some items, but I want to be sure I order them through you, Cara. I only see one Cara on the list of Entrepreneurs, so I’m guessing that is you?

  5. Wow. What an amazing company. Thanks for sharing and I’m off to shop. Those are some seriously beautiful products!

  6. Ladies, thank you for opening your hearts to hurting women around the world! Yes, you can order by going to, choosing “online store” and then, “Cara Green.” Or- just click here:

  7. What a great cause. Thanks for a wonderful giveaway!

  8. I love those necklaces and the scarf! My tax refund needs to get here soon… But my fiance totally cant complain if it’s for an amazing cause, right??

  9. Hey Cara! I just ordered some earrings. Have been meaning to get online to look at this beautiful line but needed a reminder. Thank you for speaking up for these women! Can’t wait to receive my new earrings.

  10. I love this! Not just for the beauty of the items, but for the beauty of the hope they bring!

  11. I liked your page on fb

  12. This is an amazing cause! Thank you so much for sharing this information!

  13. wow, that’s great. i try to buy from 10,000 villages, a store that operates under the same premise.

  14. I love Trades of Hope products ~ Every item is absolutely gorgeous !
    Great article !

  15. laviza (eclectic gourmet) says:

    very impressed with your efforts, and will be sure to like your FB page. thanks for sharing.

  16. I have purchased many gifts from two stores here in St. Louis who are involved with the Fair Trade program. So glad you are sharing the news about these organizations so more can help. Heading over to your FB page now, and then back to mine to help spread the word even further! God bless you all!

  17. Wow! What an awesome concept, and I am definitely going to read more about this!

  18. I ‘like’ the Trades of Hope facebook page!

  19. 1buddhasmom tweeted this!

  20. What a great cause! I’m off to check out the online store!

  21. I liked you on facebook.

  22. Very touching story … thank you for sharing.

  23. The necklace looks very pretty.

  24. What a great idea.

  25. Cheryl B. says:

    Beautiful products and a great cause

  26. Thanks for sharing! This is truly amazing!

  27. I also shared on my facebook page!

  28. This really tugs at my heart – thanks for opening up our minds with this great cause.

  29. Thank you for sharing this information on this wonderful company. So many of us want to help but not sure how!

  30. I liked you on FB!

  31. Wow, what beautiful creations. My husband recently went to Haiti with the Awaken Haiti mission organization ( and is already looking forward to the opportunity to go back. Thanks for sharing a way for those of us “stuck at home” to help out too!

  32. Lucinda Reams says:

    Thank you for all that you do for these women and children.

  33. Thanks so much for a chance to win!

  34. I like your FB page!

  35. I posted about your give-a-way on my Facebook page:

  36. susy beaty says:

    i liked, and shared on facebook. there is some pretty amazing crafting going on there! nothing i could even begin to fathom doing….. also, im going to email this blog to all contacts and spread the word. maybe it will help…….i cant get something right now, but ill fav this post and will get something later. good luck with your project. im sure youll do well. one thing about the female species. WE STICK TOGETHER. you go girl…..should be proud of yourself for what you have done. love your family:):) best wishes and God bless you.

  37. Wow, thanks for letting us know about this great company!

  38. I love hearing about groups like this- thanks so much for sharing!!

  39. Such beautiful items and a great cause.

  40. I love that bowl from Uganda. Coming from a third world country (thank god we do not have a very conservative mindset) I know the uphill work involved in rehabilitating women.

  41. I liked your FB page

  42. What a great idea this is!

  43. I tweeted!

  44. Carol Adams says:

    So pretty! Love the scarves and love bowl!!
    Great cause!

  45. Melissa T. says:

    I have a soft spot for anything handmade!

  46. Melissa T. says:

    I like your Trades of Hope facebook page.

  47. what a great cause! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  48. I liked TOH Facebook page!

  49. WOW, thank you for sharing a large part of helping is getting the word out. As I read this I was moved to tears, my heart aches for these woman & children. May God Bless them & keep them!

  50. Anonymous says:


  51. I liked your Trades of Hope Face Book page. :)

  52. Wow, what an amazing company!! Will definitely consider this… :)

  53. Thank you so much for not only sharing such a wonderful company with us, but also for giving us the chance to win such lovey and generous gifts.

  54. I like my personal Trades of Hope on Facebook – Cindy A.

  55. I am in love with all of this beautiful stuff.. I am in love with this organization and these women who make all of this.. What an amazing talent they have…

  56. Having adopted 16 kids, this post really touched me. Giving women a better way to be able to keep their children….

  57. I also liked the page on facebook.

  58. Connie Haack says:

    This is Great. I am very interested in joining.

  59. Connie Haack says:

    I liked your Trades of Hope on Facebook

  60. Jarenys Montaner says:

    This is just amazing! Very touching story!

  61. Anonymous says:

    I tweeted the giveaway with a link back to decorchick.