0 comments on “Unique Mother’s Day Gifts That Promote Social Good”

Unique Mother’s Day Gifts That Promote Social Good

Photo Credit: https://authoranandaleeke.wordpress.com/tag/heart-of-haiti/
Photo Credit: https://authoranandaleeke.wordpress.com/tag/heart-of-haiti/

Hi All!

Mother’s Day is almost here. Are you ready? Have you found a unique gift for your mother and/or the women in your life who are mother figures?

This year, I am giving my mother a gift that promotes social good: a handmade picture frame made by a Haitian artisan who creates beautiful work for the Heart of Haiti collection at Macy’s (see photo below).

Heart of Haiti picture frame
Heart of Haiti picture frame

The Heart of Haiti collection features more than 40 home decor items including qulits, metalwork, ceramics, and paintings made my Haitian artisans. The Heart of Haiti is a “Trade, Not Aid”initiative that was launched by artist and social entrepreneur Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, and Macy’s after the 2010 earthquake. The initiative provides Haitian artisans with an opportunity to make a living, feed their families, and pay their children’s school fees. To date, the initiative has employed 750 artisans resulting in financial benefits for an estimated 8,000 in Haiti. What a powerful way to give back and do social good!

In 2011, I traveled as a Heart of Haiti blogger ambassador to Haiti and met the artisans who make the metal frames and other home decor items. Seeing them create and talk about their artwork helped me truly understand how powerful “Trade, Not Aid” programs are.  Since then, I have continued my work as a Heart of Haiti blogger ambassador by using my blog and social media presence to raise awareness and celebrate the artistry and regrowth of my Haitian brother and sister artisans.

I encourage you to give back to the Haitian artisans by purchasing a Heart of Haiti gift for your mother and/or the mothering women in your life. Click here to explore the collection on Macy’s web site.  Happy Social Good Shopping!

DISCLAIMER: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

4 comments on “#BlissDom12 Conference Blog Recap Part 5 – My Heart of Haiti Moments”

#BlissDom12 Conference Blog Recap Part 5 – My Heart of Haiti Moments

Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti photos

Some of my best BlissDom Conference moments were spent supporting and celebrating the Heart of Haiti Campaign, a partnership between Fairwinds Trading, Macy’s, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.  It was created to provide sustainable income to Haitian artisans impacted by the January 2010 earthquake.  Through the partnership, the artisans create artwork that is sold as the Heart of Haiti collection in Macy’s stores.  The sales from these hand-made products including quilts, metalwork, paper måché, painting and jewelry generate the sustainable income and provide trade instead of aid to the Haitian artisans.

Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti Photos

As soon as I arrived and settled into my room at the Opryland Hotel on February 23, I tweeted the Everywhere team, Danica Kombol and Britton Edwards, to let them know I was ready to put on my Heart of Haiti Blogger Ambassador hat and support their Heart of Haiti booth in the BlissDom Handmade Marketplace.  When I saw the booth, I was in complete AWE! Why?  Because these ladies know how to make a conference booth attractive and fun to visit.  And it’s not hard when you have the beautiful Heart of Haiti collection to work with.  Danica and Britton gave me a brief update on the new items in the collection and showed me photos from the #Bloggers4Haiti trip to Haiti in January.  Check out the photos below.

Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti photos
Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti photos
Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti photos
Ananda and Danica Kombol - Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti Photos
Ananda and Britton Edwards -- Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti Photos

While I was at the Heart of Haiti booth, I met and chatted with BlissDom attendees about my experiences as a Blogger Ambassador and February 2011 trip to Haiti.  Many of the attendees told me about their passion for using social media for social good and plans to support the Heart of Haiti.  Those conversations reminded me how important it is to tell people about the Haitian artisans who are using their creative gifts to make their lives and country better.  They also reminded me that I have got to get to Haiti in 2013!

