Women’s Bean Project: Each purchase gives a woman purpose
The US has a greater poverty gap between men and women than any other country in the Western World. This holiday season, become a part of the solution to domestic poverty and help close the gap by giving a gift from Women’s Bean Project. Women’s Bean Project is a nonprofit business that helps women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. Women earn a steady paycheck, stabilize their lives and develop solid, transferable work skills while producing lovely and delicious products. Whether it’s a gourmet gift basket or a piece of handmade jewelry, each purchase gives a woman purpose.
With the opportunity to hold a transitional job in gourmet food and jewelry manufacturing, these women complete hands-on job training, attend daily courses in life skills and job readiness and, upon graduation, are prepared to land and keep a job.
Elora is one of these women. After going to prison, Elora struggled to find a job, despite going out every day and leaving her halfway house with the most positive attitude she could muster. No matter how many days she told herself today will be the day, she always returned at night with no job or viable leads. As such, she was ecstatic about the prospect of a new opportunity when she got the call from Women’s Bean Project. However, her excitement was met with trepidation when she saw how many women came to apply. Due to limited positions, the Bean Project turns away four out of five applicants. Though nervous at her interview, Elora demonstrated a fundamental willingness to change, which ultimately made her a successful applicant.
“This is more than a company about packaging beans and soups,” Elora said upon graduation from the program. “It’s a whole new way of life for women who really need and want to make changes in their lives. This place really does what it says it’s going to do. The best way to prevent recidivism is to allow for people to be gainfully employed, and the Bean does this and a whole lot more.”
Since its founding in 1989, Women’s Bean Project has made a positive impact on the lives of more than 18,000 women and their children. Each woman who gains the skills that empower her to support herself and her family helps break the cycle of poverty and contributes to a stronger community.
Angela is just one example of how Women’s Bean Project has empowered a graduate to pay it forward.
“I learned a lot about myself at the Bean Project,” says Angela. “I have gained so much self-esteem and confidence from being here. In my career, I really want to do something that gives back to the community in some way, especially after seeing how much good can be done.”
Women’s Bean Project products can be found in more than 500 locations in 40 states. They are also available online at womensbeanproject.com, Amazon.com, WorldofGood.com and Overstock.com. Since the initial Toni’s Ten Bean Soup mix, the product line has expanded to include a variety of items perfect for gift giving, from gourmet gift bundles filled with signature soup, chili and salsa mixes, to gift baskets perfect for business and personal giving. In 2009, Women’s Bean Project expanded its product line to include limited edition jewelry. Each piece is handmade with love by a program participant. This venture has proven to be yet another successful means to hire and empower more women.
Purchases help Women’s Bean Project hire more women and change more lives. Each gift will help give a woman an opportunity to succeed through employment. Product sales generate more than 70 percent of the Bean Project’s operating revenue with the remaining needs met by contributions from foundations, individual donors, corporations, churches, and service clubs. To purchase a gift or to make a donation to Women’s Bean Project, visit www.womensbeanproject.com.
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