Supply Hope

Meet Marta

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You can’t leave Marta’s house without her offering to give you a plant, a piece of jewelry, or a snack. Marta loves to give. Every Saturday she orders pizzas for forty kids in her DaniCowanPhotographyforSupplyHope91neighborhood, offering Glu-Glu, a Mercado Fresco product that is similar to apple juice, to complete the meal. Once tummies are fed, Marta teaches the Bible and leads the children in performances and crafts that correspondence with the lesson of the day. Last weekend, Marta taught about how God uses kids in the Bible. Her own children are grown, but they help out, along with her husband, Bayardo, to instill good values into the kids. Marta laughed as she recalled the children acting out Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem for their Easter lesson. The child playing the donkey dropped Jesus mid-scene and decided to just eat grass instead, as donkeys do. Then Marta got serious for a moment. She explained that she worries about her community and the trends she sees with drugs, pornography, and other temptations the kids are faced with daily. She hopes to help stop that progression by holding this group every week for two hours. She feels it’s the best way she can help her community.

Marta’s generosity doesn’t stop with children. Without any encouragement to do so, Marta has been recruiting other women for Supply Hope to open their own stores. Even if they might be competition for her own store, Marta wants to share her success with other women. She is excited about more mentor-ship opportunities for those who do decide to open a Mercado Fresco and has already brought many other women into the business.

After receiving a special scholarship to study engineering in Russia for six years, Marta was excited to come home. However, she found she couldn’t use her impressive degree because her son, William, struggled with asthma attacks, and her eldest daughter, Greten, had chronic jaw pain. While her husband was able to work, his income wasn’t sufficient to provide for a family of five. Marta was taught to “use her teeth and nails and fight.” So she learned how to make jewelry and made some extra money selling her creations, but it wasn’t much. Now, Marta can help pay for water, electricity, and food. She can afford to feed forty children pizza and Glu-Glu every Saturday.

That’s Marta. Getting more means giving more!

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Meet Leonor

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The thin curve of Leonor’s right eyebrow turns sharp when she watches her story land on her listener. She anticipates your reaction, because unlike many Nicaraguan women, Leonor tellsDaniCowanPhotographyforSupplyHope293 her story over and over to anyone that will listen. Leonor is a mover and a shaker in her community. At sixteen, The Nicaraguan Youth Coalition under the United Nations Civil Rights Council, recruited members at her high school. The activists would not be paid, but would travel all over the country to hear the concerns of the people outside of the capital. Then the activists would shape protests to work towards a true democratic system. Leonor and her future husband, José, both signed up immediately. Together, they began a pursuit that has continued for the past fourteen years, working towards access to education for those in extreme poverty outside Managua, and women’s rights throughout the country.

Leonor’s body tells the story of her activism. She points to a scar above one eye, a mark from a time when a rug was thrown at her in opposition to her protests. She shows more scars on her arm, from when the opposition tracked her down after a Civil Coordinating Committee meeting, and broke her arm in three places to convince her not to get involved with the Youth Coalition. The case she filed about this incident has been open for six years without conclusion. The most recent incident didn’t leave a physical mark, but certainly will forever be imprinted in Leonor’s memory. After numerous threatening phone messages, a man approached her as she left home, held a gun to her head, and said if she didn’t stop protesting, they would kill her and her family. She didn’t back down, so he pulled the trigger. Leonor says God was on her side because the gun mysteriously didn’t fire. As Leonor tells these stories, she clings tightly to a framed certificate from the United Nations Civil Rights Council that reads “Woman of Courage,” a sign she keeps hanging right above her Mercado Fresco store.

That same perseverance that her certificate honors has made her a successful store operator. She and her husband lost their jobs fighting for democracy, fighting for those in her country who have worse conditions than they do. In her modest situation, she still thinks of those with greater need. Mercado Fresco has given her family an opportunity to earn an income, when no one else would hire them. It also allows Leonor to stay home with her first born, a four-month-old baby girl named Mayerlin. She is so proud of her ability to earn an income for her family, to build a better roof that doesn’t let the rain in, to get the right baby food for her daughter. Her husband and her continue to be activists, hoping to see change in their country. Leonor knows the power of her story and Mercado Fresco allows her to keep telling it, without fearing unemployment.

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Meet Indira

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Indira is a single mother with two boys and if being a single mother isn’t hard enough, all three of them have severe health issues. Her four year old is partially deaf and mute, her 2 year old has hydrocephalus and Indira has cervical cancer. With all the doctors’ visits and unexpected bouts of illness, Indira has struggled to keep a consistent job. Although she studied accounting, prior to working as a Mercado Fresco micro-franchise operator, she had worked part-time as a laundress to support her family.

