Thursday, May 3, 2012

Inspirational Women, In Honor of Mother's Day #CleverHaiti and #spon

This Mother's Day, 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. 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.

Taken in Minnesota- on a boat.
She was re-entacting the "Titanic" scene.
In Honor of Mother's Day, I wanted to tell you about a truly inspirational woman.  She is no longer with us, she passed away a few years ago, but having been lucky enough to know her, I am honored to be able to share with you an interesting story about her.  This is my husband's grandma.  Her name was Lenore.  My husband and I have known each other since 1997, so by extension, I've known Joe's grandma for roughly the same amount of time.  You always learn such interesting stories about people at their funerals.  Lenore was no exception to this.

She was a nurse during World War II.  My husband's grandfather, John Henry, was a marine stationed in the South Pacific.  Their love was like many during that time frame.  Letters back and forth, during one of the countries bleakest times.  However, Lenore, so worried about her (eventual) husband's safety, she prayed daily for his safe return.  In her daily prayers, she also promised that in exchange for John's safe return, she would give up her favorite drink:  coffee.  Quite a sacrifice for a nurse.  John made it home safe and sound. They got married had and raised 7 kids.  Lenore worked the graveyard shift at the hospital so she could stay at home during the day and take care of her kids.  And for her entire life-  she never - never- drank another cup of coffee again... because that is what she had promised in exchange for John Henry's safe return.

I usually refrain from talking about religion, because there are a gamut of beliefs and views out there... but this is not necessarily about faith.  Her commitment to her promise speaks volumes about the amount of faith, commitment and love she had both for God and her husband.  Lenore is a perfect example of someone we should all strive to be like.  Committed 100% to whatever it is that we strive to accomplish.   Being "all in" in regards to loving, and believing that faith in a person and your commitment to them is all that you need to get through life, is something we can all aspire to do.  Regardless of religion or even relationship...  that level of commitment can be applied to practically anything in our lives, and is something we can all strive for.  And, for me personally,  she is someone I aspire to be on a daily basis.  To live your life with that much faith, and that much commitment to your faith, to me is absolutely inspirational.   I love that I am able to share a piece of her with all of you, especially on a significant day such as Mother's Day.

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’


Kelly said...

Thanks so much for supporting Heart of Haiti! Working with this organization brings so much good to the artisans of Haiti. I've witnessed this first hand.

Lenore sounds like an incredible individual. Not just for giving up coffee (grounds for sainthood) but for having 7 children and working nights. Sheesh! Thanks again!!

Lesley said...

This story got me in tears.
This wonderful lady sounds like a devout Christian and she's definitely a rock in people's lives, someone with integrity and high values. A true role model.
I agree there should be more craft and artists teaching the Haitians to make things like pillow slips with embroidery, welding gates, making bags for the tourist markets, etc.