Ananda and Emily FaliLv - Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti Photos
0 comments on “Ananda’s #HeartofHaiti Post: Witnessing the creative quilting power of Haitian women crafters from the PeaceQuilts in Haiti”

Ananda’s #HeartofHaiti Post: Witnessing the creative quilting power of Haitian women crafters from the PeaceQuilts in Haiti

Haiitian women quilters with Ananda @ PeaceQuilts in Haiti

I have always adored quilts. My grandmother Dorothy Mae Johnson Gartin crocheted many beautiful quilts that later inspired my own wire sculpture quilts and wall hangings.  While I was in Haiti with the Heart of Haiti Campaign on February 26,  I witnessed the creative quilting power of Haitian women who work with PeaceQuilts, an organization co-founded by Jeanne Staples that teaches Haitian women quilting skills at the College Marie Reine Immaculee, a convent operated by a soulful order of nuns called Les Filles de

Haitian PeaceQuilt member

Reine Marie Immaculee d’Haiti.  PeaceQuilts launched a Haitian national initiative to translate Haiti’s long tradition of  fine needlework into quilting right after the January 2010 earthquake.   Macy’s created a Heart of Haiti partnership with PeaceQuilts to produce a line of handmade quilted pot holders, pillows, and similar items.  Click here to learn more about PeaceQuilts.   Check out more of my Flickr photos here from the convent visit.


Haitian PeaceQuilter

 

Ananda with a PeaceQuilt
0 comments on “Ananda’s Heart of Haiti Visit to Metal Artisans in Croix des Bouquets, Haiti”

Ananda’s Heart of Haiti Visit to Metal Artisans in Croix des Bouquets, Haiti

Serge Jolimeau’s Metal Artwork

Today, I am remembering my Heart of Haiti visit to Haitian metal artisan Serge Jolimeau’s atelier on February 26, 2011, in Croix des Bouquets, a town located outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  See the video above.  At first glance, I fell in love with Jolimeau’s artwork featuring La Sirene, a beautiful African-inspired mermaid and Haitian loa who rules the seas with her husband Agwe.  La Sirene brings luck and money from the ocean’s depth were she makes her own music.  She adores objects of beauty, jewelry, gold and diamonds.  She is also a seductress like Haitian loa Erzulie Freda and dangerously fierce like Haitian loa Erzulie Dantor.  Erzulie is the goddess of love and one of my all time favorite Haitian goddesses. Mermaids have always been some of my favorites (on my first night in Port-au-Prince, I purchased two paintings featuring La Sirene – see photo).  La Sirene and Erzulie show up in my own paintings, wire sculptures and books!

La Sirene paintings from an art gallery in Port-au-Prince

Did you know that Jolimeau’s  metal artwork is made from oil cans?  What a powerful way to recycle and recreate beauty!

Oil can used by metal artisans to create metal artwork

His artwork reflects his family’s farming background, fertile imagination, and passion for Haitian Voodoo and folklore, the human body, animals, and figures from mythology.  It is featured and sold in the Heart of Haiti collection at Macy’s.

About Serge Jolimeau:

Serge Jolimeau’s metal artwork

Jolimeau, a native of Croix des Bouquets, was born in 1952. Croix des Bouquets is the home of several great Haitian sculptors including the late Georges Liautaud and Murat Brierre, the brothers Louisjuste, and Gabriel Bien-Aimé. As a child, he as inspired by the blacksmiths in his village. After he completed high school, he worked as an apprentice under metal sculptor Serisier Louisjuste.  His work has been published in Where Art is Joy (Rodman, 1988), Forgerons duVodou/ Voodoo Blacksmiths (Foubert, 1990), and A Haitian Celebration: Art and Culture (Stebich, 1992). He has shown his work at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, LACITA in Biarritz, France, and in Germany, Haiti, and Mexico. Currently, he serves as a community leader for the Association of Artists and Artisans of Croix des Bouquets. To learn more about Jolimeau, visit the links below.

