isanctuary

Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions!  We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!

Once upon a time, 2 ½ years ago I traveled to Southern India with a bunch of Jesus People from ROCKHARBOR and Harvest India. While there I saw with my own eyes some of the most devastating human conditions in the world. I saw girls as young as 12 prostituting themselves to feed their families. Others worked as hired help in homes, their only job being to kill rats and mice. The caught rodent was their salary. They then cooked the rodent as a MEAL for their family. People have very different reactions when they see this kind of poverty. Some change their own spending habits and sponsor children to go to school and stop the cycle of poverty. Personally, I became even more passionate about Rewrite Beautiful. I saw how my education, personality and charisma could help so many people in India on this side of the pond. It made me think of how many blessings and resources American women have and how vital it is that we stop eating disorders so we can focus on helping others instead of harming ourselves.

Stephanie Pollaro’s approach was a little different. She was incredibly touched by seeing child prostitutes and wanted to do something to get them education and out of this trade. Seeing that need and utilizing her own passions Stephanie started a jewelry line called International Sanctuary (iSanctuary.) iSanctuary gets the girls out of the sex trade, sends them to school and teaches them how to make jewelry. I’ll let Stephanie tell you the rest!

Irvina: Oh my gosh, I’m so stoked to talk to you today! I know you’re so busy bouncing from Bombay to Orange County! Thank you! Thank you! Please tell us about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Stephanie is Beautiful! Stephanie: Along with Wendy Dailey, I co-founded International Sanctuary, a US based non-profit that advocates for the oppressed people of the world, educates communities about human trafficking and equips survivors with the skills to be integrated as valued members of their communities. I am proud to be apart of iSanctuary and serve along side some of the most fascinating and dedicated people in the world! Right now we are in the middle of launching iSanctuary's India Jewelry line: Strength & Beauty into the Indian market.  This is a huge undertaking as we have to build new branding, contacts and customer base.  It also has the potential to create an even greater level of self-sufficiency that will directly benefit the iSanctuary artisans in India. At the same time we are trying to streamline production so that we can be more efficient with our manufacturing, packaging, and shipping of our purposeful jewelry.

Irvina: Wow! That’s a lot of work! How exciting to see your business growing! I’m so happy to hear that! So Stephanie, besides jewelry and abolishing sex trafficking, what are you passionate about?

Stephanie: I am passionate about helping women realize and embrace their individual strength and abilities hidden inside them.  Globally, most women believe the lies that society, families, boyfriends tell them: that they are weak, good-for-nothing and just overall incapable. Nothing is more gratifying than to join a woman on her journey from that reality into the actual truth: that she is a beautiful, hand-crafted, strong, and amazingly gifted individual.

Irvina: So true! I love how you have made that passion apart of your entrepreneurial adventure with iSanctuary. It’s seriously INSPIRING! So, what do you do for fun?

Stephanie: I love long drawn out dinners at home around the table with my family.

Irvina: Awe! I’m sure! I love those too! I’m sure with doing so much international travel for work you miss them a lot. So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Stephanie: The answer depends on who you ask... I guess creativity is exhibited as I do most of the designing for iSanctuary jewelry.  Strength because it isn't easy to give up your creature comforts for a life in a developing country. Kindness cause this isn't just a business, we truly care about the women we serve and employ.  

Irvina: Love it! Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Stephanie: One of the most beautiful women I know is my sister Sara.  Her beauty goes well beyond her physical attributes.  She has always been her own person--guided by her own ideas and desires.  She has a sense of humor that could make a sailor laugh and she doesn't apologize for it.  She cares deeply for others and works as an advocate for developmentally disabled adults.

Irvina: She sounds incredibly beautiful! What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Stephanie: That different isn't wrong it's just different. There is so much beauty in how we are each specifically and uniquely created.  And with that understanding we as women should be able to walk confidently and proudly just the way we are.   

 

Posted: Apr 4, 2012

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Kjerstin is a Girl that can Go! (All the way to India!)

