Day 169

June 17th, 2016

The power of the consumer is stronger than you may think.

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards, purple ruffle scarf (hand-me-down), brown and green shoes, mauve glass bracelet.

As this challenge draws near the end, I want to focus for the next few days on what we can do as consumers. I watched a documentary called “The Next Black” and in it, among other things, Rick Ridgeway, environmentalist, mountaineer and Vice President of Environmental Initiatives at Patagonia, talks about their campaign on less consumption (about minute 24 in the film). This campaign came out on a Black Friday ad and it simply said:

DO NOT buy this Jacket.

Can you believe this? A retailer asking you not to buy something? Their intent was, do not buy the jacket unless you really need it. Ie, you need to replace a very old one or you don’t have a winter coat. The campaign gets some slack as ‘greenwashing‘ from some, but I believe that it is much better than some other brands that pretend they are sustainable yet their practices show otherwise.

In any case something he said, stuck with me. He said,

“How did we end up with Fast fashion? Perhaps the answer is in the ability of companies to deliver fashion faster and faster because their are made in places with the lowest cost, deliver and change weekly, and we end up with having that capability because it satisfies a desire and a need in people. If that’s the case, then it is that desire from the consumer that’s driving it, and that’s where the change has to come from.” (Paraphrased)

That’s where the change has to come from.

Yes, companies can change their fabrics, their protocols, their practices, they can be as green as can be. But if the consumer doesn’t buy, it won’t matter. We have the most power in change because companies depend on us otherwise they wouldn’t spend millions on advertising trying to convince us that we need something we don’t.

It is our time to change this. To expect different. To get retailers to act different. But it all comes down to small changes.

So for the last few days, I will try to give you some ideas of what can be done, and you choose what works best for you.




Day 167

June 15th, 2016

Eileen Fisher: a great example of fashion you can feel good about.

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards, boyfriend jeans, brown hipster belt, long beaded necklace, leaf handmade necklace, green glass bead earrings and my new (thrifted) Miz Mooz wedge flats.

I want to share a couple of links to another company that is making a difference by adhering to higher standards and certifications.

Eileen Fisher has evolved her company into a becoming a fully sustainable organization. Using standards such as SA8000 and transparency in labeling, she’s almost there! The two following links elaborate on the processes the company has taken towards this goal and the challenges it faces in such a competitive environment.

This first link, talks about the beginning of Eileen Fisher as a company and her design concept. How she continued to grow the business ‘organically’ (like you could in those days), and her vision for the company in the coming years.

The second link expands on the challenges of becoming environmentally sustainable and reminds us that we can’t achieve a perfect score, at least not at first. The company uses ‘mostly’ organic fabrics, but sets their goal towards ‘all’. However they believe that 80% is better than nothing and they continue to grow on this concept. Considering that the company is holistically committed to becoming sustainable in all aspects of business, I think they are a wonderful example of an organization putting People, Planet and Profit in the right place.

Day 162

June 10th, 2016

What about the garments that are donated to charities?

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards, red/coral scarf, watermelon wedges, hoops.

Like many North Americans, I used to believe that my donated items went to a needy person, but seeing the piles and piles of clothes at thrift stores, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out there’s absolutely no way they can sell it all.

Well, they don’t, at least not to your neighbours. Unsold garments from charitable stores, get sold to private recyclers and to traders who then sell it to the Second Hand Garment Trade (SHGT) in countries from sub-Saharan Africa among others. This is a $1.9 billion business annually and some critics say that it damages local economy by eliminating industry among it textile and by continuing the dependence of Africa on the west. In Kenya, Mitumba meaning ‘bundles’ is the name given to the clothes from developed countries, in Nigeria they call it Kafa ulaya (the clothes of the dead whites). Local merchants there purchase bales by weight in what they call a ‘lottery’ because you don’t know what’s in it. Sometimes it is good brands sometimes it is not.

Whether or not you agree with the benefits of this trade, the fact also remains, that the amount of clothing being sent there is monumental.

“Only about one-fifth of the clothing donated to charities is directly used or sold in their thrift shops. Says Rivoli, ‘There are nowhere near enough people in America to absorb the mountains of castoffs, even if they were given away.’” From: Waste Couture: Environmental Impact of the Clothing Industry (Under ‘Handling the Overflow’)

And with more and more cheap versions making the piles, these garments are not only unusable they are unsellable.

