My Favorite Color is October

October 2022


As the days grow crisp and the leaves begin to turn, the world about us is aglow with autumn splendor. With myriads of fall activities and all things pumpkin spice, October bestows bushels of fun before ushering us into the upcoming holiday season. At WAR, International, we are excited to help you jump into fall with some fun new opportunities to partner with us and party with a purpose this October!

NEWSWORTHY UPDATES


A Holiday to Remember
Candles flickering in frosty windows. Pine cones. Snowflakes. Mugs of delicious hot chocolate. Cozy cabin aromas. All these holiday scenes float through our minds, inviting us to embrace each moment with those we love. And as we compose our upcoming holiday lookbook, joy is abounding as we seek to capture all these delightful “feels” and display our beautiful products for you to purchase, share, and enjoy. Our holiday hope is for you to gather with your family and friends to cultivate togetherness and invite All The Memories the season has to offer.

Until the release of our A Holiday to Remember Lookbook, why don’t you pop on over and shop our stunning collection of other lookbooks here!?

Update on the Great Flood
The restoration company is working hard to clean up the water damage before the repairs and rebuilding begin. Because of the damage done to portions of the upstairs flooring, we have had to move all staff office spaces downstairs, with the exception of our U.S. Training Center. On many of the now exposed boards found on the staircase or other interior building structures, you can once again see the scripture verses that girls from a Michigan safehouse inscribed beneath the surface All Those Years Ago. For those boards we need to remove, we are thinking of repurposing them into a mural. More on that when a decision is made!

To stay up-to-date on the latest, follow our WAR, Int’l Facebook page.

If you wish to help with the costs of restoration, please consider leaving a financial gift here.

In Case you Missed it…
As this month’s second blog post, we have shared an editorial interview done by VoyageMichigan Magazine where you will have the chance to hear founder and president Becky McDonald’s story in her own words. You will be inspired by her passion and commitment to helping those whose voices have been silenced, while also learning more about the history and mission of Women At Risk, International.

Read the latest blog post here!

OCTOBER EVENTS


Hear Becky in Person!
We would like to personally invite you to join Becky on Sunday, October 2, 2022 at 6pm at New Life Baptist Fellowship. She will be sharing the work of Women At Risk, International as well as stories of rescue and hope. Product made by and in support of rescued and at-risk artisans will also be available for purchase during the evening. Find additional details here!

Cops, Coffee, Donuts!
Invite friends and family to join our annual Coffee with a Cop event on October 5 from 9:30-11:00am at our Grandville location. Enjoy a time of community, coffee, and donuts where you can learn what our local cops are doing to combat trafficking and their advice to help you do the same! There’s no need to register – just show up with your questions and be ready for a fun time! Learn more here.

From Survivor to Thriver
Don’t forget to join for us another survivor testimonial on this month’s Light Up Your World Zoom call! On Monday, October 24 special guest Pearl and WAR, Int’l founder and president Becky McDonald will be leading a conversation on overcoming trauma as Pearl shares her story and provides an honest picture of the path to healing. Prepare to be inspired by her courage and determination in not only finding her own voice, but also to speak on behalf of others struggling with the impact of trauma.

For additional details, visit our Upcoming Events page here.

Dress-up Time!
WAR Chest Boutique invites families to join us on October 29 from 10:00am – 12:00pm for treats & tales! Princess Jasmine and Sleeping Beauty will be there to read stories and pass out candy, crayons, and coloring books. Also available will be our kid’s bead bar where your littles can expand their imaginations and bring home their treasured creations. Free for all, make sure to dress up as your favorite superhero, princess, or storybook character! Find the details here!

Book your Holiday Pop-Up Party ASAP! Or email- party@warinternational.org.

I Call Out

Author: Kayla, WAR, Int’l Intern
September 2022


As a teenager in my late teens, I call out for the injustice being done to my generation. I call out for the voices that are silenced. I call out for freedom and protection for children and teens who are vulnerable. I call out for moms and dads to be involved.

