A Letter and Update from our Founder and US Director, Diane Nesselhuf
Tuesday is Giving Tuesday Now. I wanted to write a note, but I didn’t want to just ask for a donation. I wanted it to be meaningful to all of the people who have been so generous.
I have heard the expression, what goes around comes around. I wasn’t always sure what that meant. Sometimes I have seen it in negative terms. I now see it very positively with Sharing the Dream.
Many of you have given donations and bought items from our online store. Does it make a difference? How does it come around?
I saw that happen last week. Because of your giving and buying, we have money to buy artisan products so that the artisans can buy food and feed their families. Seven of the artisans groups we work with have benefited. Who are these people?
We ordered fabric from a foot loom group high up in the mountains of Guatemala. This group is one of the poorest groups we work with in Guatemala. We will be using this fabric for newly designed kitchen items. Who will sew these products? A group of sewers we work with in Chichicastenago.
We ordered baskets from two different groups; the pine needle baskets will come from a group in the mountains called Adelanto. Our volunteer in Guatemala, Oonagh, is working with this group to design beautiful baskets with thread in them. You can see some of these baskets online, and new designs will be coming soon. We are giving orders to two of the back strap weaving groups to make matching table runners. These will be beautiful. We also ordered fabric and scarves from these groups.
The second basket group is in the jungle. It is called Amasaja and is a group of over 50 women in two villages in Chiquimula. They use palm and coconut leaves to weave baskets. We gave them a large order, too.
We ordered ceramic mugs from a group that is around Lake Atitlan. They gave us samples of new designs and we ordered over 50 mugs. This will help them to survive.
We gave a big order to the Sharing the Dream bead group for jewelry. They were lacking orders and had been working on new designs. The eight workers will be filling this order from their homes.
It takes a lot of work to coordinate all these activities while still making sure that the elders are getting food and hygiene supplies and our scholarship students are being tutored. That is where the staff in Guatemala comes in. Your donations help us to continue to pay their salaries so that they can keep doing good work and help their families and the hundreds of families that we work with to sustain themselves.
So what goes around comes around. You have donated or bought products. That money is used to order items from our artisan groups. When we receive these products, we will sell them and have more money to continue to buy more products. You are not giving a one-time gift. Your gift multiplies over and over.
We have many other groups in Guatemala we want to order from right now and who need the orders. With your support we will be able to do this.
These times can be the worst of times or the best of times. It is how we look at it. I hope there is a silver lining for each and every one of you. Stay healthy, practice social distancing and if you are out, please wear a mask.
Sharing the Dream in Guatemala
Sharing the Dream in Guatemala
Diane Nesselhuf is Sharing the Dream in Guatemala's director and founder.