Jamie is a photographer and Amani volunteer who lives in Austin, Texas. She volunteered to host an Amani Gathering again this year and used her photography skills and blog to promote the event. Check out her photos and full post here. She shared with us about her experience as a volunteer and ideas for this year. How were you first introduced to Amani? What was the most memorable aspect of your first experience with Amani?I first heard of Amani Ya Juu when my church back in California started to support Del and Becky Chinchen, missionaries who are involved with Amani. We had a sale around Christmas, and I was instantly hooked. I love the creativity, bold colors and array of products. It was great to be able to pick up an item and see the name of the person who made it and know that you were directly helping a person, not just an idea.
Share about your sale last year. What were the highlights from your gathering? What would you like to improve for next time?I had the sale last year in October. I wasn’t too sure how everything was going to go, so my roommate helped, and we hosted it at our apartment. I blogged about the show, used Facebook and emails to get the word out. It was a lot of fun! I loved the opportunity to share about Africa, a place close to my heart and the women of Amani, something also very close to my heart. After the first show I have better ideas to spread the word and really get people involved. It can be out of my comfort zone, but it is for something totally worth it! Selling Amani products is something fun and simple that I can be a part of that is literally helping to change the world. Donating money to charity is great too, but this is much more rewarding for me because there is a personal connection.
What are you planning for your next event?I know that this year can be bigger and better, so I am up for the challenge! My main goal is to get more people involved. I would love to see people from last year inviting new friends and so on. That way the word keeps spreading, the sale gets bigger and more people learn about Amani!
Would you recommend volunteering to sell Amani products to others? Why or why not?I definitely would! Without hesitation! It can be a daunting task, but it is very much worth it. One of my favorite parts was receiving the huge box from Kenya and getting to sort through all the materials. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was happy to check out the products beforehand! Whether you have plans for a big church-type sale or a smaller gathering with friends, you will be blessed and get a chance to help people along the way! I call that a win-win.