Headquarters Moving

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Photo Credit: Vanna Dutch

Photo Credit: Vanna Dutch

All of Us Matter is on the move, from Cambridge, England to Tampa, FL. The business will be moving headquarters permanently this summer 2017. I have loved England and I will forever treasure her for offering so much inspiration for All of Us Matter. 

The store will be closing down until further notice on June 9th, 2017. Please grab your India Line cups, once stock is gone they will be gone forever. The store will re-open in the new year and will be bigger and better as we will release our NEW 2018 collection. We have a few projects in development and will release "sneak-peaks" so stay tuned I promise we won't disappoint. 

Check back in on our social media accounts and the blog, these places will still be active. 

Start conversations that matter, let's be a voice to the voiceless. 

Crystal, Founder, and Visionary at All of Us Matter


 

 

Refugee Crisis

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
— -Edmund Burke

All of Us Matter is joining in the response to help out in the refugee crisis of millions of displaced men, women and children. Stateless and homeless people are suffering in refugee and detention camps. Men, women, and children are leaving their homes in, Syria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Ukraine over wars, famines, and the pursuit of religious freedom. To add insult to injury these refugees are in the line of fire for traffickers. This crisis is a breeding ground for human trafficking.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) stated in their 2015 report “We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record.

An unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.

There are also 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.
— UNHCR
http://www.unhcr.org/uk/

http://www.unhcr.org/uk/

In our world, there are nearly 34,000 people who are forcibly displaced every day as a result of conflict or persecution. I know that it feels like the world is hemorrhaging and it's heart-wrenching when we read about all the suffering in the world. Sometimes we can feel compassion fatigue and with so much suffering around us, “Where does one begin?”. This week I found out how easy it was to make the decision to just go and give my weekend away. I volunteered with the good people of Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action group that serves as a middle man to get people organized from Cambridge, England to Calais, France, volunteering alongside L’Auberge Des Migrant Warehouse to feed and clothe refugees. I am in awe of these volunteers! After just two days on kitchen duty, I am tired and completely covered in lentils. Yet, the full-time volunteers make hot ethnic meals for lunch and dinner for over 2,400 people 7 days a week! I only gave a weekend, but after being there in the midst of the most vulnerable, I realized what that weekend meant to those who are in need. We all can do something to care for our neighbor. We simply have to start where we are and take action, no matter how big or small.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/LAuberge-des-Migrants-358496450338/photos/?ref=page_internal

https://www.facebook.com/pg/LAuberge-des-Migrants-358496450338/photos/?ref=page_internal

http://refugeecommunitykitchen.com

http://refugeecommunitykitchen.com

Refugees and migrants are exponentially more likely to be preyed upon by traffickers because they are extremely vulnerable. I was told that cars drive around the edge of the camp to kidnap and traffic people. If they are kidnapped, few people will go looking for them because they have little-to-no ties to the country or community they reside in. People are fleeing the conflict-ridden and war-torn societies of Ukraine, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria and many other countries for Europe in hope of a better life. I have never lived in a war zone but I can understand that these people have lost everything and need our help as they try to put the pieces of their lives back together. Please find a way to help, below are some of the ways to plug in, especially if you are in Europe. Please click through the links and find out how. 

http://refugeecommunitykitchen.com

http://www.refugeesathome.org/#about

https://camcrag.org.uk

http://www.greecevol.info/task.list.php

http://www.helprefugees.org.uk

http://www.refugeesupport.eu

http://calaid.co.uk

A message from Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group:

The current needs on the ground in Calais, Paris, and Dunkirk are below. All aid preferably needs to be size and item sorted and labeled

Our friends at the Daily Bread Cooperative in Kings Hedges are continuing to take donations of food and clothes off for us. If you want to make a donation of food or other essential items please see the list below. If you have a large amount please email cam4calaisdonations@gmail.com to arrange a drop-off.

