Monday, September 24, 2012

shoes? (UPDATE)

So my shoes have finally giving out (they have served me well) and im looking for some new ones. In trying to find socially responsible shoe company; like sweatshop free.

Hippie Shoes

I know Toms/Bobs and vegan shoes are all the rage right now on college campus but what are my other options??  Honesty I’m looking for some sort of athletic shoe that I can walk around in and be able to stand up to me playing some soccer in with the Kids of Brazil. Maybe Tom-esk  style of shoe would be the best option it help out some people too right? I had some ideas one what I was looking for but I found some unfortunate news looking up things online I found more information about what is now called  "one for one" companies which made me a little perturbed. A ‘one for one’ product means that for every shoe you buy they also give out another pair. That is why they are at a marked up price (which is fine). But it got me thinking, does that really help the people who gets the shoes? I mean I’m glad kids are able to protect their feet. but who makes Toms in the first place? Is it the people receiving said donation?  Do they get to be part of the system? ie getting a job or resources?? or are they just being handed a pair of shoes?? The sad news is no they are not; and they are just handed out what is worst is that there is an applications process to receives said shoes. Which begs to questions does the people who really need who really need shoes have access to the internet or even understand English to fill out the proper paper work to become a giving organization??


I did find a really cool company called I totally would have bought them but they are out of my price range: #YoungMissionaryProblem awesome though

soleRebels :(

Athletic Name Brands….

I read a book called Where am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes.he highlights where our clothes come from even traveling and trying to find the places his favorite clothes were made. Timmerman tries to explain that working in the garment industry is one of the better jobs to have. Everywhere that Timmerman went he asked the factories workers if they wanted Americans to boycott products made in their countries in protest of their working conditions. They all answered 'No' in some way or another explaining that without us buying their products, the factories would shut down and there are few other work options available. Namely scavenging/begging and he didn’t bring up prostitution (which is a whole other issue). I still have a personally a problem with big corporations making money off of exploiting people.

Most of us have heard about Nike and Adidas/Reebok [insert brand name] Sweatshop in some far off country. But do we know the whole story? I’m not sure we do. We here in the US don’t always see how People flock to areas where they know a factory is going to be built in order to earn a wage.  The Human migration to factories is common among 20 something’s looking for a job in order to be close to the factory. This massive urbanization and influx of people crates slum conditions. needing a place to stay where it is cheap but also many of the Migrant workers frequently send their wages back to their families in their home country, which further spreads influences and money brought about by the factories. These employees are willing to do work at any cost. Since most of the economies of the small countries were centered on their market system, the introduction of large factories owned by a wealthy corporation greatly increased their flow of money into the country. We always hear about work long days, sometimes exceeding 14 hours, and earn pay far below a "living wage"(ß not Minimum wage read about it). Nike and Adidas/Reebok expressed that they do not have any control over the factories. However, Adidas/Reebok has begun to pressure its manufacturers to improve working conditions Nike too kinda. I couldn’t find anything solid on Skechers expect their made overseas. Puma needs some work too but there working on it. I guess this stuff really matters to somebody or at least the idea of it is catching on

Skechers (I just don’t know enough)

The Another article (here) is A LOT newer it talks about Nike’s value, their CSR practices and their target audiences for Air Jordan shoe, which will bring $1Bn in revenues. Which happen to be urban males living paycheck to paycheck; In fact, shoe launches are usually timed perfectly to the exact day customers receive their paychecks. (Source story: WSJ). Marketing or injustice??

Made in the USA…
A lot of people here at least in West Virginia are on a Made in US kick, you can even take a pledge (kinda like Fair Trade companies but for ‘Merica) not that it matters to me where my clothing is made or manufactured but what concerns me is the wellbeing of everybody involved not just the corporate Big-Wigs. I looked into New Balance knowing that they are more of a running shoe and I found out they are mostly made in Maine and Massachusetts or so they say. Even thou some claim this to be false (oh well) But it got me looking into living wage in New England. And the difference between unions verse right to work states (here) and thankfully both locations are Unionized or at least can be based on their states workers policies have the potential for better working conditions and living wages in the area by coming together and working for each other’s benefit (I don’t know seems kinda biblical to me) , where-as Right to work states can’t guarantee that at all. Anyways
New Balance (maybe)

What I bought

I feel like I just settled.

