These are actual comments from party hosts and guests; A small sample of why this idea has caught on:
Susan Kirsch | Non-Profit Consultant | Mill Valley, CA
As a result of seeing an article in the newspaper, I attended my first Rising International party in the home of a stranger. I was so impressed. I knew right away I wanted to host a party for my friends. Now they, too, enjoy the beauty and quality of the products, but more importantly, they are touched by the poignancy of the stories and the chance to make a difference. Rising International is doing such valuable work, bringing an important message to people in this face-to-face; person-to-person way. If we’re to create peace on earth, it begins with each one of us helping our neighbors – and Rising offers an easy way for people to do just that.
Jennifer Shelby | Business and Career Coach | Santa Cruz , CA
Rising International is playing a critical role in uniting women across the world, and allowing us to actively participate in their independence. This is a great forum to become involved in women’s issues on a global level, and know that your donations are truly reaching those who need it most. Participating in organizations like Rising International gives us hope that we can achieve any cultural, religious or ethnic barrier, because it’s women helping women.
Joni Frailey | Business Owner | Bloomfield, New Mexico
I was invited to a Rising International party during the time I was caring for my sick mother. The party was a highpoint of my summer. The handcrafted creations came from small towns and villages all over the world. That night we were fortunate to have Rajib from Nepal, representing his village crafts. He told marvelous stories about families and how they create all the beautiful things we saw. Rising is bringing our world together in a personal, unique way.
Nancy Forsberg | Nutritional Consultant | Santa Cruz , CA
Hello Carmel, I have thought of you every single day since I met you your Rising party. I was profoundly impressed by your passion for helping, and it touched my place of wanting to help. I have had some very moving experiences with my tribal necklace. I stopped on the way home and bought a little S hook so I could wear it. The first impression I received was of joy. The sound with my every movement was light and joyful. Then I noticed how it expressed how I moved – how I walked as a woman. I had never paid attention to this before. The sounds changed as my walk changed, making me aware of my moods. Next, I was wearing it in my kitchen as I prepared dinner. My thoughts and my heart went to the women who had worn it, and how they were cooking also and feeding their children. Although in this rich country I cannot compare my life with theirs, I still have known the fears that women have at night – how will we will earn enough to support our family, what shall we do – and that deep feeling is universal. I felt closer to those women who had worn my necklace, and felt their laughter and their tears. What you’re doing is so very important, Carmel. I want to be a part of it. Thank you for touching my heart.
Helen Campbell | Principal Montesorri School | Oakland, CA
I was inspired to host a Rising International Party in my home after attending my first event for several reasons. I have travelled to Nepal and India twice. I witnessed my family’s attempts to help a street child who befriended them. When they tried to help him, get him into school and give some things to his family, they failed. They arranged for the boy to get into a program, and he did not show up. This 10 year old boy was supporting his mother and 2 siblings; to put him in school did not affect the economy of his family in a positive way. He could not attend school, and support his mother with money from begging. I came away from that experience feeling that to make a real meaningful change–the situation of the whole family has to change, not just the child’s life. Rising International seems like a way to offer family’s control over their future by allowing them power of the purse.
I like the idea that for people to help people change can happen at the grassroots level, rather than with a big institution. The first meeting I hosted, and the second confirmed my expectations. Some of my friends have travelled widely, and they know Nepal and India even a little. To be able to “purchase from a shoppkeeper you know” feels like we are a global village and that we are more connected to each other in our humanity.
How do I feel about Rising International? I hope with every gathering more people become educated to the plight of other nations, and have a feeling that they can do something to alleviate it, instead of feeling helpless. I would gladly host an event several times a year to make more people aware of the concept of fair market value, and that there are organizations such as Rising International.
I think the personal aspect, the personal stories that are told by the presenters, and the printed history of the artisans on each craft display is very important and could be even more prominent. I also suggest that photos of the artisans, and the response from the buyers in writing is an important link in this endeavor. I am eagerly awaiting photographs of the grandmothers from Uganda to frame, and to accompany the rug as it spends one month in each classroom. I hope to record the children’s response to the rug, and the daily use of it as well.
Bonita Mugnami | Santa Cruz, CA
I purchased two beautiful pillow covers from Afghanistan. When they arrived, I held them to my heart and wept. Thank you for this inspiring experience. If only all political catastrophes would be healed through heARTfull gifts and giving.
Ava Freiermuth | College Student | Las Vegas, Nevada
What I especially like about Rising International is the fact that when I purchased the artwork I knew that I was helping the artisan. I was able to read about the artisan and by purchasing the jewelry, pillow, or statue, I was bringing them out of poverty to earn a working wage. With this organization you are not only able to purchase beautiful items, it enables you to make a difference in someone’s life. In this day and age this is easier said then done.