This woman gets up at 4 am to build a fire. The fire begins with her wandering around outside her squatters hut looking for kindling. Several minutes later she has succeeded and is nurturing the flames to life. A pot, blackened from soot is placed over a makeshift grated frame. She fills this pot with water from an old used bleach bottle. By 5 am the water begins to boil. Chickens in the surrounding area begin to cackle and roosters begin to crow. Then the street noises echo through the small alleyways. Her village is awakening to a new day. Six children ranging from 10-3 stumble across the dirt floor in ragged t-shirts. They are hungry. The seventh child has been held at her hip throughout the fire-making ordeal, avidly taking insights of the surrounding colors and shapes as her mom wandered to gather wood.
The mom places a few cups of rice in the now boiling water, mixing in a tablespoon of dry milk to add nutrition. The children race around, splashing water on their hands, arms, and faces. Smoothing down slept-tossed hair. Putting school uniforms on in place of the ragged t-shirts.
By 6 am the rice and children are already in one fell swoop - warm rice is quickly spooned into six mouths with fingers well-rehearsed in the routine.
Finishing they quickly grab bags and race off down the dirt road for the 2km walk to school.
Mom (with baby still on hip) reaches for the small plastic container of jewelry making supplies. The baby is placed in a hammock style swing for her morning nap. Mom pulls out a small hand towel over her lap and, sitting in a plastic patio chair she opens the plastic tool container and begins to hand knot a round white strand of pearls. She doesn’t know who will wear the necklace. She doesn’t know what address the necklace will arrive to. She doesn’t even know if it has been sold.
All she knows is that it has been ordered and by making this necklace today, her children eat rice and go to school tomorrow. All she knows is she is home with her baby. All she knows is her children will have education rather than be out on the streets begging. All she knows is this necklace equals freedom for her and her family.
Another day in the Philippines has begun.
Meanwhile, 8,200 miles away, another woman awakens to an alarm and quickly showers, getting ready for the day. She too prepares breakfast for her sleepy-headed children who slowly stumble down the stairs in a myriad of protests about the upcoming responsibilities of the day. She flips the pancakes, scrambles the eggs, and turns over the bacon.
The kids clamor to the table arguing amongst each other- this mom is late for a conference call- she’s a single mom and works from home to save on daycare.
Seeing the time race by- she quickly calls a neighbor to come and take the kids to school so she can get on her conference call. She needs this job. The neighbor agrees, she sends the children quickly out the door. This mom races upstairs, placers baby in the crib- trips over some toys, and quickly connects to her conference call.
And lastly, a woman’s daughter is getting married- last-minute preparations are underway. She opens her top drawer to look once again at the beautiful knotted pearl necklace that arrived a few days earlier. She unfolds the card and rereads the story of the artisan who created it. Feeling her plight. Loving the photo and thank you card. Wishing there were more she could do, yet ever grateful to be able to purchase a product simply and beautifully made with such a purposeful impact on a woman she most likely will never meet, but who will make her daughter's wedding day even more memorable.
Each of these synopsis represents a beautiful enduring cycle. The cycle of support.
Google defines support as “bearing all or part of the weight of; holding up; to give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act”.
Each woman, in her own way, is bearing the weight of herself, one another, and those she has steward over. They are willingly seeking ways to be supportive, to hold up, to give assistance.
We are honored to work with the artisan moms mentioned in the first story and honored to interact, meet, and share their beautiful products with the women in the other stories. That is how the support cycle continues.
Purchasing a beautiful hand-stitched Wristlet from India for $15
to an elegantly round 36” strand hand-knotted pearl
necklace from the Philippines for $200 and anything in- between you will feel good knowing you offered assistance to a woman 8,200 miles away. Women support. Women uplift. Women sustain. Women nurture. Women willingly seek ways to hold up and give assistance.
Honor the women in your life this Mother’s Day with gifts handcrafted by mothers across the world. Mothers striving diligently to feed and support their families during this worldwide pandemic.
For all the Mothers in our lives who have held up, given assistance, and supported us, Pearls With Purpose says, “THANK YOU”
. Moms are the ones true north in our lives, they are open arms during the storms of life. They are shoulders to cry on and cheers to celebrate with. Moms move mountains for us and help us dig our way out of deep holes. And now more than ever, women everywhere need our support.
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to ALL the women out there who diligently strive to support others!