Jessica Gordon

Women Helped by Retail Sales Outreach in WAR International

February 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CHRISTINE BIGNEY You can walk into many of the stores in downtown Rockford, and there is a good chance that the business is owned by a woman. In the United States and in West Michigan, women – and people in general – enjoy many opportunities to benefit from their own efforts, improve their lives and ‘live the American dream.’ In the media, today’s news is all of the sky is falling variety, forgetting or failing to note that our quality of life in the U.S., and in West Michigan, is not really so bad. In fact, we are in a position to help others who truly are in economic and personal disaster. Jessica Gordon, a local business woman, runs WAR Chest Boutique located at 119 Courtland Street in downtown Rockford. She believes people will be willing to help improve the lives of others if they are given an opportunity. Gordon tells how her organization helps women in Asia in regions that have become the newest source for traffickers of young destitute girls and women, some as young as nine years old. They are transported across borders and sold into sexual slavery throughout Asia. Gordon tells of an African business woman who was tricked into selling her business and moved to Thailand where she expected to start a new business. Instead she was forced into prostitution. Other horror stories include a newborn Thai baby sold for $200 to traffickers. But there is hope for these women through a Christian organization called Women At Risk (WAR) International. Partnering with several different programs in other countries like Thailand, Uganda, Nepal, India, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan and the Philippines, Gordon’s boutique showcases jewelry these girls and women produce in safe houses which are sponsored by WAR. The jewelry are made from pearls and semi-precious stones. “The jewelry is sent on consignment, with the safe houses setting the prices. The proceeds go to these women to help them get their GED, get them proper medical care, preventative medical care,” Gordon explained. Gordon found herself running the Rockford store after some mutual friends asked her if she was interested. A grant from a private foundation made it possible. “It was kind of an experiment, “Gordon related, “to see if […]