A guest post from my long time friend, Kristen Welch

It’s the clock I noticed first. It was the only thing hanging on the bare wall of the home I was visiting. It wasn’t ticking. The hands stood still as if it silently screamed for me to take notice… to see that time was running out.

It was my third home visit of the afternoon. My belly was full of chai tea, halal pizza and a spicy noodle dish I couldn’t name (the world wants to feed you) and if I’m honest, I’d lost all track of time.  I’d stepped over a littered yard, dodged mud holes, climbed stairs, and knocked on the doors of my refugee friends from Myanmar, Afghanistan and Nepal–all relocated to different pockets of my city of Houston.

I sat and sipped and savored the moments in each home with women who have lived such unspeakable horrors that the United Nations deemed them fit for refugee status. It’s not a badge any of us would want to wear, but don’t doubt for a second that it isn’t one of honor. In their countries, these families owned homes, drove cars, had careers and every bit of their lives changed over night when genocide knocked at their front doors.

They have lost everything.

Possessions have been burned, homes looted, husbands captured and killed. And now they are my neighbors and they are starting life over in a different country with a new language, different customs, and untold challenges. Simply put, it is overwhelming.

As I stared at the silent clock, it was a very present reminder that time is running out. As we run around and scoop up last minute Christmas gifts, hunting for unique finds that will feel just right, for many in the world, the clock is ticking and nothing is right. Women around the globe can count their remaining dollars on one hand, they can feed their children for a couple more nights, they are running out of food, clothes and money for rent. They are running out of time.

When I started Mercy House Global nearly a decade ago, I just wanted to help pregnant teens in Kenya. But I quickly learned that when you take a girl out of trafficking, you’ve also taken away her job, so creating dignified work moved up to the top of our list. We create dignified jobs for those teen moms and their families in Kenya and we do so for thousands of other women in more than 30 countries through our monthly subscription clubs at Fair Trade Friday because business is the best way to end poverty.

With just a click of your mouse, you can join a club and send a gift subscription this Christmas at the very last minute —it will not only provide a lovely, trendy, unique gift; it will provide a dignified job just in time.

I handed over a bag of supplies to my refugee friend and she bowed in deep thanks. We both knew that bag would provide needed money just in time. I glanced again at the clock on the wall and remembered it wasn’t working. Today, would you find the time to help us provide work?

This Christmas, will you make your last minute gift of the season, the best gift of all for those who are out of time?

*Use code WINTERWHITE at checkout and receive your first month free when you purchase a six month subscription!

If the December Fair Trade Friday box (pictured) sells out, you’ll receive the Jan box around the second week of January.

Myquillyn here, I’ve been a member of Fair Trade Friday for YEARS and I wholeheartedly love, support and high five the cycle of creating dignified jobs for women who provide us with gorgeous, handmade items we can use in our home and as for gifts. We’re giving gifts anyway this season, why not make it extra meaningful and extra life-giving to women around the world?