This is a short video that explains the Second Hand Garment trade in Ghana, it kind of brings it home.

Day 159

June 7th, 2016

More options for Canadian made product: Plum Clothing

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards, tan cardigan by Kersh (bought at Plum) worn tied over the hips, long copper leaf necklace, hoop earrings, tan flats.

I’m going to recycle one of those posts I wrote a while back for my other blog. This one is about Plum Clothing. I was so sad when Plum closed up in Kelowna, but thankfully they still have stores in Vancouver and online. Great company, great product, great philosophy.

“One of the companies that has caught my attention on the search for sustainable options is Plum Clothing. The first time I saw a Plum Clothing store was their location in North Vancouver which was on Lonsdale and I passed it every day on my commute to work.  I liked it instantly. It was my kind of clothes. I liked too, that back then (in 199-y-something) it was entirely made in Vancouver.  But back then, I didn’t have such a heart for things made locally or fairly or anything like that. I just wanted to work in the industry, and I thought their price point was too expensive for me.

Fast forward a decade or so…and they are still here. They have locations throughout BC and I believe in Calgary, Alberta as well. Now, in growing with the times, it has become increasingly difficult for them to manufacture everything in Vancouver, but they still do for a great number of items. But more important than their manufacturing is the philosophy they are following. And this is what’s caught my attention. Their motto is: ‘Dressing with purpose”! Don’t you love it? Don’t you want to find out more about what that means? I did! So I read a couple of their blogs which I get with my email subscription to their sales.

The first one talks about how every woman is an individual and as such we must not conform to what fashion dictates to us! That follows the theme of what I was trying to explain in my last post. The author explains that their vision is for each woman to follow a ‘functional’ wardrobe that works with their lifestyle. Sooooo great! A functional wardrobe immediately says to me less clutter and more intentional items. Stuff you love to wear, stuff that looks good on you, less throw-away fashion.  Check out the article yourself and tell me what you think…Dress with purpose -Fun, Function and both?

The second post is about how we view value and whether we know it or not, what we place a priority on.  It explains three ways we can place value on something, by simply following economics, by its emotional/physical benefit or by its versatility. I especially like the part where she destroys the notion that fast fashion is cheap because you actually end up spending more in the long run!  Dress with purpose – Value Isn’t Always Economical

Although I would love anything from their store, Plum is not giving me anything to talk about them. I may not know everything about Plum, but I know this: at least on the forefront they are attempting to be different by expressing a vision and value that does not conform to the norm. And for that, in my books, Plum gets an ‘A+’”

Day 158

June 6th, 2016

Rabbit and Empee and Nicole Bridger, what do they have in common? Vancouver Eco Fashion.

Outfit: Black tunic style jacket worn under black dress worn frontwards, black sash, red wooden large bead necklace, red heels.

Are you wondering if there are labels out there trying to do the right thing? Well there are. If you search on google for eco-fashion brands, you get quite a few. But it is kind of overwhelming to just go through and make sense of it all. So I’m going to just show you a couple that I have seen in person and consider beautiful examples of sustainable fashion:

Nicole Bridger, Gastown store

The first one is Nicole Bridger. Located in the middle of Gastown in Vancouver’s downtown, Nicole’s boutique is small but to the point. It has all of the collection in it and she carries other brands that complement hers. Bridger used to own the factory she was producing her garments in, but after a few years of ups and downs she was forced to close (I told you manufacturing in Canada was hard). However she still has most of her line manufactured there and some of it is made in Peru, by a factory that she has sourced personally. In addition, her line is made with natural and/or sustainable fabrics and they are made with the intention for them to last a few seasons (if not years), so her styling is very classic. For more information on her story, check their website, Nicole Bridger.

r_n_e_westend overcoat
Rabbit and Empee West end Overcoat

Another company that is concerned with all things green is Rabbit and Empee. This brand is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Nicole Bridger’s line. They are very unique shall we say? I personally love the designs, and although most are a bit too out there for my own style, I can certainly see myself adding a couple of their pieces to my wardrobe. Rabbit and Empee focuses mainly on festival wear, which has become super popular in the past few years. This type of clothing takes inspiration from the make-believe world and adapts it to wearable pieces for happy festival goers. If worn together, the collection has a very gypsy/fairy/medieval look, but if you take each piece and mix it with a conventional piece you would get a unique yet mainstream look that would suit a wider audience. The best part of Rabbit and Empee is that they use organic cotton and it is ethically made, as indicated in their website. They’ve traveled far and formed the relationship with a small local factory that makes all of their pieces. The result is great workmanship at a competitive price. To see more examples and learn more, check out their website here, Rabbit and Empee.

