On average, women spend 90% of their income on their families, compared to the 30%¬–40% that men do, according to a report from the Yale Daily News, meaning working women benefit their community. Yet, some women have barriers to their success that make it difficult for them to find employment. Help empower underserved women to support themselves and their families with this Grassroots campaign: for $15, you get $20 worth of jewelry and gourmet food from Women's Bean Project.
Women’s Bean Project works to break the cycle of poverty and unemployment among women and single mothers with significant barriers to success, such as felony convictions, chronic poverty, and past drug addictions. To do this, it established a six-month job-training program where participants can gain the skills necessary for mainstream employment. Within a safe, accepting environment, the women identify and build their talents while producing gourmet food and jewelry with the aid of professional designers.
Women’s Bean Project’s online gourmet-food shop entices with snacks such as a jar of chocolate-covered espresso beans ($5.75) or a southwest-salsa mix ($3.75). The handmade jewelry collections feature bracelets and necklaces strung with rare pearls and stones, including the Dramatic Effect necklace ($25), on which coated crystal beads hang from three brass chains, and the limited-edition Valentine's Day bracelet ($16), where red glass beads and a millefiori-glass heart hang from a silver-plated circle chain.
While the participants craft these gifts, they focus on three components: coming to work on time and staying on task, personal goal setting and problem solving, and skill tracks that include reception, public speaking, and accounting. Women’s Bean Project also helps women access services such as housing and childcare at the start of the program. After participants have completed six months and tested their capabilities, they can further their education or apply for full-time work. Many have gained stable employment at local businesses including Wells Fargo Bank and St. Joseph’s Hospital.