I am calling out because it takes many voices to be heard, and I want to voice something that I see is a problem. Many people, including myself, have believed that our voices don’t have value or won’t make a difference. This is my cry to make a difference—not as a political resume but as a voice of freedom.

I have been given this opportunity to share what is heavy on my heart and to invite you to join me in calling out for freedom!

A Cry for Men, Women, and Children to Take Action!

I look around my country in the land of the free, and I see a lot of brokenness and isolation. I see people vulnerable to being trafficked and exploited. I call out for moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandmas, and grandpas to create circles of protection! We like to turn a blind eye to what’s happening, but we can’t! We have to get uncomfortable and reach out to people who are hurting!

This is our problem! We need to do something. We have an epidemic of slavery transpiring in our country! According to the U.S. State Department, at least 1.5 million people within North America fall victim to sex or labor trafficking. Friends, 1.5 MILLION PEOPLE in North America! Don’t think of that number as merely a statistic but as representative of other human beings like you and me, each with a name and a face, each with their own hopes and dreams, each with their own fears and insecurity. People like you and me who are enslaved and being robbed of their future.

I plead with people to take a risk and step up for the voiceless by educating themselves so they will not be caught off guard! The internet and COVID -19 have changed the face of trafficking as we know it. According to Statista.com, 83% of human trafficking is facilitated through the internet.

The popularity of technology and social media has increased trafficking and made it easier for predators to find victims. In a world where a lot of kids and teens are attached to their phones, it makes sense that traffickers have changed tactics. It is much easier to deceive and entice someone on the internet.

I challenge parents and kids to set up precautions and have conversations about the risks that the internet and social media present. It seems so innocent until it’s not! Traffickers know that kids and teenagers are vulnerable, and they use this to their advantage.

Take a stand today and have a conversation with your kids about internet safety. You can’t put your kids in a box to “protect” them from this issue. Parents need to have open and honest conversations about this topic. Talk about “red flags” and boundaries that can be put in place to safeguard them from being exploited. It means being practical and smart as you handle this new generation of technology at your fingertips. Circle around your kids, your nieces and nephews, your grandchildren! They are lonely, confused, and hurting. Being a teenager is not easy, so give grace but also give truth. They need you to circle them in protection and love.

To the teenager and beyond, if there’s anything you take away from this message, know that you have a voice! Will you stand with me to reach out not only to our peers but also to our communities?! Not in anger, but with love and a heart to listen. As I wrap this up, I want to communicate a spirit of humility that I am right there with you wrapped in my own comfort bubble, and this is the beginning for me to break out of my own comfort zone one step at a time. That’s all I ask—to take one step at a time!

This is Kayla calling out!

Hello Fall

September 2022

What a summer it has been here at WAR, Int’l. In June we launched our 1st Mystery Box, and thanks to all you shoppers, we very quickly sold out! With the subsequent success of Mystery Boxes 2 and 3, look for more opportunities to get a great deal as you #ShopWithPurpose.

Another special we offered this summer – 10% off total sales at home parties held during the months of June, July, & August – made a considerable impact. Below, we’ve detailed the significance of these events in rescuing, redeeming, restoring, and empowering vulnerable lives around the globe, including right here in the Land of the Free.

Read on to hear more about the latest and greatest with WAR, Int’l!

Shoutout to Hostesses
By taking advantage of our 10% summer party special, YOU have helped transform the lives of rescued and at-risk men, women, and children around the world. The numbers are still coming in, but so far YOU have sold over $8,000 worth of products! That’s more than enough to support 25 survivors in an international safehouse for an entire month! Thank you for bringing hope to their lives and empowering them to forge a bright new future!

Email party@warinternational.org to schedule your pop-up party today!

The Great Flood at HQ
Bright and early on August 15th, WAR staff members were greeted with water rushing out the side door of our building. Not how they had anticipated starting the new work week, to say the least. Apparently, over the weekend, a plumbing malfunction in the upstairs restroom led to major flooding of the upstairs and eventually the downstairs as well.

