Looking to spend money for a good cause, rather than make something for charity yourself? Lark author Jeri Warhaftig turned me on to the Same Sky bracelets crocheted by female artisans in Rwanda. All of these women survived the 1994 genocide in that country, and all are HIV positive.
Same Sky is a trade-not-aid initiative that gives employment opportunities to women to pull them and their families out of poverty. As the website says, “Instead of a hand-out, we give these women a hand up and the chance to rebuild their lives.”
Worn by such celebrities as Goldie Hawn, Meryl Streep, Barbara Walters and Halle Berry, the bracelets are made of hand-blown glass beads crocheted on a colored, non-stretch cord; each comes signed by the artisan who created that individual piece. (You can get periodic updates on the women’s lives on the website.) All proceeds from sales go to expanding the business to other regions of the world and employing more women artisans.