Handmade in the USA

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In honor of the July 4th holiday, we’ve chosen a selection of our Handmade in the USA products that we think you’ll love! These Green+™ items are smart choices that help your company enhance its corporate social responsibility footprint and encourage recipients to celebrate all that our great country represents. There’s no better way to celebrate the birth of our nation than with 4th of July promotions and incentives!

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Mahogany Octagon 12″ Quartz Clock

This elegant mahogany octagon hardwood clock features a white dial with Roman numerals and glass crystal with bezel. The Chicago Lighthouse is a non-profit agency committed to helping the blind and visually impaired. Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA. Retail: $74.45

 

BE-2VOTVotive Gift Set Duo

Our votive gift set is like scented fireworks for your home. Each gift set contains two glass votive soy candles in Vanilla Honey and Aloe Lily. Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA. Retail: $13.00

RX-BOTTLEBottle Opener

Sure to become the most useful tool in your home. Made in Chicago from stainless steel and reclaimed lumber destined for the landfill. Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA. Retail: $25.00

 

GB-BROWN8Gourmet 8-Piece Brownie Box

Pack eight times the happiness with this 8-piece box of gourmet brownies.  Choose from Brown Sugar Blondie, Chocolate Fudge, Walnut Fudge, or Assorted. Fair Wage, Made in the USA. Retail: $25.00

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Jam Trio

Three favorite preserves in one fabulous gift assortment. A small wooden box arrives with blueberry, strawberry, and red raspberry preserves. Fair Wage, Made in the USA. Retail: $25.00

Travel Gift Ideas

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Summer’s here, and that means vacation is too! Why not customize a unique travel accessory for your clients to use on their next trip? Not only are these products handmade, they’re socially responsible as well; your purchase supports causes like empowering impoverished women, providing free education for children of the artisans, and providing job training and support for homeless and at-risk youth. Stand out from the crowd and make a difference in someone’s life by choosing a unique, socially responsible item to promote your business.

FIVE-BAGTAG-ALLCOLORSLuggage Tag – Retail: $12.00

Dress your luggage for your next destination with these beautiful and rugged luggage tags handmade from netting under fair trade labor practices in Cambodia. The purchase of this product provides income, dignity, and hope to the artisans and their families and free daycare and preschool for their children. Fair Trade.

 

FIVE-TRAVPASSPORT-GRNPassport Travel Wallet – Retail: $32.00

Keep travel documents and important papers together in this stylish pouch handmade from netting under fair labor practices in Cambodia. Features include snap closure and two zippered pockets. The purchase of this product provides income, dignity, and hope to the artisans and their families and free daycare and preschool for their children. Fair Trade.

 

FIVE-TRAVBUDDY-AllColorsTravel Buddy Organizer – Retail: $38.00 

Prepare for your next trip with this folding organizer handmade from netting under fair trade labor practices in Cambodia. Features include multiple transparent and net pockets as well as a loop for hanging. The purchase of this product provides income, dignity, and hope to the artisans and their families and free daycare and preschool for their children. Fair Trade.

 

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Tea & Tin Travel Set – Retail: $14.00

Each travel set contains one Lemon Tea 2 oz. travel-sized eco-friendly soy candle and two pods of Lemon Tea scented bath teas. This product is handmade by employees at Bright Endeavors, the social enterprise for New Moms. Inc. Bright Endeavors provides a job-development training program for homeless and at-risk young mothers between the ages of 17 and 24. Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA. 

 

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Matea Weekender – Retail: $328.00

Handmade by Guatemalan artisans, the Matea Weekender combines traditional stripes with intricate hand-woven brocade. Features include inner and outer pockets, a detachable strap, and macramé pompom details. Accented with nickel hardware and 100% cotton. The purchase of this product provides basic necessities such as nutritious meals for Mercado Global’s women cooperative members and their families, as well as schooling for their children. Fair Trade.

Chicago Lighthouse Profile: Rita McCabe

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She estimates that she has made nearly one million clocks.

One of her proudest moments was presenting her mom with one of those clocks that has lasted more than 25 years.

She has been quoted nationally about her work in the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

Meet Rita McCabe, one of the employees on the assembly line at Lighthouse Industries, a program of The Chicago Lighthouse that holds the official contract for manufacturing clocks for the U.S. government.  Indeed, clocks made at the Lighthouse are displayed in federal offices across the country and around the globe.

A native of Minnesota, Rita, who is totally blind, first came to the Lighthouse in the mid 70s while a member of the Salvation Army.  She joined the agency in 1979 and has been an employee there ever since.

“I enjoy my job,” she smiles.  “I appreciate being able to support myself plus have an opportunity to work with so many wonderful people!”

Rita goes about her daily tasks with much precision a she assembles the clock from components that include the body, movement, dial, hour and minute hands.  She assembles clocks of various sizes and styles, and then places the sub-assembly on the assembly line where the remaining components are assembled.  The end product is fully tested for accuracy, boxed and shipped to destinations far and wide.

In a given year, the Lighthouse, which will celebrate its 105th anniversary in 2011, manufactures between 160,000 and 200,000 clocks per year.

For employees like Rita, this program has provided steady employment at a time when people who are blind cope with a jobless rate that hovers near 70%.

“She is a fantastic member of our team,” states Jean Claude Kappler, vice president of Lighthouse Industries who oversees the clock-making operation.

“Like so many of our employees who are blind or visually impaired, Rita has a strong work ethic and brings a craftsmanship-like quality to her job.”

He adds that the quality of Lighthouse clocks is one of the reasons the program has been able to thrive for the past 30 years.

When Rita checks out of the factory for the day, she turns her attention to her other interests including volunteer work at her church and rooting for her favorite teams, the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and her beloved Chicago White Sox.

A resident of the city’s south side, she makes no bones about being a big White Sox fan.

Asked about her resolutions for the coming new year, Rita responds with a chuckle, “I never make resolutions because I know I can’t keep them!”

Though, she looks forward to making even more clocks in 2011.

Greyston Bakery featured on Business Week

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Many of our social enterprises made a name for themselves before we even began to partner with them. Greyston Bakery is a prime example of this, quoted in a Business Week story as being “one of the prime examples of social entrepreneurship.” The bakery is most well-known for making fudge brownies that go into Ben and Jerry’s ice creams.

The story focuses on the social mission of the bakery while the CEO enforces the fact that it is still a business and needs to make profits. Greyston Bakery is one example of a social enterprise that helps better lives of those less fortunate but still make money at the same time. They pride themselves as being a model for other businesses on how they could use business to make a difference.

To see the clip, click on this link here. It’s pretty short and shows a few short success stories of people who received employment from Greyston Bakery.

Learn more about Greyston and our other social enterprise partners at helpinghandrewards.org