I am in awe of where the whole "Tacky for Africa" headband thing is going. I originally started the tacky movement to simply move some... pardon the expression-Hideous or God awful headbands that a group of beautiful elderly volunteers made for Because Every Mother Matters. At that time my focus was completely on funding the birthing center in Ethiopia. I had no idea how I was going to raise the 15k needed. I just knew I committed to doing it. Then, I never would have thought that those "tacky bands" sold only "grab-bag style"would be responsible for half the money raised. What the original "sweatshop of love ladies"-(my endearing term for the 3 generational family of women who donated their time to sew the original Tacky for Africa headbands) did not only for the mommas in Africa, but for this momma right here is hard to explain! Being able to sell and market what they made in spite of NOBODY ever seeing what it was they were buying..is a testimony in itself. I learned to not only believe in the obvious, the power of God...I learned to believe in the power of a good story. It wasn't me or what the "sweat-shop" of ladies made..it was the story behind the headbands. I also, as hard as it is to admit..I learned about my ability to tell the story. I learned that I have more passion and more skill than I knew I had. Up to this point- I knew 3 things-1. I was a wife who tried hard. 2. I worked my butt off to be a good momma and 3. Even though I made a lot of mistakes..man, my intentions and heart were pure.
Then a few months ago I happened to overhear a mom talk about her cleaning business that employed local refugees. Needless to say, I stalked her that afternoon and begged for a chance to sit down with her. All I could think about was a statement she made.."I have more unemployed refugees who need work than what I can offer". Um...this is a mom of 3 that felt called to open some sort of business that could employ the refugees..maybe 30+ that came to her church! -Amazing woman. Anyway, from the moment she talked about the refugees..I felt this immediate connection. I called everyone I knew, before I even spoke with her-that I was going to somehow combine what I was doing with Because Every Mother Matters with the growing refugee population in my own town, thus helping this local organization. Within a week we had 3 different refugees sewing headbands. I sold completely out of them at the Together for Adoption conference. I had just finished the fundraising efforts for the doma clinic that I had spent so many months working for. I was convinced the headbands were done!.The Tacky for Africa headband success was a double edged sword for me. This was the confidence I needed that people wanted to support not only my local refugees but other amazing organizations like Project Hopeful. I now found a new mission. A new purpose and more importantly a new responsibility. I now knew...it wasn't about me or my original "mission statement"...I had now been around enough non-profits and organizations, that I knew...where my place was and is. I came into the land of "non-profit" wide eyed and bushy tailed..I quickly became aware of the politics and unfortunately..the crap that follows most of them (especially the "Christian" ones) ..My purpose was clear-
supporting those who provide hope to mothers and their families around the world and in our own backyard
So here I am...finally, knowing my place.
Because Every Mother Matter's will fight to support all mommas through multiple organizations.
It will NEVER be about us or me or you...
It will always be about THEM!
We are about to launch our "world aids" headband through Project Hopeful.
If you are going to the mid-Atlantic Summit they will be available for $12.00
They will also be available through our website.
*IMPORTANT* Please Help and repost!
Given the demand we had at T4 the refugees have spent a lot of time sewing about 100 more headbands. They were so encouraged by the demand and excitement that ALL they want to do is sew:) I pay them upfront...meaning for every headband they make(no matter the quality) I personally at this time $4.00 for every band. This week alone I have written almost $500 in checks. I have sold maybe 30..you do the math. We are releasing this week the World Aids Day headband sewn by an HIV+ momma. Until then, please help me, help them....