REQUIRED ITEMS FOOD DONATIONS – tinned fish (with a ring pull lid), biscuits, white sugar, nuts, dates, dried fruit, energy bars, olive oil, vegetable oil, tea bags, garlic, chili flakes, large bags of spices, sea salt, lentils

OTHER ITEMS NEEDED sleeping bags, roll mats, wind up torches, men’s hats, gloves and scarfs, blankets, mobile phones with the charger, new men’s socks size 39-43

We try to hold drop off days once every 6 weeks around the Cambridge area for people to drop off these and other item.  We have previously used church halls, village halls, office spaces and a dance studio. We need a large room with at least two parking spaces for two to three hours. If you have a venue that you think might be suitable and we could use for free, please contact us at Cam4calaisdonations@gmail.com

Start conversations that matter, let's be a voice to the voiceless. 

Crystal, Founder, and Visionary at All of Us Matter

I Accept

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
— Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
Photography: Vanna Dutch 

Photography: Vanna Dutch 

I am writing this because I have been asked by a local Moms Next (Mops) group to sit on a panel and talk about what it's like to integrate our dreams/goals/passions with our families.

Passion?

For me, it's something that runs through my veins. It is as much a part of me as my wild curly hair, need for physical touch, and love for dance. My passion lies deep within who I am. My passion is my broken heart for humanity and caring for the least, the lost, and the last in our broken world. God has placed a mandate on my life for social justice. 

 The one thing that got me through University no matter how much I disliked it, was knowing how it would equip me with tools and skills to help others in our world. Now that I have my degree in International Relations, it is easy to see how it has helped and enriched my life, but when I was going through the struggle of staying up late to write papers or prep for tests, it wasn't always easy to keep my eye on the prize. I had to continually remind myself why I was pursuing this goal and how it would help me pursue my passion.

After graduating, my amazing husband and I had just moved to a foreign country and already had two children. I was excited and ready to get started working outside the home to make a difference in the lives of others. But no jobs came, no volunteer work, nobody who I could collaborate with me on issues, nothing. Then, we decided to have a baby! (another long story for another day). I was desperate to pour myself into my passion (outside the home) but had no way of pursuing it.

This place made my feel unhappy and desperate. I started to become bitter and resentful over my inability to work to give and to pour out. In this place of resentment, I started to blame the people I love most in this world, my husband and my children. Then, one day I realized in a moment of clarity that my passion, which was given to me by God, will be carried out by God! I didn't need to strive in my own ability or vain conceit to clench my passion. Instead, I started to ask God to help my natural mind understand his supernatural power. I serve a God who made a donkey talk (Numbers 22:28), a God who gave his one and only Son to save us from ourselves (John 3:16). He is able to overcome the obstacles I face and work everything out according to his plan and purpose in my life. I needed to change my focus from striving to overcome the obstacles in front of me, to preparing my heart to be a steward of what God had given me. It was my responsibility to be faithful with what God had given me and let God produce the increase.

It was after this shift in my heart that God birthed All of Us Matter. Over the past year, like a baby growing in the womb, All of Us Matter has begun to form. Just as pregnancy and labor is not easy, neither was this past year with All Of Us Matter. There have been moments of extreme joy and moments where it all just made me nauseous. But, as I learned in school, the process is not always easy but if I keep my eye on the prize, the why I am doing this, it is worth it. It is worth it for the least, the last, and the lost, that will be set free because I was willing to be faithful with what God had given me.

Yet, being a mom of three young kids, a teacher of homeschool, keeper of my house, member of my church, and the founder of All of Us Matter, I was stressed! I needed some practical ways to manage everything on my plate. Then, I was listening to one of my favorite podcast, The Art of Simple, one day and Tsh Oxenreider, the host, recommend a youtube yoga teacher called Yoga with Adriene. The last time I had done yoga was when I was pregnant with Ava and had sciatica and was desperate for relief but quickly decided it wasn't my thing. So six years later I decided to pick it up again. Knowing I needed some form of exercise to keep my body healthy and manage stress, I tried online workout videos and even P90X, but they didn't make me feel good, and only stressed me out more and made me feel tense. 