Day 149

May 28th, 2016

Is ethically made apparel a fairy tale?

Outfit: Black dress worn forward, long socks, black chunky boots, infinity scarf made from remnant fabric.

No, it’s not a fairy tale, just very rare. One of the companies taking extra measures to ensure their product is ethically made is Knight Apparel. Knight apparel manufactures college sport wear. Things like sweatshirts, t-shirts, gym strip anything with the college logo on. After a personal life-changing experience the owner of the company decided he needed to do business differently. So he bought the factory in Dominican Republic where some of his product was being made. Enter Alta Gracia, the first factory in the developing world that pays their workers a ‘living wage’. Five years later and it’s still going. Have a look at their story here.

Maybe this is how we change things. One story at a time.

For more information about Alta Gracia, visit their website here.

Day 147

May 26th, 2016

Ethically sourced

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards, tan summer blazer, scarf worn as tie, gold earrings from 10,000 villages (fair trade). 

One of the alternatives to having garments made in Canada is to have them made in factories that meet the standards we would expect from our own factories. This means to take the responsibility to find the factory, build the relationship with the owners and personally ensure that all conditions are up to par.

This is referred to as responsibly sourced or ethically sourced. It is similar to the fair trade certification except that so far (to the best of my knowledge) there is no organized standard that gives that official recognition. B corporations are one form of it, but they are not necessarily just for clothing, so a garment fair trade or ethically sourced certification is still to come.

Nonetheless, there are still many ways a manufacturer or designer can ensure that their product is made without breaking human rights standards. One of the steps some sustainable brands are taking to ensure ethical standards is to source out smaller factories in low-wage countries that are independently owned and to form personal relationships with the owners. Some actually travel to the site and get to know the workers and the owners and personally asses that the conditions are actually as safe as they say. Another way to prevent mistreatment, is to not demand unreasonable deadlines and to pay a higher cost per unit, which in turn would translate into a better profit for the factory and a ‘living wage’ for the worker. Sometimes the cost per unit increase is so minimal that the translated cost to consumer may only increase by 10%. Definitely worth the investment.

This is one of those new values I was talking about in my previous post. If we consider having our clothes made in a way that respects the worker and his or her environment, then we won’t mind paying them a wage that is higher than the minimum required by law. Most of the time the minimum wage of a country does not reflect the true cost of living, therefore a ‘living wage’ is a better indicator of what would be fair compensation for work done. According to Clean Clothes Campaign, an organization that is dedicated to improving working conditions and supporting the empowerment of workers in the global garment and sportswear industries, a living wage can be defined as follows:

The right to a living wage: A living wage should be earned  in a standard working week (no more than 48 hours) and allow a garment worker to be able to buy food for herself and her family, pay the rent, pay for healthcare, clothing, transportation and education and have a small amount of savings for when something unexpected happens.

There are many companies starting to take this approach and one of the best ways to find them is by looking online. I will post some examples in the next few days and give you some links to visit them.


Day 145

May 24th, 2016

Let’s not go around throwing stones…

Outfit: Now I’m borrowing from my husband: white shirt (that I made for him), worn under black dress with skinny jeans and tan flats. Clear glass necklace.

Before we go ahead and pretend that the type of injustices we hear about in the developing world would never happen here, let’s look at our not so distant past. You want to talk about worker’s violations? Look no further than the garment district in New York at the turn of the 20th Century. It all came to a head with the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1911. 145 workers died when a fire broke out and they were unable to exit the building because the fire exits were too small and the doors had been locked by the owners to prevent theft! Many of the sewers were young immigrant girls who, faced with the possibility of burning beyond recognition, leapt to their death from the 7th floor. Spectator reports say that they thought the falling bodies were bales of clothing being thrown from the top floor, only to realize afterwards, it was women jumping.

During the industrial revolution, children worked in mills and factories, and lost limbs, fingers or their lives all before the Factory Act of 1833 in Britain which regulated (among other things) the amount of hours children worked.