Indira feels that is best for her to take care of her children alone. “I am a better mother and father to my children – no one should be able to come into my life and hit my kids.” Her first husband left the family years ago, after being physically abusive. Although it’s hard for Indira to support her family alone, she would rather live with her mother than invite someone into her life that could abuse them again. Although it’s not uncommon in Nicaragua for adult children to live with your mother, Indira is wishes she didn’t have to rely on her mother financially. She looked around her humble house and said, “None of this mine. Except the freezer,” she smiled, “the freezer is mine!”

The new freezer helps Indira stock more products for her Mercado Fresco micro-franchise. Since the store is home-based, she is able to be at home to take care of her children while earning an income. Both of her boys have been bullied at school for their differences, and she is grateful to have the opportunity to work from home and support them through those difficult times. You can tell that Indira worries constantly about her children; it preoccupies most of her brain. When asked about her dream, she responded that she only dreams for her boys. Only having had her store for two months, Indira is mostly using the extra money to cover basic living expenses, but she hopes that soon she can afford to buy a computer for her boys. The public schools don’t provide them the individual attention they need, so having extra learning possibilities at home would be a huge benefit.

Indira attributes her successful start with Mercado Fresco to her friendly rapport with her neighbors. Even with the heavy stress each day brings for parents with disadvantaged children, she wakes up at five in the morning and calls out “Good morning everyone!” to her neighbors, starting the day with positivity and energy as she continues to fight for her kids.

Indira has hope for a bright future for herself and her children.

If you are interested in helping women like Indira, please visit: http://www.supplyhope.org/donate-now/

 

 

 

 

Meet Esmerelda

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DaniCowanPhotographyforSupplyHope72Esmerelda is the mother of  three boys, Angel, Javier, and Emmanuel. Her husband works hard doing road construction but the family has struggled to pay their bills and meet their basic needs.  Esmerelda applied to become a Mercado Fresco micro-franchise store operator with Supply Hope. This home-based micro-franchise would allow her to be at home with her children while earning and income.

Now, Esmerelda has been able to pay off her long standing bills and become debt free! She can now buy weekly groceries, saving her time and money when before she had do shop on a daily basis if she had the money.  She has also been able to buy small household items for her family, like a simple fan, that make the Nicaraguan temperatures more bearable when living without air-conditioning.

Esmerelda wants a better future for her family. She is working hard and has started attending school on Sundays to get her GED. She is now able to pay for school materials and lunches.

 

With your support, hope can happen!

 

 

 

Meet Roxana

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Meet Roxana…

Roxana was a single mom with a child living with and depending on her grandmother for support. Her grandmother received a small pension but it was not enough to provide for all their needs.

When Roxana heard about the Mercado Fresco micro-franchise, she knew that this would be the perfect solution. Since Mercado Fresco is a home-base fresh market, she is able to stay at home with her grandmother and son…while earning a living!

Now, as a Mercado Fresco store operator, Roxana is able to provide for her family’s needs like never before. She can now buy milk, diapers for her son and proper medical care as needed. This has been a huge blessing for Roxana and her grandmother.

We all want to be able to provide for our family’s needs. And as we continue our work in Nicaragua, we continue to see that one of the greatest needs for the poor is a way to earn a living.

Supply Hope is committed to providing a path out of poverty through micro-franchising!

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Who is Supply Hope?

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Noemi 3Do you know who Supply Hope is? You may have seen our videos or visited our website but do you really know who Supply Hope is? Not “what we do” but “who we are”?  Well, I’d love to tell you exactly who we are!

We are primarily women living in Nicaragua struggling with the realities of poverty.  We are trying to provide for our families.  We want to provide our children with a proper education.  We want our families to have hope for the future.

We are Noemi.  Before Noemi joined the Supply Hope team, she was unemployed and struggling to support herself and her son. She had lost hope. She is now operating a Mercado Fresco home-based micro-franchise and everything is different. She is working hard and supporting family.  She is setting goals for the future and saving to make much needed home repairs.

She is happy.

She is on the path out of poverty!

New Beginnings

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January is a month filled with new beginnings. It’s the perfect time to access our lives and make the changes that we need for a better year. Personally, I’ve never been big on making New Year’s resolutions. I simply don’t like that word and all the pressure associated with it! I do, however, enjoy taking a step back and looking at how I am living my life and decide to make a few tweaks going forward – for the better! I do my best to evaluate myself holistically. I think about how I am doing spiritually, physically and relationally. Am I slipping in some of these areas? What do I need to do to get back on track? Usually a few changes can make a huge difference. While going through this process, it is always important for me is to remember…that it isn’t all about me! What I am doing to make a difference in the lives of others? How can I better serve those who need assistance?

