Women just back from spring break vacation now have plenty of reasons to stick around town, at least on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16. If you are one of the out-of-towners who frequent the downtown shopping district, this is a great time to spend a few days here as well. The Heart of Rockford Business Association again this year is offering a Girlfriends StayCation with plenty of special offers and events. The StayCation kicks off April 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. and continues April 16 during regular business hours. In addition to specials designed to spoil and pamper, one lucky winner will receive a Best of Rockford prize package plush with gift certificates, gifts, movie passes and more. According to organizer Christine Gault of A Charmed Life Nail Salon, the event is designed to highlight the many goods and services our little town has to offer. “This is a time of year when there isn’t a lot happening usually, but the weather is changing and it’s a great time for women to get out and celebrate that spring is coming,” Gault said. This is the event’s second year and last year resulted in a great turnout. With even more downtown shops participating, this year’s StayCation is even more exciting. Visitors to A Charmed Life Nail Salon can enjoy a free five-minute chair massage with the purchase of any service from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, a free hand paraffin with any specialty manicure, pedicure or shellac manicure. In addition the first 10 appointments booked will receive a Heart of Rockford shopping bag for future savings in downtown Rockford. At Baskets in the Belfry, enjoy 20% off your entire purchase and food-tastings (some exclusions may apply). On Saturday at 1 p.m. there will be a free demonstration on hand-tied bouquets at Rockford Flower Shop. At Great Northern Trading Company, join in their celebration of 34 years of serving Rockford and beyond. Everyone who enters the store will be allowed to choose a candy bar with a discount hidden under the label, ranging from 20 to 50 percent off the entire purchase. Dars Gems and Jewelry is offering 20 percent off one item and many in-store specials. […]
WAR Chest Boutique
This holiday season, wouldn’t it be nice to know the gifts you purchase for your loved ones are directly helping change the lives of others? This Christmas, Women At Risk (WAR) International has a couple ideas to help you do just that! The Grand Rapids-based nonprofit is founded on a passion for creating circles of protection around at-risk women both in the United States and overseas. Their main focus involves rescuing women and children from slavery, offering them a safe place to heal, and empowering them with the gift of work—finding that when a woman makes something beautiful with her hands, she feels beautiful herself. This holiday season, there are a number of ways you can help WAR make a difference. The funds raised go directly to their programs, rescuing and protecting as many women and children as possible. First, you could host a WAR tree. Are you a health care professional in the West Michigan area? If so, WAR International would like to invite you to partner with them by hosting a tree filled with beautiful hand-blown glass ornaments from Egypt in your waiting room. These ornaments fund the rescue of women and children from the fastest-growing arm of organized crime, human sex trafficking. Joining the fight against this evil tells your patrons you not only care for them, but an entire world in need. For more information about partnering with WAR this holiday season, contact Jennifer McDonald at (616) 855-0796 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Second, visit the WAR Chest Boutique in downtown Rockford. Take a stroll down Courtland Drive and see the store-front filled with beautiful ornaments and handmade jewelry. The store gives patrons a permanent location to come in and be an active participant in this great cause and allows them to “shop with a purpose.” Third, if you are not a business owner or near Rockford, you can visit WAR’s ebay store or website to purchase these stunning items from afar. Visit www.warinternational.org to order gifts, donate money, join their prayer circle, or just learn more about this wonderful cause.
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 […]