Since our inception, we have taken pride in being an all-volunteer organization, with 100% of the net proceeds from sales of our products and donations going directly to the artisans in our programs in rural Kenya.
Every one of your purchases, whether it be products made by our artisans in Kenya, or one of our numerous pop-up shops, helped us in supporting our mission of improving the lives of women and girls in disadvantaged communities through education and job skills training.
So far, we’ve been able to support all our artisans through sales of products and monetary donations from our customers and supporters. We are forever grateful for the wonderful privilege to work with our artisans and help guide them on their journey to independence.
When COVID-19 arrived we had to close our shop in Hopewell for 3 months. The trade shows, conferences and events where we usually sell our products were canceled. Online orders came to a halt, as understandably, the future is uncertain.
Now that the confinement restrictions in Kenya are slowly being lifted, our seamstresses have returned to our workshops and are busy sewing products in order to support themselves and their families.
The only catch is that much of our inventory still remains in Kenya. In order to fulfill the demand, we need to bring their products to the US. Due to COVID-19, our usual network of volunteer-travelers to and from Kenya has been reduced to zero. It is unclear when travel might resume. Our attempts at shipping through the Kenyan Postal service has proven to be unreliable with packages deemed ‘lost in transit’. DHL shipping is reliable for small shipments but larger shipments are extraordinarily expensive.
The least expensive option for us to move product from Kenya to the US is through a freight-forwarder or a commercial shipper. The economy-of-scale brings the cost of shipping down significantly, which will enable us to sell more product and open up the bulk, wholesale markets to us.
Hence, we have generated this fundraising campaign with the goal to raise money as fast as we can in order to bring at least some of the inventory to US with the help of a commercial shipper. The success of this one campaign will be a huge catalyst for our operation and will ultimately allow us to help more women become skilled, empowered, and active members of their local economy – women who become independent from outside assistance and self reliant – as has always been the goal for our programs.
Thank you for considering donating to our campaign, sharing with your friends and helping us to continue to support some of the most vulnerable women and girls in Kenya through this pandemic and beyond.
While we are all facing significant challenges today, we are so inspired and encouraged by the strength in our community. We can’t do what we do without your patronage. Thank you for your ongoing support, and making a meaningful and long lasting difference in the lives of so many.
Giving up on our participants is not an option for us, and we hope that with your help we can continue provide support to them and even slowly grow our operations and invite more girls and women to join our programs. We are very much hopeful in the bright future and we thank you for your support. Asanteni sana sana. (“Thank you all very much” in Swahili)
- our GoFundMe campaign (https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/help-us-ship-products-from-kenya)
- a check (dropped off at our shop at 16 Seminary Ave. or mailed to Seeds to Sew, PO BOX 22, Hopewell, NJ 08525)
- direct bank transfer – contact us at [email protected] if you would like to get instructions
With love and gratitude,
The Seeds to Sew team