Mills in North America were laden with environmental violations through the beginning of the industrialization of textiles. I suppose they were the growing pains of not realizing that industry equals waste and that chemicals were not good for the earth. Elizabeth Cline mentions in her book, the Avtex Fibers Inc., a rayon factory in Virginia which was shut down in 1989 for poisoning land and water in its surroundings. And you can find hundreds of other examples if you start to dig a bit.

But the point is that now we know better. We’ve seen the results and the damage that unjust conditions have on our society and those that unsafe processes have on our environment. We’ve seen it, but in other parts of the world they are still going through it! The fact is that with a culture that is now united through globalization, we are all in it together. Besides, we may be able to disregard the human rights thing saying it is not our country’s problem, but there’s no escaping the environmental damage because what happens there has repercussions everywhere.

How do we fix this? Once again, I believe the more we know, the more we can stop preconditioned routine actions that affect others. We need to start questioning those in charge and making different choices, not based on convenience, but maybe based on a higher purpose.

Day 144

May 23rd, 2016

Sweatshop problem not a thing of the past.

Outfit: Poet style georgette blouse worn under dress with neckline turned down to show as V neck. Green and brown heels, hand-made glass heart necklace.

Ok, so even with new alternatives on the horizon, if it’s too expensive to make in Canada, some designers must go overseas to find competitive pricing. But what about the sweatshops you say?

Stories of sweatshops are nothing new. Most of us remember the big outrage at Kathy Lee Gifford in the mid 90s over the discovery that her clothing line from Wal-mart was being sewn by children. The bad news for Kathy Lee was that she was pretty much stuck in the middle because she loaned her name without researching the product she was providing. Lots of other celebrities have done the same, but she was ideal candidate to single out because she was at the height of popularity. She took the opportunity to bring awareness to the issue and supposedly rules and codes of conduct were implemented in order to have factories overseas comply with global standards. However almost 20 years after this scandal, we are still seeing the same problems pop up throughout the industry. Not necessarily in the same countries, although it still happens in China, but mostly we’re seeing it in India, Cambodia, and many others where the workers have no right to unionize and are threatened with losing wages or a job if they do not meet the factories’ demands. These expectations often result in unsafe and extreme working conditions. We need not look any further than the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013 (where more than 1000 people died when the building they were working in caved in) to have proof that there’s still a long way to go when it comes to making garment workers safe in their place of employment.

Fast fashion has been blamed as the number one culprit for encouraging the looking the other way when it comes to human rights violations. When we first heard about the Bangladesh tragedy and the fact that some familiar labels had been found in the rubble, most of us were quick to point fingers and those companies got the brunt of the blame. I’m not going to say they are innocent, but now three years later, not much has changed and the public goes on not thinking twice about the incident. Why is that? How can we be so conditioned to our buying patterns that we forget that at the very core of the problem are the demands for constant supply, enforced by corporations and encouraged by our buying.

The owners of the Rana factory are now being charged with murder, apparently depending on the conviction they may face the death penalty. I believe those people knew what they were doing when they built an entire floor on top of the existing building without a permit, and they knew they were pushing the limits when they threatened the workers with pay cuts if they did not show up to work the very next day after a building inspection had deemed the place unsafe. Again, I am not going to try and defend them, but I question, what pushes someone to ignore safety in order to meet demands and pressure to be competitive? A lot of their major contracts, are on a one to one basis, so there’s no loyalty. It is based on who gives the bottom price. They get penalized for late deliveries, sometimes even canceling the order if it’s one day late. But the brands reserve the right to make last minute changes, making it almost impossible to comply. China has the capability to fill larger orders, however their cost per unit has gone up due to increases in wages. Therefore, a lot of brands are going to cheaper centers like Bangladesh and Vietnam (look at your labels), where the industry has not developed to the level of China’s factories and they struggle to make the same amount of pieces with less skilled people to do it. They want to keep the work, so they do whatever they have to. Those pressures do not justify the means, but it gives us a glimpse into their reality.

Day 125

May 4th, 2016

Free the Children: One of the most inspiring stories about someone who cared.

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards, long “Faith” pendant, steampunk earrings.

Carmen’s items: Crinkle cotton wide leg pants, checkered fedora, leather beaded bracelet from Me to We (Kenyan). 

Craig Kielburger was sitting at his kitchen table in Ontario, Canada, having breakfast when he came upon the story of a 12 year old in India who had been killed while raising his voice up for human rights. Craig was 12 too and at that moment he realized that the only difference between him and that other boy was simply geography.