I am a high energy person and my mind bounces from one thing to the next like a ping pong ball, but after the first Yoga with Adriene video, I understood how badly I needed stillness and intentionality. In this first video, I attempted to complete this yoga practice in the middle of the day with my baby in the pack n' play crying, one child on the sofa watching me and talking to me and the other child using me as a bridge when in downward dog! 

Yoga is not about touching your toes, It is what you learn on the way down.
— Jigar Gor

Adriene asked that we pick a mantra for the day and she suggested maybe it's I Accept. This simple phrase meant everything to me in that moment. I prayed and declared my acceptance of my stage in life, I accepted that life was hard in the trenches with littles, I accepted that in order to have quiet time, I needed to wake up early, I accepted that I needed to meet with God on a daily, hourly, and minutely basis. I accepted that as a family we have chosen to homeschool and my kids are my highest priority, I accepted that housework would have to give for a while until I figured out a new rhythm or even hired someone and so forth, I accepted that I needed to respect my husband and ask for forgiveness over my resentment.  At this point, All of Us Matter had been birthed but I was only working on it when I had time. After that Matthew supported me and we hired a nanny and I started having 15 hours a week to dedicate to working and building All of Us Matter. Living out my passion has been no simple process, I have had to take a few twirls around the desert learning to trust God and be faithful in walking in the right direction because my road-mapping has, lead me off the path more than a few times. Believe me this readjusting will never end and I know God will never leave me nor forsake me.

What do you need to accept, in order to move forward?

Start conversations that matter, let's be a voice to the voiceless. 

Crystal, Founder, and Visionary at All of Us Matter


Fashion Revolution Week

Ethical Consumption Is Our Most Potent Form of Protest.
— Ethical Brand
Photography: Vanna Dutch

Photography: Vanna Dutch

I love collaborating and working with other like-minded individuals. It's in these places that my creativity soars. I had the great pleasure of spending a few days with Elizabeth who is the sister of our resident artist Abigail. Elizabeth is fabulous, easy to talk to (single) and has a great laugh. We were talking about her mentoring girls in her community and recent projects she was investing time into. One of those projects was about femininity, beauty, and mentorship and what it all means. I am all about it! She said she believes a woman who invest into herself, values herself. This was profound statement to me, for awhile I have been trying to figure out ways to concisely say this same thing. I have always believed that the way we think about ourselves reflects outwardly in our speech and in the manner in which we carry ourselves. As the scripture says, out of the abundance of our heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). How is that as children of God, created in His image, we can belittle ourselves and talk down in our inner thoughts? We carry so much shame and hidden fear. 

Photographer: Vanna Dutch

Photographer: Vanna Dutch

If we can look at the ocean and marvel, or the stars and just stare in wonder then we can and need to look in the mirror and see beauty, and God's workmanship. You are beautiful, dear reader, created imago dei, In the image of God. It's an inward working that flows outwardly. Clothes and makeup will not make you beautiful only a renewing of your mind and resting in God’s abundant love will do that. However, it's an evident manifestation when we see value, we carry ourselves a little taller. 

When we care and value ourselves because God cares and values us as sons and daughters we can then care and love our neighbour. We should look for clothes with integrity and value. Lets strive to be intentional in all areas, be connected with what we use, by knowing its connected to someones life. Life is precious lets not jeopardise that because we want a new shirt . Remember your value is in Jesus Christ and so is your neighbours. Readers we have the ability to live out significantly by small gestures of kindness and intentionality for our local and global neighbours. 

Photographer: Vanna Dutch

Photographer: Vanna Dutch

FASHION REVOLUTION

24TH-30TH APRIL 2017

Fashion Revolution Week is our #whomademyclothes campaign in April, which happens at the time of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, where 1,138 people were killed and many more injured on 24th April 2013.