Not exactly what I wanted but it does fit into what I need. The new trend in shoes is to be light weight using bright colors as accents. Which I didn’t want (it’s harder to find than you think) because I feel it will further me from the people working with faulting wealth or status as an American with my shoes. which still might be the case this whole post is still kind of the example of me having choices and the luxury to choice where I buy my products. #Youngmissionaryproblems 

Im not sure what can be done about this issue... i didnt even think it would lead me down so many other paths. I don't know that the shoe I have chosen is actually the best option  but i guess its a start.  

A PRAYER FOR JUSTICE By Rev. Jason W. Coulter, Pastor, Ravenswood UCC, Chicago, inspired by Psalm 144:5-8

One: God of Grace, God of Glory, we call upon you, humbly asking that you be 
with us in our time of need; 
Many: Come down from the mountain top, O God, and show your presence among the people.
One: Our world is broken, the earth cracked and shattered, and destruction lay all around. Our humanity is ruptured and relationships are torn asunder. We fail to recognize the face of our sister and brother and turn a blind eye to their suffering.
Many: Come down from the mountain top, O God, and reveal your kindness and mercy.
One: We live in a world where the few have so much and the many so little, where the basic needs of food, water, shelter and medicine are distributed to those  who already have, instead of those in need.
Many: Come down from the mountain top, O God, and demonstrate your compassion.
One: In our world, the greedy and entitled use their positions to enrich themselves at the expense of  others, corruption runs rampant, and power is employed by the wealthy to exploit and oppress.
Many: Come down from the mountain top, O God, and impart your justice.
One: Across the nations, violence is too often the means by which problems are addressed. Fist, gun and bomb are the tools of the trades that traffic in death and destruction.
Many: Come down from the mountain top, O God, and share your peace.
One: Come down from the mountain top, O God, incline your ear to our human 
Many: Hear our prayer, O God, for we know with you all things can be made new.
One: What is broken can be repaired, what is ruptured can be reconciled.
All: Inspire us to be your agents of change, working for justice and mercy and 
bringing healing to a world that needs it. Amen.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

help us grow hearts of generosity

a prayer from a good friend of mine "God of wisdom and light, as we offer ourselves and our gifts this day, we pray that you will help us grow hearts of generosity and not selfishness, compassion and not resentment, contentment and not envy. Help us to see the abundance you have given us, and help us to focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have; on abundance and not scarcity. Help us to see we are rich in your love and grace and in so many other ways. We pray it in the name of Jesus, who gave all for us. Amen."-Stephen Govett

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just got done Watching Into the Wild, and now I just have this innate wanderlust.  to travel to see new things and experiences but I am stuck here on this blue flora couch waiting for my turn... God please let this Visa go through I need this I need this bad i cant just sit here anymore becoming more and more depressed as i see my friends, who i consider family now use their faith and calling to serve you and our sister and brothers. loving them, sharing life and bread together and im here in this trailer waiting, just waiting. God please answer this prayer i beg you

Brad Kenn

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Greyhound Bus (showing love is easy)

I have just got back from North Carolina where i was there trying to raise some money and see from friends one last time, while I wait for my Visa to go through. (sorry ive been away for awhile)

but I was thinking this whole time what was I going to write about this this time... weather to highlight the struggles of being a young adult missionary in a world of economic uncertiany ask churches to help support my cause or to talk about how in Late August and Early September is when I have started to miss seeing my friends day to day and even more so not being in class not being challenged academically, spiritually, physically, emotionally but I want to talk to you about my 14 hour Greyhound Bus ride from Salisbury, North Carolina to Fredrick, Maryland. typically the Greyhound Bus system is either on time or 30 mins late; no big deal its just how then tend to work, at 5:30pm (about 30 mins late btw)  I aboard GLI 5233 heading to Richmond Virginia which is typically a 4 to 5 hour drive none-stop but we ended up stopping in Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, (changed drivers) Greensboro NC, Durham NC, and then Raleigh NC and finally reaching Richmond about 3:30am from Richmond I had to change buses and wait for the next bus to arrive at the terminal at 4am from Richmond we head up to Washington D.C. about and hour late and from there we stopped in Baltimore, MD for about an hour wait for the west bound GLI 446?? (something) and the third drive to pick us up for our last trek over to Fredrick MD. where i finally got off at the bus at 7:44am.

that whole rant was to explain two things I noticed while traveling
One, people seemed deathly afraid to sit or even say hello if they didnt know  either other or some kind perceived harm might come their way. like the cooties when we were kinds. and secondly the how simply moving over and inviting someone to join the seat next to you could/would like up someones day. I guess sometimes its the simple this we can do to show people we love them without know them. met some really interesting people, tired to sleep some really awarkard ways but all in all it was a good trip.

OH btw most GLI buses have Wifi and plug in now