Our Story

The journey Craig and his brother Marc have taken since that day in 1995 is simply incredible. For a 12 year old to care so much that he took it upon himself to make it a school project and from there to have created a whole organization that changes lives one at a time is something almost unheard of. Most 12 year-olds I know are too consumed right now with what type of iPod they’ll get next year. This includes my own children! We’ve been desensitized from the images we see on TV. In North America we live in a bubble sometimes, we have our own problems and undeniably some are quite dire. We have homeless and poverty issues too. But at least we can count on agencies that are designed (at least to some degree) to deal and help along. In some of the slums of this world, thousands go unnoticed because we simply can’t help everyone. But I know that we all posses, even deep within, that ability to empathize with those less privileged in this world, we simply need to make that connection. Just like Craig made the connection that morning when he realized he too could have been born into slavery, or poverty.  Me to We is an example that everyone can do something. Even as a child. You just need determination and passion. Every little bit helps. Even simple awareness. And I think most importantly, gratitude. A thankful spirit for the things that we do have and that we take for granted.

For more information on Craig Kielburger and the Me to We or Free the Children organizations click on the links. The bracelet I am wearing today is from Me to We, Kenya. Their online store has great ideas for shopping alternatives that help those in need.

Day 115

April 24th, 2016

Happy Fashion Revolution Week, April 18-24, 2016: Who made my clothes?

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards under multi-colour dress worn as tunic. Watermelon sandals, drop orange earrings.

Today marks the final day in Fashion Revolution week which started on the 18th of April.

What is Fashion Revolution? It is a call to action to get involved in asking more questions from your clothing manufacturers. The movement started in the wake of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh in 2013, where more than 1100 garment workers died when the factory they were working at collapsed due to building code violations. These workers had been threatened with losing their jobs if they did not show up for work that day, even though inspectors had deemed the building unsafe the day before. The owners of the factory are now being prosecuted for manslaughter and await trial. However, the question remains, what is pushing factory owners like these to ignore warnings and safety codes? Could it be the fact that the brands placing the orders are pushing their limits by demanding unreasonable deadlines? And penalizing late deliveries with cancelling orders in some cases?

The responsibility for the garment workers’ rights falls on many hands and for the consumer to expect the corporations to take full blame is too naïve. We need to start demanding more transparency in the supply chain, and that’s something Fashion Revolution is trying to do. It may not be a perfect method, but it is something. At least it starts the conversation.

P1110093To get involved or to support, you take a picture wearing your clothing inside out showing its label and send it to the brand, asking who made your clothes? Then you post it on social media. For more information on the movement and ideas of how to get involved, check out their website here.

Facebook page

Day 93

April 2nd, 2016

Helping your community while shopping.

Outfit: Black dress worn forwards, black hoop earrings

Kelowna Women’s Shelter Thrift store items: Black short boots, multi-coloured geometric off the shoulder raglan top.

The Kelowna Women’s Shelter Thrift Store is a great place to find deals on all types of items, but that’s not all they do. I asked Karen Mason, executive director of the Kelowna Women’s Shelter to tell me more about it and here’s what she said:

180 SC:  How does the Thrift Store help the Kelowna Women’s shelter?

KWS Profits from the Kelowna Women’s Shelter Thrift Store support the many free programs and services the Shelter offers women and their children who have experienced domestic violence.  Another huge benefit to our Store is that we allow our clients, and others in need in the community to shop there free through our voucher program. We give vouchers to women who stay at the Shelter and use our other services in order that they can get clothing and household items for them and their children at no cost. We also provide the vouchers to more than a dozen other community organizations who pass them along to their most needy clients so they get to shop free as well. It’s  wonderful way to ensure the many generous donations we receive go to those who most need a helping hand, and really support our community.

180 SC:  What types of wares does the store sell? 

The Kelowna Women’s Shelter Thrift Store has all kinds of treasures. We sell men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, footwear, fashion accessories such as purses, scarves and jewelry, small furniture pieces, and household items such as dishes and décor.

180 SC:  How is the store run? Who works at it? 

KWS: The store has a handful of fabulous, permanent, paid staff who work anywhere from one to five days per week, and a host of incredible volunteers who put in countless hours receiving, sorting, pricing and processing donated items. They are an amazing, energetic team who work really well together to keep the store well stocked and attractive for shoppers. The Store is bright and organized and a great place to shop!

