Make a Difference with Eye Heart World (+ a Giveaway!)

Today I want to talk to you about a tremendously important subject matter. My dear friend Natalie volunteers at Eye Heart World, an organization that works to overcome domestic human trafficking. I want to share about what they are doing and how you can be empowered to make a tangible difference, too. And I want to offer you a giveaway in partnership with Eye Heart World! See more about the giveaway at the bottom of this post. 

I hope you will read this post until the end and take a moment to check out the amazing initiatives put forth by Eye Heart World. So many of you lent your support during our Christmastime City of Refuge hygiene kit campaign and we saw our goal for that drive exceeded! My hope is that we can all join our efforts once again and lend our resources to this incredible initiative.


Each and every one of us has probably heard the staggering statistics about sex trafficking. It's referred to as "modern day slavery", yet most of us drive to and from Target and Chick-fil-A everyday without seeing people working in the fields along the highway. It's tough to conjure up the reality of how these modern day slaves live and breathe and exist.

But they do exist.

What is it?

The truth is, this form of slavery takes place closer to home than I thought. It's not just happening in the far-stretching regions of Eastern Europe - it's an illegal activity that's been reported in every state in the U.S. If you're unfamiliar with what exactly it is, human trafficking is transaction of buying and selling people for sexual exploitation. Usually these people being sold are children, recruited into a system of forced prostitution between the ages of 12-14. 70% of these underaged victims have been or are still a part of the foster care system. The average price of a transaction is $90 for a service, and the child performing the service is sold up to a dozen times per night.

It's a horror.

Awareness, Prevention, Aftercare.

Eye Heart World is an organization out of Wisconsin and Alabama that is passionate about making a difference. My dear friend Natalie volunteers with the organization and reached out to me about all the work they are doing to make a change. I am so proud of her heart and efforts and I feel honored to share about the initiatives of Awareness, Prevention and Aftercare that Eye Heart World is doing to champion the epidemic of trafficking.

Awareness is provided through targeted training to health care providers, social service providers, and public servants, teaching them what to look for and how to respond when they encounter a victim, while also providing the community with awareness resources.

Prevention is done through The Heart Tour, a one-day event engaging young girls who are at risk for trafficking. Each event provides targeted education, tips for staying safe and focuses on affirming an individual’s worth and value. Through partnerships with youth mentorship programs, each attendee is sponsored to attend the event and receives the guidance necessary to become strong women in their communities.

Aftercare is provided at The Rose Home in Green Bay, Wisconsin and The Rose Center in Mobile, Alabama. These centers provide drop-in and residential aftercare by offering on-going individual and group therapy, life skills courses and workforce preparation. These centers serve as a bridge between the life of trafficking and the long-term care needed to live an empowered life.


How to Make a Difference?

When people like you and me hear the statistics, it's easy to feel small and unable to do something to actually help the situation. I'm just a mom that works from home everyday - how can I possible help? Eye Heart World has a way for people like you and me to give and shop to make a difference. They offer a small product line that funds a part of the overall operating budget to make the Awareness, Prevention and Aftercare initiatives happen. And each of the products is stamped with the Eye Heart World logo and the "Carry The Cause" slogan leather patch, as well as the signature orange rose medallion.

If you feel so inclined, even a small donation makes an impact. And stocking up on gifts from the shop is a great way to support the cause and continue to spread the word about how others can make an impact, too.



Carrying the Harriet Tote

Eye Heart World sent me this Harriet Tote to photograph and share about. Named after Harriet Tubman, this cream tote bag is made of durable-quality canvas here in the U.S. Perfect for practically any activity, I've used this tote for everything from grocery shopping to hitting the gym to picnicking in the park. It's super versatile and durable enough to withstand a weighty amount of wear and tear. Inside the tote, four lines of printed text serve as a reminder of the impact of the purchase made every time you pick it up. You can learn more about the story of this bag here. The impact of this purchase sponsors aftercare resources for a victim of trafficking on her journey to healing and independent living. I'm giving away one of these incredible Harriet totes over here on my Instagram, hop over for your chance to win one for yourself!


Thanks for reading this post and checking out the work of Eye Heart World!

The fastest weekend in Mobile, Alabama!

We spent the quickest, most refreshing weekend in Mobile, Alabama! My bff Natalie and her husband Darin operate a Chick-fil-A there (if you live in Mobile, go see them! 3244 Dauphin Street!), and I really wanted to visit and see her life there. We have grown up together and remained close since we were 12 years old. She's one of my oldest friends and the dearest kind of soul - she listens so well and keeps an incredibly open mind about things, which is something that is a rare treasure in a friend. She always gives a balanced opinion and sound advice, and has been a steadfast friend through the ups and downs that the years have brought. Over the past year, I think I had more surprise Amazon deliveries from her than I ordered for my own family - because she knows that gifts are my love language. What a thoughtful, generous, loyal gem of friend she is. And I'm not an idiot; if you have a friend this good, you hold onto her for dear life! I am grateful grateful grateful for her sweet self.

Everett fell head over heels for Miss Natalie when he was a baby. He always looked at her with these big puppy eyes and would actually stop crying when she was near him (which is more than I can say about myself - oh, the years of crying Everett...) So he was super amped to visit her. He loved her cats.

We had grand plans to explore Mobile over the course of the weekend, perhaps even trekking over to the blessed town of Fairhope (a southern treasure, and most certainly worth the drive if you ever get the chance!), but it ended up pouring rain the whole weekend. Which you know what? Was kind of wonderful. Her home is on the water and is the kind of place that has that dreamy, lived-in, warm southern charm. A brick archway, woven rugs, distressed furniture and carefully chosen antiques - her home should be photographed! It's truly a wonder. I loved curling up on her soft couch and clutching my coffee cup and listening to the rain fall while catching up on everything going on in her heart. Our husbands wrangled my children (and a few cats) while they played ping pong and talked dude things.

I am usually a hard-core traveler, eager to see (and eat) as much as possible that is local and charming. But this was a different trip, a time to revel in the goodness of a well-worn friendship and feel at home with the heart of my dear girl.

I will say that when the sun came out for a few hours, we had the chance to wander through the famed Charles Phillips Antiques, a local dealer that imports his goods from all over Europe. It was mesmerizing, being taken back in time and surrounded by thousands of flourished french doors and heavy steamer trunks, cases of glass bottles and stacks of letters from World War II. Every item is steeped in history, emanating stories from a past age. It was rather intimate, rifling through someone else's jewelry boxes, torn recipes, tool bins and office supplies. I was overwhelmed by the experience, and found myself tearing up as we walked to our car to leave. I couldn't even buy anything, I didn't know how to choose. It's definitely the kind of place that you want to visit if you're furnishing a house. But bring a trailer on the back of your car, this stuff is amazing.

I'm feeling more and more like myself everyday. My postpartum experience this time around has really challenged me, and I am grateful that people like Natalie have been patient with me as I've come back to myself. Spending such a rich time with this girl who is truly family to me made my heart happy. It's a rare thing, to have a friend this good. If you're reading this and one of your dear girlfriends comes to mind today, send her a text or a quick letter in the mail! Who doesn't love hearing from their dear old friend, just for the heck of it? Lots of love to all of you today, friends! xox

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Unfortunately my romper is sold out and my kimono is past season, but I linked to a few similar styles :)