Hi Everyone,

This summer Global Handmade Hope was fortunate to have an intern from France named Tiffany.  Tiffany is a getting a masters degree in Intercultural Management and wants to work in the Fair Trade field.  What can I say, other than she was an absolute joy to host.  While Tiffany gained college credit and some hands on experience we gained some much need and appreciated help.

Some people asked me why I would invest so much time and money in training an intern and why would I take her around to the national trade shows.  My goal was simple, to pay forward the opportunity that I had received when in college.  I can still remember being in college and the summer internships that I worked.  Those experiences provided me with realistic work expectations and ultimately helped me secure my first job with NCR.  I hope this internship will benefit Tiffany in the same manner. In addition, as I mentioned, GHH could benefit from some added help.  

TIffany joined me in Atlanta and we hit the ground running exhibiting at two trade shows.  We then headed back to Chicago to spend some time before we headed off to exhibit in New York. Within the first week of Tiffany’s stay in Atlanta I asked her to write a short blog about her thoughts.  Then at the end of her two month internship I asked her to write a follow up blog.  I gave TIffany no direction other than to write about her thoughts and experiences.  I am happy to share with you Tiffany’s blogs.

Blog 1

My internship at Global Handmade Hope

 My name is Tiffany, I am 21 and I am a French student. I just finished my first year of Intercultural Management and International Business Master’s degree after graduating in Applied Foreign Languages at the Universite de Haute-Alsace in Mulhouse in 2012. My university professors gave my promotion and myself the opportunity to make a summer internship either in France or abroad. As I wish to work in the fair trade field of activity after my studies, I thought that getting some experience would be a great bonus on my resume and would help me to find a job later on. I contacted around 80 different North-American companies, and Global Handmade Hope was in the end the only company that accepted to give me the chance to do a two-month internship.

 During my first day of work, Cynthia Glensgard, the president of the company, was very friendly and did not hesitate to answer any of my questions. She told me about the history of the company, showed me the different products, explained me how and where they were made and told me the history of the artisans who work for the company.

 I was very glad to learn that the company works with artisans in Colombia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa and even in Turkey. There are many ranges of products including melon seeds or orange peels necklaces, ornaments, tagua rings or even cana flecha cuffs. I thought it was very interesting to see for instance that some rings are actually made from the seeds of nuts or that we could use orange peels to make bracelets. What is great about Global Handmade Hope is that this is not only a fair trade company. It actually also offers handmade, sustainable and natural items.

 My internship is really an amazing experience. During two month I will be participating to different trade shows (retailing and wholesaling) as well as to the everyday tasks of the store in Chicago. This enables me to experience every aspects of running a business and to learn the basics of fair trade. The internship is not finished yet but I already know that working in the fair trade is what I want to do, and I am very grateful to Global Handmade Hope for having given this great chance.

Blog 2

MY INTERNSHIP AT GLOBAL HANDMADE HOPE

 

Working during two months for Global Handmade Hope was a great experience. This was my first internship and I felt comfortable within the company. Cynthia Glensgard, the president, and Sandra Ocampo, the employee of Global Handmade Hope, were very friendly and helpful. They always answered all of my questions and taught me many things which I will be able to use later on in my future professional life.

What was very interesting is that my tasks were both computer-based and practical-based. For instance on the one hand I loaded new products on the web for the company, and on the other hand I prepared many orders and tagged lots of items.

The best part of the internship was the trade shows. We did two shows in Atlanta, GA, one downtown Chicago, IL and one in New York City, NY. My favorite show was the one in New York City, it was the most dynamic, exciting and profitable one of my internship.

Participating to these shows enabled me to create a fair trade companies’ network for my future professional life. I was very glad to see that the fair trade companies’ mainly support each other. There is actually a business competition between the companies, but they all share the same values of trade and deeply respect each other.

 Global Handmade Hope gave me the unique opportunity to spend two months learning what I was curious to know about in a place I wanted to discover. Doing fair trade in the United States was the perfect match for me, and it would have never happened without Cynthia Glensgard.

Moreover, the internship enabled me to discover amazing cities : Chicago, Atlanta and New York City. It offered me the unique experience of living in the United States and learning about the American culture, which is, I must admit it, very different from the French culture. Nevertheless, once I began to get used to this culture, I started understanding it; and discovering new cultures is always very enriching.

The cherry on the cake was to see that Cynthia Glensgard trusted me more than I believed in my own abilities. She let me run the booth during the whole four days of show downtown Chicago and she also let me manage her store on my own during one whole week although I had only started working in it a few days earlier. She also always congratulated me when she appreciated my work.

