I have to tell you, you fellow bloggers will keep making me a better person. I mean really. First my friend Emilie started a blog and she wrote such beautiful things about being pregnant, and her family and I wanted to write too. So I started writing and more of my friends did too. Then I started meeting new bloggers who taught me all sorts of things.
Like Missy who organizes bloggers to give back for Haiti, or Molly who arranges to have us blog to stomp out childhood hunger in America. Or Trish who reminds me of the importance to buy locally.
Bloggers like Jen whose story and ideas got in my head and gave me this *crazy* idea to run a 5k in the fall. Or in fact Matt whose story inspired me to run this specific 5k.
And so many many more.
In the last week people have said how proud and inspired they are by me and I think to myself, "Me? You should meet some of these bloggers I know. They are inspiring!" And I'm a little in awe at the power of the blog to connect, share and inspire others.
Today I was at lunch and noticed across the way a Ten Thousand Villages. They specialized in fair trade goods from around the world. If you go in you find textiles, jewelry, stationary, pottery and various gorgeous hand-crafted pieces. They buy items from under and unemployed artisans giving people around the world a real chance at earning a living. They pay fair prices for both the cost of supplies and labor and seek to improve both the standard of living and sustainablity of underpriviledge communities.
I went in and found a partial store (at Lyndale and 76th St in Bloomington, by Potbelly). It turns out that they are working to raise money to bring a second store to the Metro - something on the Minneapolis side of things. I found out that all the small profits they are earning are going toward a new store right now and that all the store clerks who work there are volunteers. They volunteer because they believe in the empowerment of fair trade around the world.
I knew then that I had to pick something up and maybe it was time for a little giveaway to show you all how much you have been inspiring me lately. As it turns out, since it is a partial store they don't take credit cards yet but I had a little cash on me.
I confess I spent more time than I intended searching the beautiful items for the perfect giveaway. I'd almost decided on a great pair of earrings when I saw these:
You see I bought this same set almost 4 years ago while visiting my sister in Ann Arbor, MI at another Ten Thousand Villages. I was taken with them then and bought them for a gift for a yet undecided person. In January of 2008 I gave them to my friend Emilie at her 40th birthday. The same Emilie who started this blogging journey for me. The same Emilie I've written about before who died too soon from a sarcoma cancer leaving behind her husband, her two sons and a blogging community who loved her.
She was the recipient of these cards years ago because I knew she'd appreciate their beauty and their support of women around the world. Today I found another set and knew they were perfect for one of you blogland. In honor of Emilie and the way you ALL inspire me daily I purchased another set to share with you.
A comment gets you an entry. Just let me know: "What blogger inspires you?" and leave an email or other way to get ahold of you if you win. I'll do a random number generator next Wednesday - April 21st. You can follow me on Facebook for an extra entry (leave another comment). Or you can follow me on twitter for an extra one too.
This is a giveaway simply because I felt moved to share this with you. No one gave me anything to talk about Ten Thousand Villages or even anything to talk about the people who inspire me. I am inspired and so I want to share that with you tangibly.
I am honored to be a blogger. Most people don't understand what we are, and we are so much more than any blogger label. In the end we are simply people choosing to share the startlingly beautiful everyday-ness of our lives. And occasionally give back in honor of those who help us see the beauty.