Follow the journey of a Gift of Hope

December 18, 2019

You aren’t always able to see behind the curtain. But you’re the pathfinder in all this, so let’s take a journey together and see the process and impact of your Gift of Hope.

For every action, there’s a reaction. Everything we do has a consequence. Each decision we make will somehow affect someone else. Even the words we choose in everyday conversations influence those around us.

And every purchase we make — from clothes to coffee to furniture — is part of a bigger picture. Invisible supply chains stretch far back from each product we take home, telling a story that we’re now a part of. Who knows how many people helped it reach the store shelf. What we choose to purchase is important, because it’s one tangible way we have influence on the world. So we have to choose wisely. 

When you buy a Gift of Hope, you set a lot of things into motion. You may not see it, but a whole chain of events is kicked off, activating people and projects in different parts of the world. 

But to really see how it works, let’s go behind the scenes. Spoiler alert: it’s pretty amazing.

Let’s say you decide on a sewing machine, which girls in Zambia will use to create reusable, washable menstrual pads. You make your donation, and your part is done. It just took a few minutes. But the journey of your gift has just begun.

Your order is off to our friends in the Zambia office. They’ve sourced the equipment from a local manufacturer, likely in the capital city of Lusaka. Once assembled and packaged, your sewing machine is loaded into a truck, and it’s out for delivery.

Leaving the bustling city streets, the truck traverses miles and miles of Zambian roads, the pavement eventually turning into red dirt. It rumbles over rocks and kicks up dust in its wake. It’s a bumpy ride, and can be an unpredictable one. But your sewing machine is safely tucked away.

When it finally arrives at its destination, our project team is eagerly waiting for it. A teenage girl watches as it’s unloaded from the truck and carried into the community center, her eyes brimming with excitement.

A world away from where you sat when you selected it, the sewing machine is about to create real change for her and her community. 

Adolescence is tricky enough on its own, but in communities like this one in rural Zambia, it’s especially tough for girls. Their periods become a monthly reminder of how unfair life can be. Many can’t afford to buy pads or don’t have access to them, so they use rags. But rags aren’t enough.

Uncomfortable and embarrassed, they skip school. Missing a few days every month adds up, and many of them fall behind, never to recover.

But now imagine the room where your sewing machine sits. It might be bare bones, but it’s full of energy. Can you hear the sewing machine buzzing? The girl and her friends are now entrepreneurs. Finished products are stacking up on the table. They’re almost ready to carry them to the market, where other girls in their community will buy them at an affordable price. They’re proud of their hard work, having learned how to sew and start their own business all within a few months. They’re about to start earning an income on their own. Maybe they’re thinking there’s nothing they can’t do now.

And it’s all thanks to you — someone they’ve never met, who one day picked out a sewing machine from a catalog.

Every day, we have the power to do something great, if we choose to. We can make someone’s day or change someone’s life. It could be the person next to us, down the street, or on the other side of the world. We just have to choose to do it.