Fashion for a Cause, 5/28/10 May 28 2010

Thanks to Cincy Chic for featuring Beaded Hope in their "Hometown Heroes - Inspiring People Around Town" issue as their "Fashion for a Cause" organization! Fashion for a Cause ELENI SNIDER | CINCY CHIC Friday, May 28, 2010 A local non-profit organization sells products that are handmade by artists in Africa. Find out how a certain Cincinnati hero is accomplishing all of this and more. This local non-profit reaches across the Atlantic to touch and support women's lives through fashion. Beaded Hope offers South Africans the opportunity to work and earn their own income to sustain their life and battle HIV/AIDS at the same time. The African artists create beaded works that explore their imagination and help them gain the resources to improve their medical needs. Jennifer Davis founded Beaded Hope in 2005 on the basis of helping struggling people in Africa. Women trained in beadwork make handmade crafts like jewelry, small gift items, Christmas ornaments and even apparel that are then sold in the United States. Davis turns to these specific women for her products to help them fight hunger, poverty in their communities and diseases like HIV and AIDS. A $15 dollar purchase from Beaded Hope is equal to two days of food for one of the African artists, Davis says. Likewise, a $30 purchase pays for the cost of employing one of the artists for a day. Inspired by a visit to South Africa with Davis, author Cathy Liggett channeled her experiences in her book entitled Beaded Hope that was released in March. The novel centers around three women from Ohio who travel on a mission trip to Africa and who meet an African woman with the idea of creating beaded work that can be taken back and sold in America. You can purchase this book at many popular bookstores and online at Liggett also is donating 20 percent of the proceeds from her book sales to the organization. So you can get a good read and help people out all at the same time Along with being charitable, Beaded Hope jewelry and products also can add stylish taste to your wardrobe. For instance, the tribal colored and printed jewelry and the layering of the bracelets offer two huge fashion trends right now, Davis says. The more the merrier, right? Davis is a true modern-day hero to the Cincinnati community as well as the community of women artists in South Africa that her organization helps out every day. And what does it mean to be a hero to her? "To me, heroes are people who give selflessly of themselves to others. Most heroes are everyday people who grasp the opportunity to help someone in need ; a coach who looks for just the right words of encouragement, a neighbor who coordinates meals, a friend who stops what she's doing to listen," Davis says. "These, too, are heroes." Check out Cincy Chic here and learn about all of the Hometown Heroes here.