"Womankind works with survivors of gender-based violence to rise above trauma and build a path to healing."
With your help, JanetJewelry will be raising $16,000+ for Womankind, a non-profit organization that helps survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault. I've designed a special piece for Womankind, and am donating 100% of the profits (in entirety!). And of that $16,000+ we will raise collectively, 87% will go DIRECTLY TO SERVICES THAT HELP SURVIVORS. Through their 3 community centers (Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan), 2 shelters, and a 24/7 crisis helpline in English, Spanish, and 18+ Asian languages, they provide award winning services to survivors and their children.
Together, we can do this—you can help to make a big difference! For more information about Womankind, the services they provide, to donate directly to their organization, or to volunteer your time and skills to this non-profit organization, check out any of these links (rollover to see links), or click here for their homepage: www.iamwomankind.org
The Idea behind the Design + Fundraiser:
I am proud to be on the Board of Directors of this non-profit organization! I’ve always admired their work and supported them from the sidelines when I could, but it was only after the past election that I felt compelled to step up and proactively help my community. When I was first approached by the Executive Director of Womankind if I’d consider doing a jewelry fundraiser (we had just rebranded from the "New York Asian Women’s Center" to “Womankind"), he asked me to think about it not just as a fundraiser, but as a public awareness campaign. What does Womankind mean? How can we define it? How can others wearing the piece define it? What would it mean to the people wearing the piece? Sure, it has to do with showing support for our cause, as well as raising funds, but it is more than that—it’s Woman+Kind, and “being kind to women” meant something significant to him as the Executive Director of this organization, and he asked if I could think about how to create a piece that combined the “woman” symbol with a heart in the middle to represent “kindness." As soon as he said it, I knew exactly what the piece would look like—how it wouldn’t hang from a bail, but it would be a strong symbol in the middle, supporting the chain (as opposed to being supported BY the chain), and this piece was created.
I made the original prototype out of wax, cast it in sterling, played with the shape, and once I was happy with the finished piece, made a mold to have 200 pieces cast in NYC, all in sterling silver. In order to be able to raise as much as possible per piece for Womankind, instead of hiring an outside company to produce the pieces, I’m donating ALL my design and production time (all pieces are made by me in my jewelry studio), as well as my production costs for this piece. For each piece sold, $80+, 100% of all profits, will be going directly to Womankind. $80+ x 200 units = $16,000+. We can do this!
The Goals of the Design/Fundraiser:
My first goal, is that this necklace will become a reminder, every single day, to "be kind to women"—to yourself, and to others. Being a woman means different things to different people, but to be genuinely mindful about how we define that for ourselves, and to hold ourselves accountable to those beliefs; to acknowledge and have an appreciation for where we’ve been as women in the past, where we are now, and what we can achieve, collectively, for a better future. It sounds daunting, but it’s also really exciting! I have a daughter and I often think about how my actions and words will affect her and her future, and I want her to be proud of who she is, no matter what anyone else tells her she “should” or “could” be, based on her gender and/or race. I also have a son, and I often think about my responsibility to raise him so that he will regard and respect women as equals. There is no shame in being a woman, being feminine, or being anything that has been "relegated" to "a woman's place," because there is also strength in being female, too--we can reclaim and redefine it for ourselves!
My other big hope for this piece, is that every single person wearing this piece takes the time (if they haven’t done so already!) to educate themselves about domestic violence, human trafficking, and/or sexual assault—on a local, national, or global level—and can use this piece as a conversation starter to help bring awareness to these issues that affect so many, so deeply, in our communities: “In the United States, an average of 20 people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually” (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). Think about that. That is just one statistic about domestic violence in the USA. Many more are affected by gender based violence, and more by human trafficking.
What can you do after this?
If you still want to do more than the above, you can click here to donate more money directly to Womankind; if you are part of a large corporation and would like to talk to us about becoming a major sponsor, click here to contact us about our gala, scheduled for Nov 1, 2017, on the Intrepid(!); if you’re in NYC and are interested in volunteering your time and energy to Womankind, click here for our volunteer page. If you're not in NYC, google whatever social causes speak to your heart + your zip code, and find an organization in your community. See where you can make a difference! My son's karate teacher (Shihan Michelle at Karate Do Ken Wa Kan--they are also lending a hand to Womankind!) has a quote in her email signature that I've come to love: "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth"--Muhammad Ali. I wholeheartedly agree.
Together, we can make a a huge impact!