Fashion Revolution: is a global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry.

We want to unite the fashion industry and ignite a revolution to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased, so that what the world wears has been made in a safe, clean and fair way.
Photographer: Vanna Dutch

Photographer: Vanna Dutch

Photographer: Vanna Dutch

Photographer: Vanna Dutch

Calling for fashion transperency doesn't end during this week. This post is a capstone of the fashion revolution week but this important issue of calling for higher responsibilities of rooting out slave labor in our supply chain is a conscious decision we need to make everyday. All of Us Matter both the consumer and the supplier. 

Start conversations that matter, lets be a voice to the voiceless. 

Crystal, Founder, and Visionary at All of Us Matter

Support a Freedom Business like Freeset Fabrics in India offering choice through economic opportunity. Women are living a free life outside of the Sex Trade.

Support a Freedom Business like Freeset Fabrics in India offering choice through economic opportunity. Women are living a free life outside of the Sex Trade.

Visit them over at Freeset USA

Visit them over at Freeset USA


Hope for Justice

To take care of the Least, the Lost, and Last
— Ben Cooley

All of Us Matter is partnered with Hope for Justice and we had the privilege of interviewing their founder, Ben Cooley, to hear more about his heart for the least, the lost, and the last in our world. His organization continues to be a force in the fight against human trafficking.

Photographer: Vanna Dutch

Photographer: Vanna Dutch

Hope For Justice has been a continuous encouragement for me while living here in the UK. I had the privilege to attend several of Hope For Justice's prayer conferences in Leicester over the years and also a Sunday service at C3 Church in December (thanks to a last minute invite from a friend) where Cooley was a guest speaker and gave a phenomenal message.. 

Ben Colley at C3 Church

Ben Colley at C3 Church

Cooley has a powerful ability to capture an audience and inspire them to action. He is full of wisdom and experience from many years of fighting in the trenches against human trafficking in our world. I consider him a mentor from afar and I hope you are encouraged and blessed by his insights. Matthew and I paraphrased some of his key responses below.

 

Q: What do you see as the role of the church in this fight? 

It is a mandate! It is the Church's responsibility to be involved in our communities. Organizations can't do everything. The church is not a building or a Sunday service it is us following Christ to help the least, the lost, and the last in our world.

Q: What do you find are the best ways to get people involved in the fight to end human trafficking? 

 This is the most asked question. I get this everywhere I go as I travel “What can I do to fight human trafficking?” I respond flipping the question “What can you do to fight human trafficking?” because we are not all meant to do the same thing. The best thing we can do is be ourselves and leverage our unique skills and abilities to do our part in this fight.

Q: How do you make injustice, which sometimes seems distant or hidden, visible and move people to action?

Wilberforce carried chains with him to make injustice visible. I believe one of the best ways we can make injustice visible is by telling stories. One of the things that makes human trafficking so heinous is that it is a hidden crime. This is why it is so important to have survivors tell their stories, It helps expose the darkness.


As a social business we exist for the purpose of fighting Slavery. Matthew and I do not make any profit from All Of Us Matter. Any revenue that is generated from cup sales or donations goes directly to our partner organizations or gets reinvested into the business to help make us sustainable and further our impact.

Since launching on 28 November 2016, All of Us Matter is still in the crawl phase of our journey. We have not reached a stage where we are generating a profit (as there have been significant start-up costs associated with the business). Regardless, Matthew and I donated 20% of our revenue (£200)  from cup sales in 2016 (at a loss) to Hope For Justice, to ensure that All of Us Matter is making a difference even during our early years.

All of Us Matter sends a BIG thank you to everyone who has been a co-laborer in this fight of injustice and who have also shown support of All of Us Matter by purchasing a cup. 

Start conversations that matter, lets be a voice to the voiceless. 

Crystal, Founder, and Visionary at All of Us Matter