Who doesn’t love a good sale? I know I do. There’s something so satisfying about that “score!” feeling of getting a great deal. But there’s more to life than scoring deals. Especially with everything going on in the world right now, many of us are looking for a way to do something that means something. That’s where my un-sale idea came from—the desire to do something to help.
The un-sale is not a sale, because you won’t save any money by participating in it. You will not get an amazing deal (although I think that my jewelry, even with no discount, is a good deal!). But I hope that what you get will be equally if not more valuable.
Starting today and continuing until midnight on Sunday, July 1, I will donate 25% of the purchase price of all sales from my online shop to one of the two charitable organizations that Ruth Barzel Jewelry supports: the Christ Church of Alexandria Refugee Resettlement Program and Second Chance Animal Rescue of Puerto Rico (SCAR). First class U.S. shipping remains free, as always.
How can you contribute (and also get some great jewelry)?
1. Visit my online shop.
2. Choose what you’d like to purchase and add it to your cart.
3. When you check out, you will see an “Order Notes” box. Write the charity that you’d like to contribute to in the box—either SCAR or the Refugee Resettlement Program. (If no preference is indicated, I’ll divide the donation equally between the two).
4. You can also e-mail me which charity you prefer.
The un-sale ends at midnight on Sunday, July 1, EST. During the un-sale, no discount codes can be used.
That’s all you need to know! But if you’d like to learn more about the organizations I support and how and why I support them, read on.
There are so many great causes and so many needs to be met that it gets overwhelming. I can’t donate to everything, and I want my money to go to the right place rather than to keeping poorly run organizations afloat or, even worse, ending up in someone’s pocket. In addition to believing in the cause, it’s important to me to have a personal connection to the organization so that I feel comfortable that my contribution is being used in the way I intended.
Here’s a little more about these two charities and why I’ve chosen to support them.
Christ Church of Alexandria Refugee Resettlement Program
Through this program, members of Alexandria, VA, churches as well as members of the community have come together to help refugees and asylum seekers living in Alexandria. In addition to offering financial assistance while the families get on their feet, the program has helped with resumé writing, finding dentists, collecting school supplies, offering rides, teaching children to swim, being at the hospital during surgery, sharing meals, acclimating to American culture, or offering a shoulder, an ear, or whatever is needed. The refugees the program serves are from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Eritrea, and Somalia.
A couple of years ago, my friend started volunteering for this program, which is run by a local church. I made a donation here and there: a grocery store gift card to help a family buy food, a box of diapers to help another who couldn’t afford to buy them. Because my friend posted frequently on social media about the families in the program, I learned a little bit about them—refugees who had left everything familiar in their own country to try to make a better life for themselves and their children in the U.S.
I was invited to a dinner for the families, where I met a family from Afghanistan. One of the teenage daughters—a bright, bubbly, and ambitious young woman who, upon arrival to her strange new country, dove right into American high school in a language she didn’t speak while also working at McDonald’s to help her family make ends meet—reminded me of what my mom had been like at that age, when she too had a been a refugee.
My mother’s immediate family were among the Jewish families in the part of Romania where they lived who survived World War II, but their lives for the next 5 years under communist Russian rule remained fraught. It was a rocky environment for everyone, and when some Jews were permitted to emigrate to Israel, my mother’s family was lucky to be in the first group of Jews allowed to leave. My mom, a top student who had been about to take her high school matriculation exams—had to start all over again in a completely unfamiliar environment. I remember her telling me that in their neighborhood in Israel, there were no roads yet, so they had to wade through sand to get to their house. She spent the next year, while also trying to get used to her new life and working to help support her family—studying for the exams in a language she had barely spoken when she set foot in her new country, and she somehow managed to pass them. A year later, she enrolled at university; she was the first person in her family to go to college. While there, she met my father and eventually moved to the U.S. with him, once again starting over in a new country, with a new language.
Looking at the Afghani family sitting around the table with me at dinner, laughing, enjoying themselves, and making the best of things, made me think of my mom and her family, who went through so much that I can’t really even imagine. That’s when I decided I wanted to do more for the program. Ever since, I’ve been donating a percentage of my online sales to help these families get a foothold in their new home.
SCAR rehabilitates and find permanent home for abandoned and abused dogs rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico. The organization’s goal is to place each rescue in a loving home stateside.
I met Tara Zurawski, manager of SCAR, at a jewelry event I did earlier this year, and we connected over our love of jewelry and our feelings about abandoned pups. When she contacted me later to ask if I’d consider doing a collaboration to benefit SCAR, I was instantly interested.
As some of you know, I have a little rescue dog of my own. I adopted Jackson after he was found abandoned in a backyard (something it still hurts my heart to think about), and I promised myself I’d never own another dog that’s not a rescue. So, I wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity to do a little bit to help other pups in need find homes—while also doing what I love.
I came up with a debut piece for the Ruth Barzel for SCAR collection—a sweet and simple pawprint pendant, available in sterling silver or gold filled. I’m also working on new additions for the collection. Even after the un-sale, 25% of the selling price of the pieces in this collection will go to SCAR, but during the un-sale, 25% of ANYTHINGyou buy on my site will be donated to SCAR or to help refugees—your choice.
This week, with your help, I’m trying to do a little more. That’s what the un-sale is all about. Doing just a little more, which is kind of my philosophy about work and life. You might not be able to do a lot, so just do a little bit. And then do a little bit more.
If you can’t donate a lot, consider donating a little bit. When you add up all the little bits, it turns out to be a lot.
Especially if we all do a little bit, together.
Enjoy un-sale shopping—and giving!