Even though Mother’s Day is a few weeks away, I’m working with Clever Girls in support of Macy’s Heart of Haiti to shine a light on the “trade, not aid” program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake.
What is Macy’s Heart of Haiti? Heart of Haiti is a “Trade, Not Aid” initiative launched by artist and social entrepreneur, Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and Macy’s. Already, Heart of Haiti has led to employment of 750 artists in Haiti, providing financial benefits for an estimated 8,500 people in the country.
Each item is a one-of-a-kind design and handmade by a Haitian master artisan from raw materials such as recycled oil drums, wrought iron, papier-mâché and stone. The collection features more than 40 home decor items including quilts, metalwork, ceramics, jewelry and paintings and is made almost entirely from recycled and sustainable items such as old cement bags, cardboard, oil drums and local gommier wood.
Heart of Haiti products are available online at Macy’s.com.
I am incredibly blessed to come from a family of strong women- this includes not just my grandmother, mom, and aunts, but also a handful of close family friends who are closer to me than other blood relatives. I am so happy to say that all of my family have helped and supported me with any endeavor I have taken on, but having the example of strong women in my life has allowed me to dream big and have amazing role models that led by example. ( Don’t kill me for putting a photo up ladies!)
My mother, Patricia, is truly my best friend ( and my dad too!) and there is not a day that goes by in my life that I realize how blessed I am for both of my parents. My mother has been the voice of reason, support, concern, and so much more for all of my years. In the past months as I have struggled through my separation and drawn out divorce, she has provided more than her fair share of hugs as I cried and raged with anger. It is safe to say that without my mom, I would be lost.
My grandmother Dolores,Aunt Cindy ( who is also my godmother) and mother have been incredible role models to me in my life- they (and my dad) always stressed the value of education to my brother and me throughout our lives, but also lead by example. My grandmother left school before she was sixteen to work in a sewing shop, but worked hard and learned quickly in her various jobs throughout her life that she rose to the ranks of retail store manager, all without a high school diploma. She and my grandfather worked hard and made sure that her daughter and son went to private Catholic school and college afterwards. My aunt returned to school during the early part of her career to gain her MBA, taking classes at night and on the weekends to achieve her goal. My mother, left nursing school before receiving her degree so that she could raise her two children. She finally returned years later, taking classes one at a time, fitting them into her children’s schedule of softball games and choir practice. It took her years, but she achieved her goal. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in nursing a year before I earned my own.
My aunt Cindy
I have worked hard in my education and career to get where I am today and know that the strong example set by the various females of my family have allowed me to dream big and push for what I want in life. As I think about re-starting my life post-divorce and having a family of my own someday, I think often of the bond that my whole family shares, not just the women. While the thought of motherhood scares me at times, I know I will be a great mom and role model someday because of the amazing example Dolores, Cindy, and Pat provide to me every single day.
Thank you to Macy’s Heart of Haiti for sponsoring my participation in this “Share Your Heart” promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.