For all these reasons I am very grateful to Global Handmade Hope for having accepted me for a summer internship. I really recommend this company to anyone who is interested in learning more about fair trade. Its commitment to help artisans all around the world is very strong, so do not hesitate to take part to this great cause-related movement for a fairer and better world !

 

Tiffany.

 

Hello Friends!
Wow! We sure are getting hit with the rain lately, but look how green the grass is already! And, I can’t help but think that something extraordinary is going on in my backyard garden as well. You see, I raise monarch butterflies all summer, and the only way I can do that is if my milkweed emerges. So after this driving rain lets up, I mostly likely will throw on a jacket and run outside to see if I can see any sign of the milkweed coming up. Okay, enough, about rain and milkweed. What I really want to talk to you about is our next fundraiser. And, no—it’s not more chocolate-covered strawberries!
Our spring fundraiser is “April Showers Bring May Flowers and Glory Projects!” We know we have been successful providing April showers, and now we would like to bring Glory Projects to life. One of Glory Projects’ initiatives is to raise funds to begin a women’s sewing business in Kenya. That’s what this spring fundraiser aims to do—and we cannot accomplish this goal without your support.
Here are the details: You are cordially invited to this fundraiser, which is set for Thursday, April 25, from 4-8 p.m. at the store (6700 N. Northwest Highway, Chicago, 60631.) We will offer wine and cheese for adults and cookies and homemade lemonade for the kids.
After a little refreshment, we will get creative! You can pick up one of our colorful outdoor markers and paint a garden rock, select and arrange some lovely spring flowers to take home, and choose a seedling to add to your backyard. And, you can do this while you sit back and enjoy the array of colors and textures spread across the newly reorganized store.
Hope you can take time out to spring into spring with us! Cynthia and the board members would love to spend a little time with you. Tickets for this event are $10 in advance or $15 at the door, with a small additional donation for each project. In addition to these activities, come view our unique earth-friendly rain umbrellas and enter a raffle to win one for yourself or your loved one. Raffle tickets are $4 in advance or $5 at the door.
To register,
Call 847-720-4084 or sign up online at http://www.globalhandmadehope.com

earth-friendly-umbrella

Earth Friendly Umbrellas for the raffle


Thank you so much for your support. Hope to see you there!
Sue Fox McGovern
Board Member

Hi All,

ImageImage

I would like to introduce you to one of our Glory Projects board members.  Her name is Sue Fox McGovern and Sue has so graciously agreed to write some blogs for us to help keep you posted about our events and news.  Thank goodness right,  because we all know that I am not the best writer and certainly not consistent.   So. it is my distinct pleasure to deliver to you  a blog from Sue.

Cynthia 

 

Greetings to you! I know that Cynthia has thanked you already for supporting our first-ever Chocolate Covered Strawberry Fundraiser, but let me thank you again. We hope you and your loved ones enjoyed the product. I ran into someone last night who shouted out, “Oh, those strawberries were so good!” So I’m grateful that as St. Patrick’s Day approaches, one of our supporters is still raving about the three orders of chocolate-covered strawberries that she presented to her grown children the Sunday before Valentine’s Day.

            If you were unable to participate in our fundraiser this year, we plan to offer this same product next February. This year Cynthia ordered fair-trade chocolate and Garden on the Run helped us order our plump strawberries in a timely fashion. A few of us board members gathered every couple of days in one of our kitchens to wash strawberries, melt chocolate, and hand-dip the fruit. We were able to sell almost 100 boxes of strawberries because of your enthusiasm!

            As the season is in the midst of change, we want to let you know about the beautiful hand-painted Easter eggs that Cynthia is now selling in the store. Families is Austria have dipped their brushes into pots of the most striking shades of spring and have created lovely artwork. Some eggs feature chicks and rabbits, others an Easter cross or whimsical design and pattern. Stop in and see for yourself! Pick up a few eggs to decorate your home or your child’s Easter basket. Eggs sell for $13.95 a piece or buy two eggs for $20

            Thanks again for your continued support!

Sue Fox McGovern

Board Member

 

Global Handmade Hope/Glory Projects is located at 6700 N. Northwest Highway in Edison Park.

http://www.GlobalHandmadeHope.com

Monday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Tuesday: 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Thursday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Friday: 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

This week I had the pleasure of visiting the Douglas Center in Skokie, IL.   The Douglas Center, a non-profit organization, provides day programs for individuals with severe intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities. They have a work center program, pre-vocational training, a seniors program as well as developmental rehabilitation for adults of all ages.

