Introducing Sunday Spotlight: It’s always nice to be recognized for one’s good work. Too often we can get caught up in the challenges and obstacles we face daily, and don’t take enough time to appreciate the successes and accomplishments that make all the stress worth it. That’s why we wanted to launch a new blog series that features some of our strongest partnerships worth celebrating. As we leave winter and enter spring – a time of growth and birth and thriving new life, it’s the perfect time to shine a spotlight on the relationships and partnerships that have allowed Prosperity Candle to grow and prosper.
This past weekend, I had the immense pleasure of receiving and celebrating an award with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) at the Religion Communicators Council Convention in Indianapolis. In front of the nearly 100 attendees hailing from many different faith traditions and organizations, the awards committee lauded our partnership with a Best in Class for PR award.
The judges were impressed with the creative and comprehensive approach our two organizations have taken together, including UMCOR purchasing 5,000 custom UMCOR candles to give out at last year’s General Assembly, their communications team directing their membership to our website to purchase gifts for the holidays and beyond, and Prosperity Candle then donating back a percentage of the candle sales back to UMCOR’s hunger programs.
It was an unexpected, yet truly appreciated, honor to receive. We couldn’t speak more highly of our partnership with UMCOR, and were delighted to hear Jay Rollins, UMCOR’s Director of Communications, describe it as “a match made in heaven” in his acceptance remarks.
In fact, ‘best in class’ is how I would describe everything about the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Here at Prosperity Candle, we deeply resonate with their mission of providing “humanitarian relief when war, conflict, or natural disaster disrupt life to such an extent that communities are unable to recover on their own to assist the most vulnerable persons affected by crisis or chronic need.” Their work in more than 80 countries for over 70 years is worthy of note in a field that is cluttered all too often with shallow and seemingly opportunistic development projects.
And their unfailing, continued and enthusiastic support for our work and products is really remarkable. They understand the direct mission alignment between purchasing products from the women we work with and their missional call to help the communities and individuals of greatest need. They have been quick to see the value and need for a transformational development approach of both trade and aid.
Not only do they hold the title for our largest customer to date, they also were the first grantee partner for our sister non-profit Prosperity Catalyst.
And they are also not proprietary of our (now award winning!) relationship. While it’s nice to be set apart for an innovative partnership or idea, they understand that the key to our mission – the key to creating more sustainable job opportunities for women, who are then able to provide for their families and transform their communities – is through increasing our exposure, our customer base, and ultimately, our sales. In fact, the reason I was at the RCC convention was because Jay invited us to exhibit, in order to encourage other RCC member organizations, from the Baha’i’s to the Seventh Day Adventists, to become partners in our work.
Now that’s a true class act.
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In the spirit of Women’s History Month, our thoughts are drawn to the many women who contribute to society in a myriad of ways while expecting nothing in return. They are hidden from view. Yet these women are transforming communities and making a positive difference in the world. They are unsung heroines.
March is about celebrating women… something we’re pretty excited about. There is so much to appreciate, so many barriers yet to topple, and so many amazing women to recognize for their accomplishments.
Ah, Valentine’s Day. Every year we look forward to it, but here’s the thing. Ever since Eve Ensler started One Billion Rising as part of her V-Day movement to end violence against women and girls, we’ve felt conflicted about this holiday.