Quench Your Thirst for Freedom

July 2022


PARTY WITH A PURPOSE!

This summer, keep cool and party on by hosting a WAR Chest Boutique pop-up party! You’ll receive a free hostess gift as our thanks to you. As an ADDED BONUS, you and your guests will receive 10% off your entire party purchase!

DID YOU KNOW:
Every $300 in WAR product sales can sustain an individual in one of our partnering overseas safehouses for a month. On average, this means every $10 in sales can sustain a rescued individual in one of these safehouses for an entire day!

Link arms with your friends to make an impact.

Hosting is easy—we send you all the products and displays, and it’s a great way to beat that summer boredom while having fun with family and friends. Our products are fashionable, practical, and support safehouses and enterprises all over the world.

Whether you choose a handbag or a one-of-a-kind jewelry piece, you’ll know your purchase has a purpose in helping lift rescued and at-risk men, women, and children to dignity and freedom.

Call 616-855-0796 or email party@warinternational.org today to plan your party and receive your free hostess gift. Quench your thirst for freedom with a WAR Chest Boutique pop-up party!

Sizzling Summer Specials and Newsworthy Events

Posted: June 1, 2022



Summer, summer, summertime! We’ve all been waiting for it, and WAR, Int’l is here to help you make the most of it with some special offers and important events.

Add us to your summer bucket list!


SPECIAL OFFERS

Mystery Item
UPDATE — We Have Sold Out! We are launching our 2nd Mystery Box on July 1st!

Introducing WAR Chest Boutique’s first ever Mystery Box! What will it be? Well, that’s for you to find out, but we can tell you the icing on this mystery cake is that it’s been handcrafted by rescued individuals from the beautiful country of Thailand. Starting TODAY, pop on over to warchestboutique.com and grab this exciting surprise, valued at $40, for only $10 while supplies last!

10% Off Special
For all parties held in June, July, & August, party attendees will receive 10% OFF their entire party purchase! Don’t miss this limited-time opportunity. Email our Party Event Center today to get your party scheduled!
Contact Party Central


SUMMER EVENTS

Join us the Fourth Monday of Every Month
Don’t forget to join us this summer for our monthly Zoom calls with founder and president Rebecca McDonald! In the virtual community we’ve cultivated, you will hear not only from Becky but also from courageous survivors and advocates who are passionate about combatting risk and fighting the injustice of human trafficking. The next call is scheduled for Monday, June 27 at 7:30 pm EST. To learn more, follow the link below to our upcoming events page!

Click here for Light Up Your World dates & speaker info.

June 7 – Outdoor Market Opens!
WAR Chest Boutique’s Outdoor Market will be back for the warm weather season and will feature jewelry, furniture, kitchen equipment, and accessories at excellent prices. Click here to learn more!

August 6 – WAR, Int’l Course
The WAR, Int’l Course, led by founder and president Rebecca McDonald, covers the history and mission of WAR, Int’l, how programs and partners are developed, the handling of products and sales with artisans, specific ways to get involved, and more. Click here to learn more!

August 10-13 – Unity Festival
WAR, Int’l will be at Unity Fest selling beautiful items handmade by rescued and at-risk individuals. Founder and president Rebecca McDonald will also be speaking on the main stage the evening of Friday, August 12th. Click here to learn more!

REMINDER

Our beautiful Tea for Two lookbook is HERE. Let’s foster hope and restore lives one handcrafted piece at a time!

Shop with a Purpose today!

Is Happiness A Choice?

Author: A Dear Survivor
April 12, 2022


    This, I Believe

Over 10 years ago, NPR had a radio show called “This, I Believe.” This segment focused on written essays from listeners who were stating their stance on something they believed in. It was incredibly inspiring, but it also encouraged listeners to broaden their point of view to hear and understand someone else’s opinion. Below, I’ve written my own “This, I Believe” statement about something that can often be considered controversial:

    Is Happiness a Choice?

Having been a circle of protection to survivors of sexual and physical abuse, human trafficking, and other traumas, I believe happiness is a choice. Persevering against the odds stacked against them, these survivors have risen from the ashes because they chose to invest in their own happiness. One recurring observation I often hear when a survivor publicly shares their story is: “I would’ve never known they were a survivor because they’re just so full of joy!” Every morning, these individuals wake up and are haunted by their horrific pasts. They are faced with the decision of whether they are going to choose to linger in the darkness of their trauma or whether they’re going to choose the warmth of happiness – and by no means is that decision an easy one.

It is incredibly easy for anyone who has endured trauma to any extent to linger in those dark corner shadows where they won’t ever have to face what’s keeping them there. But the choice to be happy? That choice is one of the most difficult ones they have to make on their healing journey. When a person chooses to expose all those dark and scary places, they prove that they’re no longer afraid of what awaits when they open the drapes. It’s like when spring finally comes after a long winter, and they can finally open the windows, let in the fresh air, take a deep, cleansing breath, and allow themselves to begin sweeping up the settled dust and cobwebs.

I personally went through my own healing journey from the years of trauma I endured that resulted in multiple mental health concerns. After one final breakdown, where depression and anxiety left me on the ground, a shattered mess of hopelessness, questioning if I was strong enough to keep going, I realized that I needed to play an active role in my recovery to find true healing. It was no longer enough for me to solely rely on my weekly therapy sessions and my prescription medication. With the help of my therapist, I found it was most beneficial to start every morning making the conscious choice to choose happiness and appreciate the little things around me. I opened my eyes and found joy in the turkeys and deer as they walked through the backyard, in the sunrise over the golden cross that stands glowing high above the Cathedral on my drive to work, and in the sunsets as the burnt orange rays of warmth came streaking through my bedroom window in the summertime. Maybe that’s more of a testament to my personal growth, but similar practices are mirrored in the courageous and strong individuals I’ve had the honor of knowing and loving. Surely, if a survivor of something as horrific as human trafficking, torture, assault, etc., can open their eyes and choose their own happiness every morning, anyone can. This, I believe.