 

For quite some time Global Handmade Hope has partnered with the Douglas Center.  In the past, we have offered various items made by participants in the centers art therapy program, called Art from the Heart.  My favorite item is the mosaic mirrors.  However, I must admit I saw some fantastic mosaic planters being made.  In addition to providing therapy, the Art from the Heart participants also receive compensation for their artwork.

 

This week we took our partnership one step further by contracting with the Douglas Center to help us with the tagging of our fair trade items.  Our tags help us share the fair trade stories and principals with individuals that buy and give our items. 

 

On the surface a tag may seem like something small but actually it is extremely important.  These tags help us share the fair trade principals of  * no child or slave labor, * fair and living wages, * good working conditions, * gender equality, * sustainable practices, etc.  Our hope is that these tags make an individual think about how the items they buy are made and about how the person who made it was treated.  Wouldn’t it be a great world if all the items we purchased were produced using these fair trade standards?   As a consumer we have the power to make this happen.

 

But I digress so, on with the story.  The tags now also take on another important role of helping care for individuals with special needs.  I would like to share with you a story that happened as we began our visitation at the Douglas Center.  We were greeted and just about to begin our facility tour when a participants family member stopped us to say thank you to the staff.    She was so grateful for the work that the center does.  The ladies son, who is now an adult, has been coming to the center for about a year now.   Thanks to all the work the center does her son is now able to speak for the first time in his life.  He now tells people “Hello”. 

 

The participant’s mother had only one wish.  The wish was that she could tell everyone what a great program the Douglas Center has for individuals with special needs.  She knows that there are many other individuals in the world who could benefit from their program or programs like the centers.  She wanted to tell all the families of individuals with special needs that while caring for a person with special needs at home is great, it can be even better when partnered with a program like that of the Douglas Center.

 

I’m not sure how many people will read this blog but, if it reaches one family in need of this information then I’m happy.  And I am happy that I could also help this mother share her story and one wish.   If you would like to learn more about The Douglas center their web address is www.thedouglascenter.com  

 

P.S.  If you have a little work you could send their way I’m sure the center would be grateful. 

This blog is dedicated to God and the wonderful people who have been placed in my life.   It seems like only yesterday that I heard what I believe was my calling to serve those less fortunate through my work at Global Handmade Hope.  As we near the end of our third year in business it is amazing to see all the great things God has done.  I have watched as God has placed and provided for us the tools and individuals required to do our work. My faith has grown immensely and for His provisions I am grateful.  

 

As you may or may not know we closed our Park Ridge fair trade store in May of this year.  A decision that was extremely hard to make but one that I felt was right for the moment.  Many wonderful people have come into my life through the store and the fair trade story was shared with many individuals.  As customers wished us well and offered their condolences I was able to share with them that while I did not see what was ahead for us, I knew that God had something wonderful planned and that it would be reveled in His time.  A sentiment that I knew then and do know now to be true.  The problem is that my  “Type A “ personality often finds it hard to practice this sentiment.  I’m definitely not an expert but, perhaps this is a message that we all need to take time to think of as we struggle to be “in control” of our lives.  I reflect on few passages when my desire to control things gets in the way of me listening to God; Isaiah 55:8 My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord and Psalm 62:5 My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.

 

As the summer has moved along, I have been fortunate to spend more time with my family and dedicate more time to endeavors that will ensure our long-term success.  These endeavors will translate into more lives touched by God, more families fed, sheltered, children cared for and schooled. 

 

A few weeks ago Annie and I were struggling with how to take better photos.  We were at a loss and ready to throw the towel in when I ran into my neighbor and former customer Jackie, a graphic artist.  I have to confess that I wrote a blog about her back in 2010, which I will paste at the end of this one, and I called her by the wrong name.  It was late at night when I wrote it and I didn’t catch the mistake before I posted it.  So, just so that you know Jackie is the one I referred to as Janet in my old blog.  Ugghhh ….  so sorry about that one.

 

Jackie and I didn’t recognize each other at first but after a few minutes we figured out who each other were.  It was funny really because I had been thinking about her and wondering how to get in touch with her and she mentioned that she was having lunch with some friends a few days before and they were talking about the store. I shared with Jackie our struggles and she mentioned that her husband was a professional photographer and they lived just a few blocks me.  Jackie was so kind to volunteer to help us out again and we both commented about how God keeps putting us together just at the right moments.

