Heart of Haiti: A Win-Win For All

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If you had the opportunity to buy someone a unique Christmas gift and help a Haitian earthquake victim at the same time, would you do it? Many of us struggle to find unique, quality, memorable Christmas gifts. We also struggle to find bite-size, manageable ways to help others. The department store Macy's, in partnership with Fairwinds Trading and Brand-Aid, is providing a solution to both those problems. It's called the Heart of Haiti collection.

If you were that earthquake victim, would you prefer to receive help getting back on your feet through a one-time handout or a job? The devastating earthquake of January 2010 made it virtually impossible for most Haitians to make a living. Raw materials have been wiped out, sanity and security conditions are lacking, and there is little funding to support economic relief. Through the Heart of Haiti project, Haitian artists make and sell artwork through Macy's stores and website. Doing so enables them to earn sustainable income, which helps them repair their homes, feed and clothe their families, pay school fees, and get their children healthcare.

Most products are for the home: quilts, metalwork, ceramics, paintings, vases, candleholders, serving trays, picture frames, mirrors, coasters, necklaces, clutch purses, and more. They are made from papier-mâché, recycled oil drums, wrought iron, stone, and more. "These one-of-a-kind crafts reflect a rich culture and history and the Haitians' unwavering drive to rebuild their lives in the face of tremendous adversity," says a Macy's representative on the project's website. The project has already led to the employment of over 450 Haitian artists and has provided benefits for an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people in the country, according to Britton Thompson, Digital Coordinator for Everywhere, the agency representing the campaign.

The best part? The items start at $10 and go on up from there. So buying a Heart of Haiti gift is a win-win: you get an awesome gift and a Haitian artist gets income to support his or her family. For more information, visit the project on Twitter or Facebook

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