Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Limited Edition Dress to Support W.A.R.

I love the words, "Limited Edition", because you know, there are only a handful of that certain item out in the world, and you just so happen to be one of the few that has one in your possession!  Aren't you lucky!

Well, The Blue Ladybug now has her very first Limited Edition Pillowcase Dress to offer to you.  There could be anywhere from 4 to 8 of these dresses made, depending on the sizes ordered.  I've loved this fabric for sooo long, but alas it was only a seasonal fabric.  So when I saw that it was on clearance the other day, I bought the remainder of the bolt.  So when this fabric is gone, so is the dress.  So order right away if you're loving these bright and happy colors in this print!  It won't last long!

More good news!  This dress comes with a free matching headband, made from the same material!  These headbands are a new product that we will be offering at The Blue Ladybug soon.  And you'll be able to order them to match any of our outfits.  You can even order one for yourself, mom!  What a perfect way to match your daughter in a simple way.

But the very best and coolest news about this dress and headband, is that 100% of the sale of this dress is being donated to Women At Risk International.  You know we have a big heart for what this organization does to save women and children that are being trafficked all around the world.  Well, recently we received an email from headquarters that they need our help --


                              I NEED 2,500 OF YOU TO HELP ME BUILD THE HOUSE OF WAR
I am appealing to you, my precious circle of protection.  WAR has grown from 300 to 1,300 to 7,000 leased sq. feet.  Of that, 2,000 is a store allowing women to shop.  While most of our product sells in home parties (700+ parties in 2010, thanks to you all), stores give us a place and face to the community.  On Memorial Day Weekend, our third store opened in Naperville, Illinois. 

As stores become a known community fixture, we are recognized as a “safe place.” While its purpose is selling the product to employ the women, we now get calls and visits from women in imminent danger, needing emergency help.  The Grand Rapids building we moved into sits on an acre and a half of prime space on a busy street next to the largest mall in town.  I have good news and bad news.  Bad news – our landlord lost our building to the bank.  This means our new home is for sale – a new landlord can choose to not renew our lease when it’s up in a little over a year.  The building (21,000 sq. feet) is now selling for around $20/sq. foot.  Once listed at a million dollars, it is now priced at half.  Considering real estate and price per sq. foot, this is a good deal…the good news.  If we were to buy this building, we would pay less in maintenance than we do in the lease.  In other words, if we owned it we would save money, have room to expand, and not have to move.  Never “in all my days” have I raised money for a building in this country, but the WAR Board of Directors has voted to buy it. 

Every morning from 6-8, Phil sits reading scripture, praying, and eating breakfast as the sun comes up in his favorite spot.  Most mornings I join him at 7.  I have a habit of interrupting his prayer time with random comments and suggestions of what he should be praying about.  He prays from a list.  I pray like I’m “chewing the fat with a good friend.”  Recently I was asking God to rescue me (in a mild state of panic) wondering how I would tell my staff (and manage their panic) if we had to move again – the 4th move!  There’s no better place.  They’re working frantically in their new space to keep the product flowing with 40+ employees, 400+ volunteers (7,000+ volunteer hrs/yr) and money flowing into safe houses, women, and programs, both here and abroad. 

So, I got practical and a calculator.  If 5,000 individuals gave $100 dollars or 2,500 gave $200, the house of WAR would be established.  Or if 100 people gave $5,000...or 50 gave 10,000...You get the point!

I quit eating breakfast and decided to fast and pray before I wrote you.  If for some amazing reason we raise more, we will finish the unfinished upstairs and other improvements.  Would you commit to pray?  If you cannot be part of giving, please fast and pray with me that God would give us this space to establish the ministry of WAR, save money, and allow us to help more and more rescued women.  This much product takes room and many volunteers and staff to handle it.  I have big dreams for the programs that could happen if we owned the whole building!  We are already stuffing interns in tiny cramped corners.  There is a clock ticking.  We have to do this in the next few months so that we can change the tax status before year end and before someone else buys it.  Dream with me!  I have never asked for something like this, so this is a huge step of faith – more like a leap off a cliff.  As I put ink to paper, I feel sick to my stomach asking for something this big.  But I felt the same way when I signed incorporation papers for WAR, Int’l – & look what God did!

A few days later another email was sent...A donor is matching everyone's gifts!!!  And if you're a new donor to WAR, they'll match your gift 3 to 1!  Wow!  Our goal is to raise $100 to send into W.A.R. International.  Will you help them out by buying our LIMITED EDITION Funky Paisley and Dots Pillowcase Dress this week?  And if you'd like more info about W.A.R.'s building purchase or would like to make a donation yourself, send us an email to and we'll send allow the info to you.