Mandolyn Orrell | Week 20

Yesterday, I was helping Christy do shipments for the Not For Sale Store.  She handed me an order slip, and the customer had ordered seven Thai cord braceletsOne customer ordered seven bracelets!  Another customer ordered five bracelets.  Another, three.  Several others ordered one along with various other items.  Not For Sale personally knows the young man who makes these bracelets.  His name is Annon.

You see, Annon’s father forced him to be a drug mule – carrying drugs across the Thai-Burmese border –  starting at a very young age.  He was one of the first children to come to NFS Thailand at Kru Nam’s Children’s Village several years ago.  When he arrived at the children’s village with Kru Nam, Annon had no education, no support, and no access to resources.  After five years, he finished culinary school, and has gainful employment as a chef’s assistant at a nearby resort.  The bracelets he makes, that NFS sells exclusively, pay for his transportation to and from school and provides food for his family.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this story from Dave, and other staff.  I don’t really know why, but while packaging up the orders, this all hit me.  The reality that these bracelets are providing a future for Annon, directly.  That his life, and the wellbeing of his family, are being bettered through the sale of these bracelets.  It was overwhelming.  At that moment, I realised that some of what I do here at NFS does make a direct difference in the lives of those connected with our international projects.  It has been very hard for me to see this over the past few months.

These customers, who purchased Annon’s bracelets, directly affected Annon’s life in a positive way.  These customers helped in creating a future for Annon and his family.  The staff that have any part in getting the bracelets to NFS, or sending them out to customers, they have a direct affect on Annon’s life as well.  This is a goal of Not For Sale –  to create futures for vulnerable people; go upstream and stop slavery and trafficking before it starts.  I’m honored to have been a very small part in restoring freedom  and hope to Annon’s and others, creating futures for them, through my time at Not For Sale.  I look forward to future opportunities to aid in restoring freedom and hope in others.  I am an abolitionist.

Annon (left, in stripes) modeling his bracelets with a friend.

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