Since February 2011, I have had the overwhelming privilege to be part of WOW – Women for Oppressed Women. Not only have I been able to participate in four purse parties, three OpportuniTeas and countless other endeavors on behalf of the poor and oppressed, but I also have enjoyed writing about much of WOW’s mission.
Yet, a part of me wanted to do more.
- I saw Mozambican women hand-knitting purses and sewing clothes to provide for their children, despite all of their other responsibilities.
- I watched a sister’s love of sewing and passion for journaling ignite a fundraising spark that has attracted additional sewers and has been fanned into an inferno of support for the oppressed in Asia and now Greater Akron.
- I witnessed teen and adolescent girls organize pizza and bake sales to provide a safe haven for victims of human trafficking.
- And I saw much, much more.
I wondered what I could do, but I struggled for an answer.
That answer was right under my nose – literally. In the form of lipstick...and other cosmetics.
You see, for years Mary Kay has not only been my skin care product of choice, but it also has been a part-time business. Throughout my years in WOW, however, it had become very part-time. I jokingly called myself a “stealth” consultant, flying under the radar. I just couldn’t figure out why I should work on it when there were so many other important activities to pursue – like raising awareness and funds for the poor and oppressed around the globe.
The Chapel’s mission to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico changed my perspective.
Last spring, I heard about the Mayan women of the Yucatan’s hand-woven hammocks. I discovered that they weave these hammocks and sell them at market to provide for their families. Store owners pay them pennies on the dollar, though, leaving them little profit. I asked if WOW could purchase several of these hammocks and re-sell them in the United States. We call these unique creations Hand-Up Hammocks, and we launched their sales through a family hiking event in September. People caught the vision, and our first round of hammock sales took off quickly. With each sale, I could not get the Mayan women’s enterprising efforts out of my mind. That’s when I realized why I should work harder on my Mary Kay business. Through Mary Kay sales, I could match the Mayan women’s hammock sales dollar for dollar. And so, last Sunday, November 12, I launched “Mary Kay for the Mayan Women of Mexico.”
Through October 31, 2018, I am pledging to donate all of my profit from each Mary Kay product I sell to current customers or individuals who do not have a Mary Kay consultant. All of these proceeds will go to the seed fund for the Mayan women of Mexico. My goal is to raise at least $3200 (the equivalent of WOW’s Hand-Up Hammock sales) by the end of October. The Chapel’s ministry partner in the Yucatan has determined that the best way to help the Mayan people is to provide their villages with clean water. Therefore, WOW is focusing all of our efforts in 2018 on providing water stations to eight villages. What a joy it is to personally support those efforts!
I am so inspired by the enterprising women of WOW, as well as the other industrious souls I have met in Greater Akron and around the globe. I am certain there are even more entrepreneurial women reading this article. How might you join the business of blessing and utilize your skills to serve the poor and oppressed? I pray that you will discover new inspiration and that, as we submit to our Savior, Jesus Christ, all of our motives will be as pure as the water WOW desires to provide to the Yucatan Peninsula.
-- Linda Maynard © November 2017