180 SC:  Where do you get your donations from?

KWS:  We are so fortunate to live in such a generous community as Kelowna. It seems we are always donation-blessed thanks to the many private citizens and businesses who regularly donate items. A number of local stores regularly bring us wonderful new items to sell, and we receive clothing and household goods from the community at a pretty consistent rate. People who want to donate can bring their items to the store on Mondays, Wednesdays or Saturdays between 10 am and 2 pm. 

180 SC: How do you determine price points?

KWS: It’s important to us we make our pricing accessible to a wide variety of clients and remain true to the typical thrift store business model. At the same time, the Store is a social enterprise that helps support the work the Shelter does so, at the end of the day, we do need to turn a profit. Our staff and volunteers are very skilled at determining price points that match the items we are putting out for sale on the floor. We do ongoing research at other retail establishments, particularly thrift and secondhand stores, to ensure we are on top of pricing trends. When we get special pieces or designer clothing items, we recognize their value and price those slightly higher than more traditional items. Some of my favourite, most prized designer items were purchased at our Thrift Store for $20 or less. 

180 SC: What do you do with unsold items?

KWS: Although we value each and every donation we receive, there are some items that are not of a quality we would feel comfortable selling, or are not items we would be able to sell due to a lack of demand or other factors. We refuse to throw things away so we work with a variety of other local organizations in partnership to ensure everything is used somehow. We work closely with the Soles for Souls shoe bank program, and regularly forward unsold or unsellable footwear to them. We also send unsellable clothing and fabric items to other organizations to be sold or otherwise repurposed.  

 Well, there you have it! A great place to shop with a dual purpose: clothing recycling and helping the community. Now that’s sustainable!

For more information on the Kelowna Women’s Shelter and their store, click here.


Day 82

March 22nd, 2016

Outfit: Black dress worn under wrap skirt. Black chunky boots, pink scarf-like necklace.

Why on earth am I doing this?

I want to take the opportunity today to remind you of the reasons I’m doing this crazy thing!

First of all, because I love craftsmanship in fashion and beautifully made things that make you feel good.  After all, it is a basic human characteristic, we love to adorn ourselves. Some more than others, but we all have that innate need to stand out. And it saddens me that the stuff available to us is not beautifully made. Secondly, I have a soft spot for righteousness, social justice and feeling good about things being fair. And last but not least, I have a nagging growing guilt about the kind of world I’m leaving for my kid’s kids to deal with.

But in addition, this project is also a fundraiser. So far, I am so very grateful for the donations I’ve gotten in support of my cause. I truly believe that every little bit counts and no matter what I’m ahead of the game. That being said, I would love to take this effort to the end goal and raise the full amount I’m hoping for. $5000 is a lot of cash and it would go a long way in helping those that I’m hoping to help.

I am donating to the Masterpiece Campaign for my children’s school St. Joseph Elementary, because the sad reality is that we desperately need a new building. For years we’ve managed with the buildings the way they are (some of them around eighty years old), and have thrived in the knowledge that it is what’s inside that counts. Our teachers are great, our families are great and our community is great. I remind my children that we have so much to be grateful for and that an old building not the end of the world. Old is different than decrepit and unfortunately one of our buildings is close to being that. So after a very long process, we finally have a plan in place and the only thing left is to raise the money. No small feat eh? Great news is that we have more than half already, from very generous donors. But we need the rest and that’s where the little people like me come in. I don’t have lots to contribute. My family is modest and we have what we need, we make sacrifices to send our kids to this school and we are happy to do it, but we cannot offer large sums to this endeavor. What we can offer is our time and talents. This is why I’m doing this. I will offer some of my treasure, but I feel that giving out of our other means is just as important.

I recognize that in North America we have more than enough to go around. And that our problems are first world problems! Sometimes when I sit and whine about how I need another oil change on my car, I have to pull myself back a few notches and remember that I am lucky to have a vehicle that takes me from point A to B without effort. I think of the countless girls who carry water on their backs and walk miles every day just to have drinkable water available. Hence, when I was looking for another cause to donate to, I thought of children in a different part of the world who may also be struggling with their education needs. I thought of my friend Louise, because she’s worked with organizations in Haiti and I knew their schools needed help. That is why I’m donating to the institute there.

So I hope that you will help me spread the word and hopefully this venture will inspire many to donate and help me reach the goal I’ve set. Because like it’s been said throughout our campaign, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Thank you.