Last year I took a non-sponsored trip to Haiti with Willa Shalit
, the woman behind Macy's Heart of Haiti and Rwanda Path to Peace, to meet with women and artisans whose lives are still feeling the effects of the earthquake that hit the country in 2010. I witnessed firsthand Haitian women living in dirt-floor tents (nearly 40,000 Haitians still do) and learned that how we use our money can make an impact on women's lives. That's exactly what Shalit, whom Oprah calls "The woman who makes shopping meaningful," is doing in Haiti with her new initiative Maiden Nation, which supports women-owned businesses and aims to empower women through ethical fashion. Shalit and fashion designer Chan Luu traveled to Haiti and witnessed the remaining devastation, and collaborated to create and sell a special bracelet, the "Kiss Kiss Bracelet," on Maiden Nation.
One Maiden Nation bracelet provides enough income for a woman to live for a day, and a portion of the proceeds from the "Kiss Kiss" benefits relief efforts such as the J/P Haitian Relief Organization. Multiple purchases of this jewelry could result in richer, more stable lives for these Haitians -- lives characterized by growing communities and warm beds to sleep in. I've rounded up a handful of my favorite Maiden Nation bracelets, including the "Kiss Kiss," that you can purchase to contribute to the cause. Gifting one would be a great way to celebrate the season the way it is meant to be celebrated: by helping others. Click through for 7 gorgeous bracelets that give back! - By Ana Flores
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