Earlier this month, when we asked for suggestions to inform our annual gift guide, we hoped to learn about one or two new businesses or products that help refugees earn more than minimum wage in jobs that offer dignity, training opportunities and supportive work environments. Thanks to the incredible response from across the refugee employment network, we received more recommendations than we can list, so here are the top 12. Enjoy!
Anchor of Hope – A subscription service to receive monthly or quarterly boxes filled with items lovingly handmade by refugees, survivors of human trafficking and others in vulnerable situations, most living right here in the United States.
Better Life Bags – Located in Detroit, Better Life Bags employs workers with barriers to employment including refugees/asylees.
Broadwick Fibers – We work with ACC here in Denver to employ refugees (well, just one right now but plans for more in the near future) who have come here from East Africa. -Camille McMurry, owner of Broadwick Fibers
Ekata Designs – A Memphis based Jewelry business that exists to provide employment, income and training to refugees as they transition to a new life in America.
Kei & Molly Textiles – A small, women owned and run business who has hired two of our Congolese clients! -Kiri Mathsen, Job Developer at Lutheran Family Services of Rocky Mountains in Albuquerque, NM
GAIA Empowered Women – Through a living wage and continued training and development, the goal of this Dallas-based social enterprise is to lead the women to financial independence and self-sufficiency.
Knotty Tie Co. – This company hires refugees who graduate from ECDC’s African Community Center of Denver’s “We Made This” sewing program and teaches them to make beautiful, high quality ties and scarves.
Threadies – Threadies are hand-sewn by a team of women in the West Bank who receive a living wage and valuable job training. When you purchase a Thready teddy bear, its twin goes to a child refugee, along with tools vital to help them cope with trauma.
Ūsful Glassworks – A Denver-based nonprofit with a mission to help people with employment barriers find jobs by providing on-the-job and vocational training to those in the community who need help, including refugees.
Worn – A socially-conscious business of Catholic Charities Fort Worth with a mission to provide refugee women living in the United States a supplemental source of income, empowering them to rise above poverty. All products are hand-knit in the U.S. by women who have survived the afflictions of their war-torn and poverty-stricken homelands.