What difference does it really make?

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve seen my photo albums.  You’ve read my posts.  You’ve been invited to my Jewelry Party.  If you live here locally you might have seen me at the local craft fair this weekend.  If you read this blog, you’ve read about Leo.

And maybe you smiled at the story.  Maybe you glanced at the pictures of the jewelry.  Maybe you’ve gotten a little annoyed at your Facebook page filling up with things “for sale”.  After all – ‘what difference does it make’ you might have thought.

Through tear-filled eyes, I just read what a difference it can make, and wanted to share….

Someone came to the gate yesterday and wanted to see me.  She needed some advice on a problem she was having.  She has 5 children.  Four of them are currently living with her.  The two older children are on the school sponsorship program.  The two younger children are in school but got kicked out of school this week because they could not pay their bill.  The mother was very discouraged and told a few of her neighbors about it.  That afternoon someone came to her house and told her that she could put her kids in an orphanage.  She told me many other promises that were told to her if she would give them up for adoption.  She was thinking about it and wondering what the best choice would be for her kids. She wanted to know my thought and if there was anything RHFH could do to help her.   I asked her why she would consider putting her children in an orphanage to be adopted.  She said that she cannot feed them a plate of food each day.  They cry and are hungry.  She cannot pay for their school.  She cannot buy their uniforms or books.  She lives in a stick house that is falling apart.   All these things she could not do for her children were promised by the orphanage.  I asked how she really felt in her heart.  “I would rather know that my kids had a plate of food to eat each day and get an education than to hear them crying.” was her response. (http://haitirescuecenter.wordpress.com/)

This was written by someone at Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Center.  This situation is very typical of what the average mom or dad living in Haiti faces.  While it’s easy to shake our head and think, “tsk tsk – shouldn’t have so many children”, or “tsk tsk – get a job”, I don’t think we understand how challenging and complex life is.  Have you ever even considered placing your child for adoption because you haven’t been able to feed them ANYTHING for a day, two days, maybe three?  None of us have. So, that brings me to the title of this post.  What difference does it really make?  What difference does it make whether I buy my sister something from Walmart, or an Apparent Project bracelet from Haiti?

That mom described above is just like the artisans who make these bracelets and necklaces I’m selling.  Except they’re not exactly the same – the artisans have serious hope.  They have an income.  They have a job.  The necklace you buy from him/her feeds their family for a week.  An entire week.

Redefining our Christmas celebrations doesn’t have to be about going the “no present” route.  It can become, instead, about giving life, health, and hope in the process of buying beautiful, meaningful gifts for loved ones.  So what differences does it make?  Well, it could be the difference between life and death.