1) http://www.gardenartists.cc/leprimitif/one_of_a_kinds__serge_jolimeau.htm

2) http://www.indigoarts.com/gallery_haiti_jolimeau.html

3) http://www.folkartmarket.org/index.php/profiles/entry/serge_jolimeau

4) http://www.haitianpainting.com/hp.asp?page=ARTISTS_PORTFOLIO&id=31

5) http://www.haitisupportgroup.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=articl…

About the Heart of Haiti:

The Heart of Haiti campaign is a partnership between Fairwinds Trading, Macy’s, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. It was created to provide sustainable income to Haitian artisans impacted by the January 2010 earthquake. Through the partnership, the artisans create artwork that is sold as the Heart of Haiti collection in Macy’s stores. The sales from these hand-made products including quilts, metalwork, paper måché, painting and jewelry generate the sustainable income and provide trade instead of aid to the Haitian artisans.

0 comments on “Watch Video of #HeartofHaiti Blogger Ambassador Ananda Leeke @ Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti”

Watch Video of #HeartofHaiti Blogger Ambassador Ananda Leeke @ Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

February 26, my second day in Haiti, began with a visit to the Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince.  As the van pulled up in front of the Palace, I heard the sound of a marching band.  Men dressed in matching band uniforms played beautiful music as I surveyed the earthquake damage.  I looked across the street and saw the tent camps in Champ de Mars plaza and wondered how could music be made in the midst of heartbreaking devastation.  The answer came in the form of a six-word memoir equation as I noticed Haitian people moving through their morning with grace and dignity.  Faith + Hope + Determination + Resiliency + Creativity = HAITI.

Watch a video of my visit to the Presidential Palace and Champ de Mars Plaza, the location of the largest tent camp in Port-au-Prince.  See below.  Listen to my audio blog about the visit. Check out photos from my visit below.

The Heart of Haiti campaign is a partnership between Fairwinds Trading, Macy’s, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. It was created to provide sustainable income to Haitian artisans impacted by the January 2010 earthquake. Through the partnership, the artisans create artwork that is sold as the Heart of Haiti collection in Macy’s stores. The sales from these hand-made products including quilts, metalwork, paper måché, painting and jewelry generate the sustainable income and provide trade instead of aid to the Haitian artisans.  Everywhere, a social media firm that represents Macy’s, sponsored my trip to Haiti.  Click here to read about my trip’s details.

Photos from Visit to Presidential Palace and Champ de Mar Plaza

Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Largest tent city housing Haitian people after January 2010 earthquake in Champ de Mars plaza in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Largest tent city housing Haitian people after January 2010 earthquake in Champ de Mars plaza in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Tap Tap Bus in front of Champ de Mars plaza, largest tent city in Port-au-Prince
0 comments on “Happy March! Watch Ananda’s Video from Her Heart of Haiti Trip to Jacmel, Haiti on 2/27.”

Happy March! Watch Ananda’s Video from Her Heart of Haiti Trip to Jacmel, Haiti on 2/27.

Ananda at Jacmel Carnival in Haiti, February 27, 2011

Happy March All!

I hope your first day of March is filled with many blessings.  Mine has been filled with the blessing of memories from my recent trip to Haiti as a blogger ambassador for the Heart of Haiti campaign. The Heart of Haiti campaign is a partnership between Fairwinds Trading, Macy’s, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

As many of you may know, I was in Haiti with a dynamic group of nine digital sisters and one digital brother from February 25-28.  My trip was sponsored by Everywhere, a social media company that represents Macy’s. The trip allowed me to visit Port-au-Prince, Croix des Bouquets, and Jacmel.  So many wonderful things happened.  That’s why I am going to take my time in posting photos, videos, and audio blogs about my travel experiences this week and next week.  I thought you might like to watch a video of me sharing what I learned from being in Haiti.  See below. It was filmed on February 28 in  Jacmel, Haiti.  For more updates on the Heart of Haiti trip, click here. Enjoy!