Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gifts With Humanity

A message from the creators of "Gifts With Humanity"--

We would like to say it was a flash from above, a lightening bolt, a wake-up-one-day-and-realize-it-was-time-to-live-differently moment-- but actually the creation of our fair trade business evolved from friendships we made while living in Kenya from 1999 to 2002

Gifts With Humanity


Swimming in a sea of traditional handicrafts from Western Kenya and having computer background, it was a no-brainer creating a website to sell the crafts. We helped our friends sell soapstone sculptures from Tabaka, recycled jewelry from Kisumu, and tableware from Machakos through our website and accidentally created a business that not only provided a sustainable income for the people we have come to love in Kenya, but also for us. 

Ten years have gone by since we sold the first soapstone sugar bowl to a New York Times writer and crossed our fingers that it would make it safely from Kenya (it did and the article was very positive). We now work with more than 40 fair trade organizations, co-ops, family-owned businesses and non-profits in more than 20 countries that create beautiful handcrafted products. 

Our own family-run business is now a corporation that not only provides almost 1000 retailers in the US and Canada with fair trade handicrafts, we also offer these products to you. Our producer partners are paid a fair price for their products, receive at least 50% in advance on order, and the balance when the products are ready to ship. These financial risks have always been well worth it and have proven to us that the fair trade principles we follow are an excellent roadmap for doing business.

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Saturday, August 04, 2012

Living the Fullest Through Sickness--

 --by Jillian McKee

Peggy Greb, USDA
When one enters the early stages of cancer, it not only strikes the patient's mental state and psyche, but also that of their friends and family. While the pain of cancer can only be felt through the patient itself, others still experience other types of pain. However, you can help battle cancer and improve one’s quality of life through a healthy and nutritious diet. It is important to know what is good and bad to eat while going through cancer and chemotherapy treatments.

Healthy foods will not worsen the side effects of cancer. If one were in contact with asbestos, one would not worsen theirmesothelioma side effects when getting the right nutrition. This is the same for any other form of cancer as well.

Maintaining your energy and strength during chemotherapy is key. This can be done with easy to eat foods that include protein, dairy products, and also various beans, soy and nuts. All of these foods are easy to eat and digest for the cancer patient who may be going through strenuous chemotherapy treatments.
Probably one of the most important things while battling cancer is to avoid weight loss. Substantial weight loss is a very common and very serious problem for cancer patients. When going through chemotherapy, the body will automatically fight the stress induced by these treatments by increasing the body's metabolism. It is important that you eat enough food that is packed with calories and enriched with protein.  A combination of proteins, fatty foods, and others will help stop dangerous weight loss.

Eating healthy while going through cancer also includes staying hydrated. It is said that most of the nausea that is felt by cancer patients going through therapy is likely due to lack of hydration. Most people who need to stay hydrated drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. Hydration is key to helping your kidneys, as some medication can be tough on your kidneys.

Image credit: Peggy Greb, USDA here

About the Author--
Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment. ~~
Connect with Jillian on Facebook, Twitter, Google and her Blog  here!

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