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The Blessing Basket Project

15 Aug

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.
Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”  ~Scott Adams

A tough situation can either lift a person up or break them down.  The founder of today’s organization had some rough times in her life, but she did not let them bring her down.  In fact, she found blessings in the kindness of others and turned that into a ripple of kindness that has become The Blessing Basket Project. 

The Blessing Basket Project Logo

The Blessing Basket Project works to reduce poverty in developing countries by paying Prosperity Wages® for products created by artisans in those countries. The unique financial model they have implemented allows the artisan to earn significantly higher than fair trade wages for a given period of time.  This creates a cycle of entrepreneur driven growth resulting in permanent financial independence for the artisan. 

The Blessing Basket Project was founded by Theresa Wilson.  She considers herself an ordinary person, who decided to ripple kindness out to ensure that good things really can come from a bad situation.  Theresa was born with fetal alcohol syndrome to an imprisoned mother and went through childhood only knowing a life of abuse and deprivation.  She was taken into state custody then grew up to get married and have two children.  Then after 13 years of marriage, her husband left her for another woman.  It was at this time that the acts of kindness started to pour in.  Groceries would appear on their doorstep, cash would arrive in the mail, and the lawn would get mowed while Theresa was at work.  Theresa kept each note, card, and picture in a basket as a visual reminder that she and her children were loved and life goes on.  By early 2000 Theresa began speaking at women’s organizations about overcoming trial using her “Blessing Basket” as a prop.  Women began requesting their own blessing basket and Theresa started selling them.  In 2004, this evolved into the Blessing Basket Project when Theresa started paying the basket artisans directly to help lift them out of poverty.  You can read a more detailed version of Theresa’s story here.

Since the start of The Blessing Basket Project, they have paid over $2,000,000 USD directly into the hands of artisans.  They work with approximately 1,500 weavers across the six countries of Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda.  They do not plan any expansion until at least 80% of their original weavers have achieved permanent financial independence from the project or sales allow expansion without impacting any of the current artisans.

How can you help?

  • If you live near their St Louis, Missouri location, you can volunteer to assist in the warehouse, prep baskets to be sold, or assist with special project in their office.
  • Monetary donations can be made through The Blessing Basket website.  All donations will go directly to the project of your choice, including general operations, travel, education, or more. 
  • You can also shop their online store or find retail locations to purchase baskets, bags, and other products. 
  • You could also host your own Seeds of Blessing party to view and purchase baskets or become a Seeds of Blessing consultant.  Learn more about Seeds of Blessing at www.seedsofblessing.com.

You can learn more about The Blessing Basket Project on their website, blessingbasket.org.  You can also connect with them on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Related post: Bead for Life

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1 Comment

Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Nonprofit Organization

 

Tags: , , , , ,

One response to “The Blessing Basket Project

  1. Payton Estepp

    September 7, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Great blog.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

     

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