Imagine that you have flown the 30 hour flight to India. You have taken the 9 hour bus ride from Hyderbad to the small town of Tenali in Andrha Pradesh, India. You are now in front of a crowd of starving, sick and desperate Indian people. You are passing out bananas and bread to small children and the thought in your head isn’t “smile and hug the children” it’s “I feel fat. I wish I didn’t eat breakfast. I want to purge.” This exact predicament is what an eating disorder does to a girl. No matter where she is or the circumstance she is paralyzed in her thoughts. She is a girl that can’t go beyond her thoughts and definitely can not help others.

 This is why Rewrite Beautiful is Changing how girls see beauty in themselves. If a girl does not see the beauty in herself she can not help others to see the beauty in themselves. There are millions of girls today that are not only paralyzed from helping people in other nations, they are paralyzed from just being present for their families. There are girls who stay locked in their rooms because they don’t like the way their jeans look on them. We believe no one deserves to hidden from the world, no matter what they look like in their jeans. The world misses out when these girls are not present. This is why we are trying to create Girls that can Go and use their talents, passions and education to help others in need.

 When girls are healthy and outside of their bedrooms and not obsessing about the size of their jeans they do amazing things and start amazing organizations like these:

 31 Bits  www.31Bits.com

Founded by: Brooke, Alli, Anna, Kallie

The Go: A mission trip to Uganda

Vision: 31 Bits works with women inNorthern Uganda. The Ugandan women make awesome jewelry that is sold here in the US. The money is sent back to the women so they can sustain their lives. 31 Bits "strives to build a loving community that cares for individuals’ spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical needs."

 International Princess Project  www.intlprincess.org

Founded by: Shannon Keith

The Go: A mission trip to India

Vision: IPP helps Indian women get out of prostitution by giving them the opportunity to learn a new trade, Punjammie making! These women make gorgeous Punjammies (Pajama pants made out of beautiful Indian fabric). The women once enslaved in the sex trade not only have the opportunity to support themselves with a skill and dignity, but they also are provided a place to live and to heal in body and spirit and to live lives of freedom.

 Isanctuary  www.isanctuary.org

Founded by: Stephanie Pallaro

The Go: A mission trip to India

Vision:  iSanctuary exists to provide opportunities for girls who were formerly in the sex trade to grow, gain restoration, and eventually sustain themselves by earning an income as they reintegrate into society.  Another awesome jewelry making venture...iSanctuary gives the girls the opportunity to create jewelry that is sold in the US and the profits are sent back to support them. "Education and vocational training combat one of the most significant factors that make women and girls vulnerable to trafficking and poverty." Just a little FYI: Many women in 3rd world countries go into the sex trade because they have no education thus they have no skills and selling their bodies is the only job available for them.

 Iam Hope and Healing  www.iamhopeandhealing.org

Founded by: Hallie Kotrla

The Go: San Diego, California

 Vision: I AM is a safe and secure place for women and men who struggle with anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating, binge eating disorders and body image issues, as well as any associated problems related to these areas. IAM helps newly recovering ED survivors find Sober Living, Sponsors, Meetings and a community of support.

This is just a glimpse of what Girls that can Go do. It takes a ton of work to start and run organizations like these. I hope these girls inspire you to either get healthy enough to Go or support girls that Go.

On an Inspirational note: Harvest India is a non-profit organization based in Southern India that helps every person under the Indian sun in need in the name of Jesus Christ. The pastor, Suresh Kumar is visiting the US right now. I ran into him the other day. He asked me about Rewrite Beautiful, I told him about us going into schools and changing the way girls see beauty in themselves, he was excited. Then I told him that the vision is that these girls would eventually turn into women who are equipped to Go to India and serve other women. I got a classic, thumbs up from Suresh, a head nod and a “Good job man! God job!” If I do say so myself, “Right on!” I hope all of you girls know that you have something in you that you need to GO and give to others, small or big you have it to share. And I hope all you boys keep encouraging all us gals to GO and be the women we were created to be.

Posted: Jun 8, 2010
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