What’s something you’ve done during this pandemic that you’re proud of? What’s one thing that’s made you feel good?
Maybe it’s sending a postcard or letter to a friend, or leaving some fresh baked cookies on your neighbor’s doorstep. Perhaps you’re writing positive reviews for local businesses you would normally frequent, or making time to call your parents or grandparents more often.
If you’re looking for an idea beyond the ones above, may I suggest a little online shopping with the Women’s Bean Project? Whether you’re looking for some snacks and staples to stock your own pantry or looking for a great gift to send someone who’s celebrating a birthday (or could just use a little cheering up), there are some really great foodie finds — and supporting them is a simple way to help this non-profit organization provide jobs and opportunity for chronically unemployed women in the Denver area.
Here’s how it works. Women’s Bean Project’s mission is to help women transform their lives through employment, and to do that, they hire women who face a variety of barriers to mainstream employment (like a lack of marketable skills, low self-esteem, low educational attainment, prior substance abuse, incarceration, or dependence on public assistance, for example), and provide them with both a steady paycheck and support services to help them build life skills.
These women typically spend seven months in the Women’s Bean Project, during which time they have a chance to discover their talents and interests in a safe and accepting work environment — all while manufacturing quality, reasonably-priced foods like dried beans, biscuit and cookie mixes, popcorn, candies, spices, dog treats, and more. Women in the program are paid for 100 percent of their time, whether they’re officially working or meeting with a mentor or taking a class. Purchases support these efforts, covering about 60 percent of expenses; the other 40 percent comes through grants and donations that support program services.
What would you call this? A win/win/win? Buying, giving, baking, eating … it’s allll good. —Kristen