 

The next week Jackie and her husband Robert invited us into their home and spent the whole day with us helping us photo and edit images.  Jackie even prepared a wonderful lunch for us.  All of this is something that never could of happened if we still had the store.  I never would have been on the street to meet up with Jackie again and we never would have had an entire day to devote to learning.  In short, we are thankful to Jackie and Robert for their generosity.  We are truly blessed to have their support and guidance.  We are thankful to God for arranging this meeting.  We look forward to putting these gifts to good use for the glory of God.

 

As I said in the 2010 blog posted below, and would like to reiterate again, there are many other wonderful people who have helped us and are still continuing to help us with our mission – “THANK YOU” for your support.  

 

We are now preparing to head off to the national tradeshows to represent our artist’s works.  Your prayers would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you again for everything and I look forward to sharing more wonderful stories with you as they unfold.  

 

Blessings,

 

Cynthia

 

 

 

Old and New Friends (repost from 2010)

 

2010 was as exciting and eventful year.  I was fortunate to travel to East Africa, South Africa and Colombia.  Along the way, I formed friendships with new artisan groups, charities, and individuals. My travels also allowed me to strengthen existing friendships for which I am grateful.  It was the first full year Global Handmade Hope has been in existence. 

 

While God closed doors in 2010, He has opened many new ones.   I sincerely hope and pray that I am listening to His will and following His direction.  GHH has laid the groundwork to create change in the lives of the needy and vulnerable. Don’t get me wrong, there is still so much to do that I can’t even sleep at night.    However, I take solace in knowing that much has been accomplished.  The accomplishments of 2010 are due to of course, God, hard work, and the kindness of old and new friends. 

 

I would like to offer my thanks to two of my friends, one old and one new.  There are so many more individuals who have contributed to the growth and thus the change in people’s lives however, for now I will focus on these two friends.  If you have visited or called the store you probably know Sandra.  Sandra is like a daughter to me.  We became friends almost five years ago when she began helping me care for my children.  Sandra still helps me with the kids and today she also keeps the organization running.  This year I was fortunate to visit her family in Colombia and I am proud to say that her mother is now an integral part of the company.

 

Next, I would like to thank my new friend, Mary Beth.  Mary Beth is a volunteer who has contributed so much time and effort to the fair trade movement, due to her faith, that I can’t even begin to share all the stories.  In summary, Mary Beth helped our little company participate in various events in order to raise the funds needed to exhibit in the upcoming wholesale tradeshows in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Chicago.   She embodies the company motto “Together, we can make a difference in the world “

 

Of course the company would not be here today, if it were not for our customers.    Thank you to the people who have chosen to support social justice by purchasing fair trade.  By no means is this thank you meant to elevate one customer over another one.  We have an exhaustive list of customers who have supported us this year – THANK YOU.  This customer comes to mind because without her help, we would not be in a position to exhibit in the upcoming wholesale shows

 

Sandra and I had been discussing how we needed help learning the Adobe Creative Suite products. We were actually at a point where our lack of knowledge was a serious obstacle.  Then, in walks Janet.  Janet and I were enjoying small talk when I asked, “So, what do you do?”  Janet shared that she was in graphic design and next thing you know she mentioned that she teaches the Adobe Suite at a local collage.  Janet pulled a few strings to get Sandra in the current class, and even came into the store to offer extra help to catch her up.  I have to tell you; my belief is that Janet is an earthly angel God sent us in our time of need.  THANK YOU JANET and THANK YOU GOD!

At Global Handmade Hope, we believe that everyone should have the right to have a job with fair wages and a safe work environment. Recently, we watched the documentary, Bananas!*,  where filmmaker Fredrik Gertten, follows a personal injury lawyer, Juan Dominguez, as he defends twelve Nicaraguan banana workers against Dole Food for continuing to use a harmful pesticide in the late 1970s that was known to cause sterility. This case is the first time agricultural workers from a third world nation were being heard in a US Court. I do not want to spoil the ending of the film for you by revealing anything, but our purpose for this post is to educate our viewers as every consumer has the power to vote for justice with their dollar. What difference does a fair trade banana make? Basically, it benefits the farmers because they are provided a more profitable and sustainable way of trading, which secures progress to better pay.
Currently, we do not know of one grocery  store in Chicago that carries fair trade bananas. There are many actions you can take to add fair trade products to your supermarket. You can talk to the store manager, send a letter to your local store or national headquarters, or write a note on a comment card. If you would like an e-mail template to use to write your supermarket CEO, click this link to find one supplied by Green America. What actions will you take to support fair trade produce?
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