In an effort to maintain a sense of humor in the midst of a discouraging turn of events, we’ve dubbed our HQ “Noah’s Ark.” The restoration will take months, but we will prevail. We will continue with the work we are called to do.

To stay up-to-date on the latest, follow our WAR, Int’l Facebook page.

If you wish to help with the costs of restoration, please consider leaving a financial gift here.

Have you Read…???
Our latest blog post is written by no other than our inspiring founder and president, Rebecca McDonald. If you haven’t already had a chance, be sure to check out what she has to say about the transformation of her shopping habits after her experiences of walking alongside survivors and lifting them to lives of dignity. Smile and take heart that you too can make a difference in the lives of the rescued and at-risk by shopping the work of their hands!


Read the latest blog post here!

New Product Highlight
The Committed Necklace is handmade by rescued women and designed to connect an advocate like you to a survivor in the trafficking hubs of Asia. It is not one but two necklaces—one for you, and one created from the inside heart of your necklace and gifted to a woman during outreach in the red light districts. As our partners place the delicate heart around her neck, your gift of a heart speaks the truth that she is neither forgotten nor alone. It sparks courage and opens up the door to freedom.


Commit to ending injustice by purchasing your necklace here!

Mystery Box #3
If you’re looking for a simple-trendy-glitzy-everyday vibe to spruce up any outfit, then MB#3 is just what you need! Handcrafted by at-risk Thai women who are now working with dignity, you contribute to their future with the power of your purchase. Originally valued at $30, this mystery box set is available to you for only $10 while supplies last! Grab yours today at warchestboutique.com!

Don’t forget our Outdoor Market!
Ever run errands after dropping your kids off at school for the day? Before heading home, why not stop at the WAR Chest Boutique to get in on some early Christmas shopping, or better yet, meet up with some other moms to shop with a purpose before grabbing lunch together!

Our Outdoor Market will be open through September and is offering some great deals on jewelry, accessories, and more! Take advantage of the warm weather season while it lasts and enjoy browsing our treasure chest of unique gifts both indoors and outdoors as you support survivors and those at risk with the power of your purchase.

Monday, September 26nd – Light Up Your World

Don’t forget to join for us this month’s Light Up Your World Zoom call! We are honored to have Carrie, a survivor of domestic violence, be part of our conversation with WAR, Int’l founder and president Rebecca McDonald. Carrie will relay the twists and turns of her journey through heartbreak, loss, and abandonment, and how she ultimately discovered spiritual and emotional healing through the ministry of healing prayer. Your heart will be touched by her testimony of God’s redemption and the lessons He has taught her from a place of brokenness. Mark your calendars and join us on Monday, September 26, at 7:30 pm EST. To learn more, follow the link below to our upcoming events page!

Light Up Your World

My Shopping Habits Were Changed Forever

Author: Rebecca McDonald, President & Founder
August 2022


My experiences of rescuing survivors of horrific abuse and teaching them to work with dignity by making artisanal products changed my shopping habits forever.

I was never one to buy shoes, purses, or jewelry. Then I started creating programs for survivors on a global scale and realized they needed a sustainable source of income. I told God, “If I’m going to have to sell something, it has to be beautiful!”

And so it began. WAR, Int’l started selling handcrafted jewelry and accessories made by rescued and at-risk women (and even men) from around the world. Now, I’m a walking mannequin for WAR!

Besides, the day I don’t dress up is the day I will be asked for an interview or meet with a person of influence, and I want to take every opportunity to show off the work of our artisans’ hands! Today, the WAR Chest Boutique has over 7000 unique gifts handcrafted by or sold in support of rescued and at-risk individuals.

The stories of the survivors we support are the heartbeat of our mission, and every product comes with a story card allowing you to read personal stories of men, women, and children who have passed through our programs. Whether they’re made in a preventative or a restorative program, our artisans craft fair trade items within a safe environment where they receive wraparound services designed to rescue, restore, and empower them to live with dignity and purpose.

