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Julie_O

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1 reviews

Review for Pearls With a Purpose, Lehi, UT, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

With so many organizations doing so much good around the world it's hard to find the one to get behind. I found mine in 2012 after meeting Wendy Bird, the founder of Pearls with Purpose (PWP). Thi company's mission is to transform lives through self-reliance. Wendy and team train people in developing countries the art of jewelry making allowing them to have meaningful work in or near their own homes. After traveling with Wendy to Philippines and seeing the families that were being helped, I became a PWP warrior.

Being a small business owner my entire life I felt uncomfortable with handout assistance so often provided by organizations around the world. Other than for disaster relief and short term emergencies, I feel handouts create dependence. The women I met in the Philippines had gone from starving and feeling hopeless, their children begging daily for food, to women who felt empowered and valued, and were not only able to feed their children, but send them to school. Each person I met wanted nothing but to offer their love and gratitude.

The Pearls with Purpose organization is a social impact company, operating for and non-profit arms. Through the for-profit side, we sell jewelry made by formerly impoverished women, which gives the women jobs and runs that arm of the organization. In addition, profits support the foundation. PWP Foundation is a registered 501c3 that uses 100% of donations to open new co-ops, help with school expenses for children, and assist in disaster situations.

Sadly, disaster hit this year. For 20 years Lani Adalla has been working to lift herself and her family out of poverty. The tenacious leader of the Pearls with Purpose Philippines co-op, Lani, along with husband Chris and their son Markenzie, have carved out a comfortable life for themselves'even saving money to buy their own cinderblock home while putting away money for Markenzie to attend college. Ambitions, plans and dreams for both the family and the women they employ came to a halt on November 1st when their home and business was robbed. Everything from possessions of little street value to jewelry supplies, and the family's savings, was stolen. Grainy video surveillance provided by a neighbor with CCTV shows three men on two motorcycles entering their neighborhood, and seventeen minutes later departing with filled bags and large items balanced between knees and handle bars.

Heartbreakingly, this is not the first time the Adallas have lost all material possessions. In 2009 a typhoon destroyed everything they had, including the home they lived in. Two devastating losses for one family trying to beat the odds in a developing country. Currently the Adalla's are living in a one room home of a family member. Once again, rebuilding must begin.

We are doing all we can to raise the money needed to rebuild a new, safe home for our Philippines co-op. We've petitioned loyal supporters, customers, customers and family members. A team member donated her entiere October wage for the cause. Still we need help. I am hoping that Your Giving Story will become part of #MyGivingStory.

Role:  General Member of the Public