Gifts that Give Back: Macy’s Heart of Haiti And Rwanda Path to Peace

Disclosure: I am a member  of  the  Everywhere  Society  they  provided  me  with  these products  for  review.  All  thoughts  and opinions expressed are always my own.

The holiday season is a time for connecting with, and celebrating family. It’s a time for creating or sustaining holiday traditions. It’s also a time to give back and pay it forward. Between radio stations, churches and local communities, you can’t get far without being asked to assist with a toy drive, coat drive or food drive. It’s giving season. It’s a time where most spend quality time with their families, and that’s definitely the case with my own family.

Recently, my family and I sat down to hear and document our family history with my parents. We want to make sure we have the rich history to pass down to our children and our children’s children. With my husband and I being first generation Americans, we want to make sure our children grow up learning about, and loving their culture. My mother is originally from Rwanda but moved to Uganda at a young age where she met my father. My husband’s parents are from Haiti. So we try to find opportunities to teach them about where they come from. And we talk about the day we’ll be able to take a family trip to all three countries, that we can all experience together for the first time.

So this year, I’m so excited to learn more about gifts that give hope. And with Macy’s Heart of Haiti and Rwanda Path to Peace initiatives, that’s exactly what they offer. By providing a Fair Trade Collection, they are creating a way to eliminate and break the cycle of poverty in both Haiti and Rwanda.

Rwanda Path to Peace blog imageThrough the reconciliation project, thousands of weavers are employed who are locally organized throughout Rwanda. Each group consists of women from both sides of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide conflict. These women work together and build respectful relationships across the barriers that once seemed insurmountable. The Path to Peace project continues to give these women and communities hope, and provide economic empowerment. These artisans create beautiful, handwoven one-of-a-kind pieces, which allows them to support themselves and their families. Villages can now afford cleaner water and mosquito netting which has reduced the cases of malaria. Once too expensive, they can now also afford medial insurance for themselves and their families.

This beautiful handwoven basket was created by the artisans of Rwanda.

One thing  I love about the holidays is creating new traditions with our children. One of my favorite traditions is collecting Christmas tree ornaments from places we visit, and every year, we get the kids a personalized ornament. Each of them have one for every year since their first Christmas. So when they grow up to have families of their own, they’ll have a lifetime or ornaments and hopefully start the tradition with their own families. This paper mache swallow-tailed bird handcrafted in Haiti, is now a part of our family ornament collection. The great thing is that we can also remove the red bow and ribbon so we can display it as decoration throughout the year.

Heart of Haiti 2 blog image

Everyone can remember the devastation that the 2010 earthquake brought to the country and people of Haiti. But even despite the devastation, there was an artist community that existed and was eager to bring their product to market. After visiting Haiti shortly after the earthquake, Macy’s launched the product online and in stores. To date, over 500 artisans have been employed, benefitting 3,000 members of their extended family (the average annual income among Haitians is $400 per month). Macy’s has paved the way in helping to rebuild this important sector of a fragile economy.

Heart of Haiti ornament 2

Thanks to Macy’s Heart of Haiti and Rwanda Path to Peace, these artisans now have sustainable income. These initiatives are incredible and so is the work that these artisans do. So the next time you’re looking for beautiful home decor, please consider purchasing from Macy’s gifts that give hope selection.

Heart of Haiti can be found and followed on social media at @HeartofHaiti on Twitter and on Facebook.  For additional information about how Heart of Haiti is helping the community, click here.

Have you found ways to purchase gifts that give back this holiday season? What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

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  • Drea Renee
    December 18, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Great way to give back! I feel like we've all forgotten about Haiti and the struggles there. Thanks for this reminder 🙂

  • Drea Renee
    December 18, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    …and I’m a Macy*s loyal customer so this is great!
    Drea Renee would like you to check out…Holidays Are Here Again + Giveaway!My Profile

  • Christine St.Vil
    December 19, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    Thanks so much Drea, and I definitely agree. I'm really excited about the work that Macy's is doing.

  • Nicole Brewer
    December 19, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    This is absolutely great! I'm all about giving back when I can as someone who studied humanitarian action this year. Thanks for sharing these initiatives!

    • Christine St.Vil
      December 21, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      Me too Nicole, thanks for stopping by and sharing these initiatives. That is so awesome that you got to study humanitarian action 🙂

  • Rachée Fagg
    December 19, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    This is such a great way to give back. I agree with Drea; Haiti has fallen off of my screens and radars this is a terrific reminder.

    • Christine St.Vil
      December 21, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      With so much going on, you’re definitely not alone Rachee! I’m just glad that companies like Haiti have continue to support these artisans and the country of Haiti as a whole.

  • Thriftanista in the City
    December 19, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Such beautiful workmanship. Great cause too. I will have to look out for the collection.
    Thriftanista in the City would like you to check out…Stay Connected This Holiday Season with Lowest Priced Unlimited PlansMy Profile

  • Kara (Kay's Ways)
    December 20, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    I love giving back, especially during the holidays so I am digging this concept from Macy’s. We also get a new ornament for the kids to grow up with yearly and this one is too cute!
    Kara (Kay’s Ways) would like you to check out…Limited Edition Makeup by One Direction Beauty Collection ReviewMy Profile

  • MJ
    December 20, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Why have I never heard of Rwanda Path To Peace? I will have to get into this initiative. As for Heart of Haiti, I feel so connected to this. I have close friends from Haiti who have started businesses and bought production of their products to Haiti to help their countrymen. So inspiring. Thanks for sharing your connection.

  • Kim
    December 23, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Thanks for highlighting the need of two great organizations! Planning my end of year giving and will be dong some research.
    Kim would like you to check out…Hope For ChristmasMy Profile

    • Christine St.Vil
      December 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      That’s awesome Kim! Thanks so much for stopping by and looking into these amazing organizations!

  • Moms 'N Charge 2015 Resolution: Take Less. Give More #DeedADay - Moms 'N Charge
    December 26, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    […] this work in Uganda, India, Indonesia, Zambia, South Africa, Rwanda, and Haiti. Like the Heart of Haiti and Path to Peace intiatives, this project gives women a way to support their families through earnings. In […]

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