Shopping with a purpose proves how my meager purchases have the power to change a life forever. Another non-profit that rescues survivors and sells handmade candles as we do says, “A single candle cuts through the darkest night.” Decades of experience have taught me the truth of Dr. Martin Luther King’s statement, “Darkness does not drive out darkness, only light can do that.” Our goal is to shed light on a dark subject and give hope and healing to those who seek safety beneath the shelter of our wings.

When you buy a product from the WAR Chest Boutique, you’re truly a fellow soldier in the fight to set the captives free. You literally jump in the trenches with us lifting the lives of those once trafficked and exploited to jobs with worth and dignity.

I can’t shop at Walmart or JCPenney anymore! I struggle shopping at the dollar store. I don’t know who made their products, their working conditions, if they’re being paid fairly, how they are being cared for, how old they are, or even if they’re free to choose differently. My eyes have been opened.

Every Friday, just for you, we curate a collection of specialty gifts from the WAR Chest Boutique. It is a treasure chest, if you will, of unique and beautiful handcrafted items – like ​jewelry, scarves, accessories, and more – to provide you with moments of opportunity.

-The opportunity to add fresh style to your home and attire.
-The opportunity to equip and empower survivors.
-The opportunity to give a hand up for those at risk to live in freedom.

Please take a moment to shop with a purpose at the WAR Chest Boutique!

Browse this week’s collection at Fresh Finds!

Last Call for Summer

August 2022

We know you want to make the most of your time so we’re here to help you relish the last days of summer with some exciting offers and impactful events! Scroll down to see what’s happening with WAR, Int’l in the month of August. We hope you’ll join us for one last hurrah before summer comes to a close!

Mystery Box #3 is Live!

If you’re anything like the rest of us, you may find yourself standing in front of the mirror and thinking, “I have nothing to wear with this outfit!” If that’s you, the simple-trendy-glitzy-everyday vibe of MB#3 is just what you need! This set will sweetly pair with your jeans and t-shirts. As well as subtly glam up that cute summer dress. And go with that office outfit that needs a bit of pep. Handcrafted by at-risk Thai women who are now working with dignity, you contribute to their future and pay it forward with the power of your purchase. Originally valued at $30, this mystery box set is available to you for only $10 while supplies last! Pop on over to warchestboutique.com and grab yours today!

P.S. You can still get in on MB#2 for a few more days! Just specify that you want MB#2 in the special instructions section at checkout. Offer ends August 5th!

10% Off Special

If you haven’t booked your summer party yet, now is the time! This is the last month to capitalize on our 10% offer, and you don’t want to miss this limited-time opportunity! Link arms with women around the world by scheduling your summer pop-up party today! It can be as simple or elaborate as you choose Get creative and feel free to ask us for ideas on how you can party with a purpose this August!

Contact Party Central!

Monday, August 22nd – Light Up Your World

Don’t forget to join us this month for our Light Up Your World Zoom call with WAR, Int’l founder and president Rebecca McDonald! In this month’s discussion, Becky will be sharing updates on her most recent travels around the globe. Hear about her visits to our partners in Guatemala, Portugal, France, Kenya, and Zambia. Additionally, Becky will also be providing the latest report on WAR’s partnerships in both Ukraine and Moldova. Mark your calendars and join us on Monday, August 22, at 7:30 pm EST. Learn more here!

August 6 – WAR, Int’l Course

Want backstage knowledge about WAR, Int’l? Then the WAR, Int’l Course is for you! Led by founder and president Rebecca McDonald, topics include our history and mission, how programs and partners are developed, the handling of products and sales with artisans, specific ways to get involved, and more. The registration deadline is fast approaching, and space is limited so snag your spot today by registering HERE!

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 on the evening of Friday, August 12th. Learn more here!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!

It may be August, but Christmas is still in the air! If you haven’t had a chance to check out our Christmas in July Featurette, this is your moment! Browse our ‘Merry Medley’ of items and find a treasured gift for yourself or someone you love. By doing so, you extend the light of love to those who need it most. In shopping the work of their hands, you give survivors and those at risk a chance to heal and the opportunity earn an income with dignity!

#ShopToRescue Here