This is my second year participating in a Macy’s holiday Heart of Haiti campaign, and I am grateful for the opportunity to spread the word about this incredible organization again.

On Thanksgiving, we give pause to the upcoming purpose of the holiday season — a time for both giving and giving back. Amid the frenzy of the shopping lists and Black Friday emails, for a moment think about how gift buying can still be in the spirit of the season. Macy’s Heart of Haiti home décor products are gifts that give hope. Just the kind of holiday spirit that we should joyously celebrate.

The country of Haiti is rich in the arts and despite being the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, skilled papier mache artisans are anxious to work and earn a living to support their families. Macy’s Heart of Haiti has been providing economic support to Haitian artisans ever since the devastating earthquake hit over five years ago. Shortly after the earthquake, Macy’s joined forces with the Haitian artisans to develop a decorative product line for sale featuring their beautiful handmade goods.

This video tells the story of how the project started and the difference it is making in the lives of these artists:

The Heart of Haiti line of home décor items is made in the town of Jacmel — a charming, historic port known for its artisan community — by sculptors and artisans who have practiced the handcrafted technique of papier mache for centuries. This seaside town suffered a lot of destruction during the earthquake. Artisan studios and homes were destroyed, and residents were left with no way to make a living. The sales of these handcrafted items at Macy’s allows the artisans to once again practice their craft while feeding their families, sending their children to school and supporting their extended families.

heart of haiti, papier mache, home decor, vase

Macy’s Heart of Haiti vase with pieces from last year’s home decor collection.

Macy’s sent me this beautiful papier mache vase, which artisans created using age-old techniques. The process of making these decorative items starts with forming a mold out of dried mud, then using recycled cement bags. This particular vase features a black & white, wavy lines motif meant to mimic the gentle sea. Click through to watch another Heart of Haiti video, which features the process of making papier mache items for Macy’s.

This season, you can make a conscious decision to spend your dollars. Haiti has an estimated 400,000 artisans who rely solely on their handcrafted goods as a source of income.

30-something approved: Macy’s Heart of Haiti employs 550 artisans, providing economic support to their extended family members and others. The Macy’s Heart of Haiti line is only available at a few Macy’s stores in New York City, Chicago, D.C., San Francisco, Atlanta and a select few others. But all products are available on the Macy’s gifts that give hope page.

(Yes, my mantel decor has changed again!)

(Yes, my mantel decor has changed again!)

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has gifted me a vase from Macy’s Heart of Haiti collection for this post. The vase retails for $55 and is available exclusively at Macy’s. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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