“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb

Often I look around and feel overwhelmed by all the needs in the world. It’s part of this adventure; the more people I meet and the more give back brands I learn about, the more I realize there are so many people who need an extra hand in life.

I constantly remind myself I am one person. I am not expected to fix everything. Constantly. Besides, I know better. I’ve had the honor of meeting and sharing the stories of so many amazing women out there doing all sorts of good and making a difference in the world.

But still, that overwhelming feeling lingers.

And that’s the beauty of life. We, as humans, are meant to work together. We are meant to share our gifts. Meant to collaborate and amplify. It takes all of us working together to make a difference. All of us doing the small things that turn into big things. We are all created with our own passions and to find causes that move our souls to action. For some, it’s animal rescue. For others, it’s environmental issues. For many it is education. Others still, it’s addressing poverty and hunger.

For the founders of Parker And Clay International, it’s adoption and addressing the problem of poverty + it’s disruption of family.

Founders Ian and Brittany Bently are the proud parents of two boys, Parker and Clayton. Then they learned there are an estimated 163 million orphaned children living in the world. That statistic – staggering. 163 million children without parents, without a home to call their own. Forced to be adults way before their time.

So Ian, Brittany, and their two sons moved to Ethiopia. And soon joined Selah; expanding their family of four to a family of five. A child who had no family now she has a mom, a dad, and two brothers.

While in Ethiopia meeting Selah, Ian and Brittany met many women looking to better their life and give their children a life they, as moms, could never begin to imagine. As parents, this desire moved the souls of Brittany and Ian. Inspired, they decided to stay in Ethiopia and create ways for these mothers to care and support their children. To create a way for families to stay together; a way to end the cycle of poverty that broke apart these families.

Upon learning Ethiopia is the largest producer of livestock in Africa, consistently listed in the top 10 worldwide, along with exporting prized leathers since the days of Pharaohs, Ian and Brittany founded Parker Clay International.
They spent two years there, learning the community. Hearing the stories of the women living there. Brainstorming ways to make a long term, sustainable impact. Strategizing ways to teach the women of Ethiopia to become the proverbial fisherman, rather than providing a stream of proverbial fish. Parker Clay International was born as a result of these brainstorming and strategy sessions.
Each piece is made by women of Ethiopia, made possible through Parker Clay’s partnership with Women At Risk. They provide jobs for these women. They create ways for every woman to provide for her family. They provide an opportunity for the women of Ethiopia to feed and educate her children; opening the door for families to stay together. A crucial step in reducing the amount of orphans in the world.  
And when you purchase some of the beautiful pieces from Parker Clay, you’re helping these women fish; helping them keep their families together. All of us working together to create change. 
Connect with Parker Clay International via Facebook and Instagram
Photos by Lisa Tufano
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