Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Women helping women: Open Arms GIVEAWAY

It's been ANOTHER very frustrating adoption day so really there's nothing to do but pour a glass of wine and eat a banana chocolate chip muffin and host a GIVEAWAY!!!

Just so you know, whenever I say I'm having a GIVEAWAY I picture all y'all screaming and jumping up and down like an Oprah Favorite Things episode. Y'all do do that right? Thought so.

Let's start out with a little mood music:

"This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.  Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. 
Zechariah 7:8-11a

Today's giveaway is from an organization here in Austin called Open Arms, who is working to help that foreigner God was talking about.

Open Arms helps refugee women in America by giving them not only a living wage, but a community of support. From their website:

A refugee is anyone who not only migrates from their country or region of origin for fear of persecution, but also feels they will be unable to return to that area for fear of further persecution. Simply put, refugees seek asylum because of fear they will be detained, injured, or killed if they remain in their country of origin.

Fortunately, the United States continues to welcome refugees on the run from civil unrest, warfare and religious persecution, to the tune of 166,000-plus in 2008. When they arrive, they often end up on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, ready to work, but subject to low wages, long hours and little upward mobility.

Regardless of their education level or family situation, most refugee women in America end up working long hours as housekeepers or dishwashers at local hotels or restaurants. At $7.50/hour, they typically end up trapped in an unbreakable cycle of poverty and dependency that condemns them and their children to a very grim future.
 So how do they do all that awesomeness?

This way

and that way

and this way

and that

And now YOU have a chance to win this:

one of their best sellers, the Classic Flourish steel gray skirt. The handmade flourishes have become Open Arms' signature design. Pretty dang cute huh?

Have you ever looked at a piece of clothing from somewhere in the world and wondered about the hands that made it?

Well, you'll know with this one. The Classic Flourish steel gray was made by Odile, who is responsible for spontaneous singing and dancing in the Open Arms office.

Odile is from the Republic of the Congo-Brazzaville (different country from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Because geography isn't hard enough already.) 

Thank you Wikipedia

Odile woke up one night when the entire village was surrounded by gunfire (imagine this happening in your neighborhood.) She grabbed her six children, but was separated from her husband in the chaos. Odile walked for an entire year to reach neighboring Gabon. During that time, the women helped another woman give birth, wrapped the newborn in some clothes, then kept running (imagine THAT). Once in Gabon the citizens treated the immigrants with disdain. After ten years she was finally approved to emigrate to America and arrived in Austin with her three daughters in 2010 - but she had to leave three sons in Gabon (I don't want to imagine that.)

Here in Austin, Odile has made a cute skirt that just might have your name on it.

Open Arms makes their products from recycled tshirts so on top of everything else, they're green too. If you read Jen's book 7, Trina of Open Arms is The Trina who's on the Council. If you win you'll be like two degrees from being mentioned in the book. So there ya go.

Go here to watch a video about Open Arms that tells even more.

Okay, here's how you get up to three chances to win!
  • Go to the Open Arms website, leave a comment with your favorite item = one entry
  • Like them on facebook and leave a comment = one more entry
  • Grab their blog button for your blog using this code and leave a comment = one more entry

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US residents only.
I'll draw a winner next Wednesday.
Good luck!


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