International Women’s Day: My Thoughts & Three Conclusions

Author: Rebecca McDonald, President & Founder
March 1, 2022


As I’ve traveled the world, I have heard of horrific stories of the lack of rights, some unrepeatable. In many lands, a woman raped must have a witness because a man’s word is literally worth 2 women. If he comes up with a male witness to say the opposite, she must find 4 witnesses. I’ve discovered faith systems where the women are not allowed to take part in ANY part of the worship. They can cook for the men but have NO say in their faith. Should their family cease to produce a male, their faith dies completely out. Men can get a divorce just by saying so 3 times, but a woman can never divorce. In rare cases, if she does, she will never see her children again. Women are denied school, can’t hold jobs even if trained as doctors or lawyers, must not run a business…the list is endless.

Growing up as an American in lands where women and girls had next to NO rights had a profound effect on me. My home was a safe place where my voice was precious & heard. Being an only girl with 3 brothers helped with the “princess status.” But seriously, my parents took me seriously to the point that my word carried more weight than my older sibling due to our approach to things. I was treated like the oldest child in many ways. Meanwhile, outside my home, my girlfriends had almost no say. They were bought and sold in a marriage contract. The culture even had “marriage brokers” the same way we approach buying a home to find the right details, price, pedigree, etc. for the male family to “consider.”


Three distinct events left an impression on me.

1) You recall my 14-year-old village girlfriend was raped (by family), fought back, and had acid poured down her throat to “silence her” literally.


Nehru: My 14 yr. old girlfriend forever silenced with acid poured down her throat.

2) For the wealthy, it was even harder in some ways with more at stake. I remember 2 upper-class girlfriends. One, the daughter of the Minister of Education, a power elite family, “met and fell in love with” a high-class boy while in the USA getting their education. From the richest Bengali family, it was “OK.” BUT, they had to go through the charade of pretending it was an arranged marriage and they’d never met. Heaven forbid a woman should choose her own path…or a boy for that matter.

3) Then as an adult, I sat in the home of another wealthy family related to the nation’s President who babysat his young son. That night while my son played with the President’s son, their daughter came in angry from university classes. Her father had arranged a marriage to another wealthy family. The sisters of the “groom to be” came to “check her out” looking her up and down in the door of the classroom like she was “a cow for sale at the market.” She complained bitterly that any family whose women treated her like “property for sale” was not a home she wished to marry into. Very simply (so liberal of him), the father just said, “Ok…I’ll look for another.” She walked off happily. I sat thinking about the fact that she was submitting happily to his giving in yet still in charge of who she’d marry.


What Does All This Prove?

Simply that for all our progress as women, we have a long way to go in many lands. I have 3 conclusions from a lifetime of working to empower women.

l) I love America despite its many many flaws. I am a woman that founded an organization and has a voice in any setting and platform I wish to pursue. Yes, it may be that I have had to fight harder, dig deeper, swallow slights…but I am willing to do so if it means lifting the broken, the voiceless, the wounded, the hurting. At the end of the day, there is no slight, indignity, or put-down that compares to those of the lives we represent. So for them, we willingly take up that cross and march on. I’m patriotic not for apple pie, motherhood, or football, but for our right to speak out! I beg you to hold your rights as a privilege and luxury. The day we lose the right to speak freely, we are not a great nation anymore. I know what that looks like. I grew up with girlfriends that had no voice. We must always allow the voice of the silenced no matter whether we like its sound or not. It is what makes us great. When you silence anyone, you give predators power. Our right to free speech in every aspect is truly what sets us apart.

2) I am a mother of 3 boys (& 1 daughter), a sister to 3 brothers, grew up as an American surrounded by the “Taliban mentality,” & work with law enforcement and clergy (male-dominated). I know the world of men and I respect it. I don’t want you to bash my boys any more than my daughter. While we must find rights for women, we must not do it to the detriment of our boys. Fixing a wrong by going to extremes only hurts everyone in the end. I have an article on this on our website. Suffice it to say, All Voices Matter Regardless of Genders. We need to stick together to lift all voices in the fight for freedom.

3) Four decades of being the “Voice of the Silenced” proves those who suffer have the most profound insights. We’d be wise to listen first to them, the experts. They may not have the solutions to the problem politically, legally, or structurally. But their voices should be the template, the mentor, the guard rails that guide significant changes. To fix something without the insight of the experts is to not fix it at all. With 2 ears and only 1 mouth, listen first and twice as long. Then be the voice of the silenced no matter how small you think you are.

Passionate to be the Voice of the Silenced:
Becky

Acoustic Mic Nights

Join the Tea Trade Cafe for a 12-week summer music series every Thursday night from June 8th to August 24th. These evenings will feature amazing local artists, as well as our full menu including fresh sandwiches, wraps, and salads, along with artisan coffees and teas. These events are free! Not only will your attendance support local musicians, but also make an impact on the fight against human trafficking right here in West Michigan.

Every Thursday Night

June 8th – August 24th
6:30 – 8:30
Tea Trade Cafe
2790 44th St SW
Wyoming, MI 49519

Full Line Up

 

June 8th: 2DOGS
June 15th: Eden Witvoet
June 22nd: No performance due to special event
June 29th: Jesse Bolinder
July 6th: Elizabeth Thomas
July 13th: Jim Novak & Paul Cerny
July 20th: Aaron Wienss
July 27th: Kaitlyn Zittel
Aug. 3rd: Daniel Holland
Aug 10th: Carrie Steffen