• Jersey City Non-Profit Organization Sells Gifts that Give Back

    Looking for a gift with a little extra meaning this holiday season? Look no further than Jersey City’s Newport Centre Mall, where on December 13th and 14th the non-profit organization Same Sky America is selling hand-made, beaded bracelets at a pop-up kiosk.  The kiosk in the NJ mall opens both days from 12PM to 7PM. The hand-made bracelets will range from $25 to $425.   

    Same Sky is a “trade-not-aid” initiative that originally began by providing training and employment to HIV-positive women who survived the Rwandan Genocide in 1994 and were struggling to overcome poverty. Last year, Same Sky came to America and began employing women through the Same Sky America Pilot Project, based in our very own Jersey City. The Jersey City-specific initiative works with the women of the Most Excellent Way Learning Life Center, a halfway house for women who have been incarcerated and are working to rebuild their lives.

    The Same Sky jewelry company was founded five years ago by New York philanthropist and film producer Francine LeFrak. Her goal according to the company’s website was, “to offer them (survivors) a hand-up not a handout, and to shed light on their powerful journey towards reconciliation.” The hand up, of course, was learning to make and sell beautiful, priceless pieces of jewelry!

    Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop commented on the initiative and holiday kiosk’s positive meaning for Jersey City in a statement and said, "I am grateful for the leadership of Francine LeFrak and Same Sky to provide meaningful job opportunities for the women enrolled at (the Jersey City Employment and Training Program). During this holiday season, I would encourage the community to look for the Same Sky kiosk by Macy's at the Newport Centre mall as purchasing the women's jewelry helps them to remain self-sufficient and continue on their productive and healthy journey."

    To purchase the handcrafted jewelry after the kiosk closes down for the season and continue to support the Jersey City non-profit organization and its mission, head to www.samesky.com