Last week I had the honor and joy to attend an event in Washington DC that made my heart sing. It made my heart sing because not because I was getting out on the town, but because I was going to celebrate and support a cause and effort that I hold very close to my heart.
That effort is the Heart of Haiti.
I was introduced to Heart of Haiti earlier this year. It is a trade program whose mission and work touches me on every level. I bought several Heart pendant necklaces for Principessa’s teachers end of the year gifts last May.
Founded by Willa Shalit’s Fair Winds Trading, in partnership with Macy’s and in collaboration with the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Heart of Haiti offers opportunities for local artisans so use their craft, their art, and their skill, to help create positive change in their ravaged homeland. A homeland who experienced a 7.0 magnitude earthquake forever changing the landscape and lives of the people who lived on this Caribbean island.
The collection brings the spirit and creativity of the artists into handcrafted vases, picture frames, sculptures, bowls, and pendants. Artisans use income from the proceed of their sales to pay for their homes, school fees, and clothing for their families. Purchasing one of these works of art gives back to the artisan to directly support their family. These one of a kind masterpieces carry on the tradition of Haitian culture and history and help restore dignity and pride in local artisans and families.
We had the opportunity to meet one of the artisans, Pascale Faublas, who shared the story of her work, the heart of her fellow artisans, and the soul of the hands that individually craft each one of the pieces.
We had the opportunity to shop the collection and to taste delicious Haitian inspired foods. I may have even purchased a large quantity (as in, I could have used a basket to hold them all) of sun AND heart pendants, for more teachers and loved ones.
The event was truly a celebration of the work and spirit of the artisans. A celebration of a trade program that I can only hope will continue to bring positive change in the lives of many Haitian families.