Supply Hope is focused on providing a path out of poverty through micro-franchising. Our work in Nicaragua has been amazing. we have been coming along side of families that were earning $2 a day or less and equipping them with the tools they need to operate a micro-franchise. We have seen their income increase to as much as $10 a day. This is huge for these families! Not only are they now able to meet their basic needs but they truly have hope for a better future.

On Friday, February 6, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (CST) at the River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle Street, Supply_Hope_RoastingChicago, IL , Supply Hope will be hosting a fun night of improv comedy, delicious food, and an inspiring story of how Supply Hope is changing lives. We would love for you to join us. To buy a ticket, go to http://www.supplyhope.org/event

As you look at the direction that you are taking in 2015, would you consider partnering with Supply Hope as we continue our work in Nicaragua? Your partnership will impact thousands…including you!

 

Sacrifice

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130821_SupplyHope_722The word sacrifice is a little scary isn’t it? It may be easy to sacrifice for those we love, but what about sacrificing for someone we don’t know? Sacrifice is being willing to give up something good for something better.

Since it is the holiday season, there are many opportunities to watch the holiday classics. One of my favorites is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The main character, George Bailey, sa

crificed everything he wanted for the people around him.  At the end of the movie, he receives the ultimate assurance that his life is best lived putting others interests before his own. It is such a great example of just how valuable the gift of life is, and how one person can have a huge impact on the life of so many others.

Supply Hope has a wonderful giving opportunity that can truly change the life of a family living in poverty in Nicaragua. Basically, it costs $1,000 to give a family the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty by operating their own micro-franchise to earn a steady, reliable income. Using our “Build a Store” link you can build a shopping cart of items that they need to get started – from $30 items to $300 items. It’s fun, and it matters deeply to families who need hope!

So, as we enter this holiday season, let’s take the time to make a difference in the life of someone else.

Season of Hope!

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130819_SupplyHope_057The holiday season can be filled with many different emotions. For some it is a wonderful time filled with parties, gifts, family and friends.  For others  it is a time filled with pain due to loss… loss of a family member, loss of a job, loss of hope for a better future. The pain is real but hope is too. We can never lose hope! When you choose hope, anything is possible.

It has been very exciting for us at Supply Hope to work with our micro-franchise store operators and see them move from hopeless to hopeful. We have stated this many times but we truly believe that one of the greatest needs of the poor is a job. Most people want to be able to provide for themselves and their family. For children to have hope for a better future, they need to see their parents have opportunity.

Although the focus at Supply Hope is providing jobs through micro-franchising, our heart has always been to see children loved and provided for by their own parents or care-givers. Sponsorship programs and aid are wonderful and needed but at some point you hope to see families move from receiving aid to a place of dignity where they are able to provide from themselves and their children have hope. That is our ultimate goal.

So this holiday season give someone hope by giving them a job!

We have a growing waiting list of entrepreneurs in Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the western hemisphere who want to work hard, provide for their families, and earn a steady income. YOU can help them do that by giving them the supplies they need to get started. So, we’ve created a fun, interactive way for you to build a store!

Visit: http://buildastore.squarespace.com/to fill your cart with items needed to start a micro-franchise store, and give someone a chance to break the cycle of poverty in their family.

Giving Tuesday

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Most of us have kicked off the holiday season with our usual shopping Entrepreneuerfrenzy – Black Friday, Cyber Monday and for some…Cyber Week! In the midst of the holiday shopping and the endless search for the perfect gift and best deal let’s not forget Giving Tuesday.

The purpose of Giving Tuesday is to help people focus not just on the cool stuff they can purchase for the holidays but also on how they can give to support organizations addressing some of the greatest needs in the world. This is your chance to slow down and give intentionally. It doesn’t matter how much you give – it simply matters that you give.

Supply Hope is giving people living in poverty the opportunity to earn a reliable income through the operation of a micro-franchise.  Most of the store operators are women who previously earned less than $2 a day and had little to no hope for anything more.  Currently, these ladies are earning $8 a day on average – this is a tremendous increase for these families! The waiting list of women desiring to become store operators is growing and we need your help!

As part of Supply Hope’s year-end giving initiative, you can help us fund a new store in whole or in part. Each new micro-franchise has $1,000 in start-up costs, including items from $30 up to $300.

Please visit: http://buildastore.squarespace.com  to build a store from scratch and provide hope where it’s needed most!

HELP US FIGHT POVERTY THROUGH MICRO-FRANCHISING DONATE NOW