I have put my love into this, and felt the Same Sky story and the stories of the artisans very deeply in my heart. I care about these women and my heart aches to somehow do more. I care so much, and feel so strongly for all the work that you are doing to uplift, to give hope, to rebuild lives, to remind people of empathy and kindness, to inspire people to make decisions that create a more soulful economy, and to give women a second chance. It means the world to me to be part of Same Sky.
My life has changed since I first placed my SAME SKY bracelet on my left wrist! Recently I had the immense privilege of buying my first SAME SKY woven bead bracelet in onyx. Was that my only one? No way. I had five and gave away four - I feel that I a moving SAME SKY love forward with each bracelet I place on someone's wrist. From the moment I placed the beautiful bracelet on my left wrist, I felt emotionally and spiritually elevated .... I felt close to the women who used their beautiful fingers to weave together the elegant glass beads in a woven circle of love and courage and beauty. I felt transformed - strong - full of inner self-esteem. And that feeling stays with me always. And six months later I wear my SAME SKY bracelet every day - everywhere I go. And there is not a day that goes by where someone asks - "Where did you get that beautiful bracelet!" - And I tell them with pride and joy. "That is my SAME SKY circle of love. And then I tell all to go to the SAME SKY website. I will someday go to Rwanda. I want to meet the wonderfully talented women and hug each one of them. For their ability to teach ME to be strong and have courage to overcome what life brings me. Yes, all that in my SAME SKY bracelet. I give them as gifts. My life has truly been forever transformed.
I try to always wear my SAME SKY Jewelry when I am speaking at a conference. Given the topic is almost always "how can we use our resources in greater alignment with a vision for a more gender balanced world?" I can point to what I am wearing as a wonderful example. Conscious consumerism or consumerism with a conscious is one of the most underutilized tools for social change.
Just 10 days ago, November 4th, I saw two patients, the Andolinos, from Rochester, NY who were referred by their son, who is also one of my patients. Even before they saw my bracelet, they mentioned that their son was being honored for his work in Africa that evening. They were so amazed when they saw my bracelet and learned of SAME SKY. We sure are under the SAME SKY for I learned from his parents that my patient is the co-Founder of Kagano, a non-profit international community development organization, with 2 projects in Kenya and one in Rwanda. The two elderly Andolinos were so excited about my connection with the women of Rwanda and the pleasure I derive as one of the Ambassadors for SAME SKY. They were planning to mention it to their son that evening before they return to Rochester, NY. You may already know that the name Kagano translates to: "A PLACE OF HOPE" and that Kagano has transformed life in the remote Banda Village of Rwanda. Still, what makes SAME SKY so special and unique is the "hands up" approach you created, giving the women not only help and hope, but giving them purpose in life (work) and a sense of pride and independence ... a future. It seems that the wonderful energy I feel from the bracelets add another dimension to my work with patients, even more so with the Andolino family.
On the October 29th, 2013 my mum turned 100. It was the most extravagant celebration and biggest milestone of her life and family in Brisbane! I wanted to incorporate SAME SKY into the theming of this amazing event. We thought a woman who was born 100 years ago has reached a journey of women empowerment... Mum lived in a village in Castiglione in Sicily and in her early 40's came with her family to Australia. Her life changed for her and all of us. Her youngest daughter, me, yearned for financial independence + freedom and I didn't want it through security of marriage. I became more than I could ever have imagined --- running a multi-million dollar business in education, training and job creation on a global scale! A beautiful mannequin was purchased to place in the most prominent area where guests signed the guest book: we wanted to celebrate SAME SKY too, for mum had reached a destiny of time. Mum at 100 was representing women all over the world to badge SAME SKY in our hearts and souls --- empowering women is the greatest gift of all. Congratulations to Francine Lefrak, Founder of SAME SKY, as she has inspired me to create greatness so that we can keep making a difference in the world!
Ladies, I gave my mom one of the glass bracelets for Mothers day and told her the story behind it, like how they are made in Rwanda and why. She cried and it was a special moment between a mom and daughter. She told me she is going to wear it often and hopes many will ask her about it so she can pass on the story.
Wanda Ferguson Steele:
I saw the Inside Edition episode showing the story on SAME SKY. While it was playing I grabbed the iPad and got on the website and ordered 2 bracelets. I support a few other organizations and I have never been so proud as I am for doing this. I hope these women know how much we look up to them. God bless all of you and all of the people involved. I wish I could hug all of you. After taking another look today on the website I am already thinking of ordering another bracelet.
Lara J. Warner:
I have so many stories as i give so many of my bracelets away when people admire them. Recently I was on a flight and the flight attendant was telling us what a challenging day she had experienced including the plane being struck by lightning on the way to New York. She then admired the bracelets and I took the opportunity to explain the origin of SAME SKY and gave her the bracelet off my arm. She was so grateful she brought the other flight attendant over and we repeated it all again. Lightning does strike twice!! I also give the bracelets out to the senior women at Credit Suisse as a symbol of solidarity and the movement SAME SKY represents. It is a great sight to see and sound to hear when I enter meetings and several women raise their arms to show me their bracelets and the beautiful sound that makes.
Finally, my 15 year old daughter has started to steal the bracelets out of my drawer so I gave her and her cousin of the same age their own bracelets. They love what SAME SKY represents and are now spreading the word to their friends. Here come the next generation of SAME SKY ambassadors.
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