Eleventh Candle Co. is a product line launched through Legacy, a non-profit based out of Columbus, Ohio. These two organizations have come together as a social enterprise working globally to redeem, restore, empower and equip those vulnerable to human trafficking, abuse, exploitation and addiction.
Most likely you have arrived on our website to purchase a candle and you might ask – how does your support benefit a cause? When you buy a candle, the once trafficked woman in Ohio is employed, a village in Ethiopia is supported and orphaned children are welcomed into homes.
Legacy all started with the love of a little girl, Mulu.
Who is Mulu?
As a nurse, I had traveled internationally, serving alongside medical teams, with one trip leading me to Ethiopia. It was then that I met an orphaned street girl named Mulu. The moment she walked up to me and slipped her little hand inside of mine and I looked into her big brown eyes, I knew that in some way she belonged to me and I belonged to her.
Life in Ethiopia
While in Ethiopia, Mulu’s reality became my own. I was surrounded by multiple pregnant women and starving children. Why? Why was their situation so deplorable? I was taken aback by the shear volume of desperation. These women were literally using their bodies to feed their children. Sex for a loaf of bread. They weren’t seeking sexual encounters for pleasure, it was the only way to save their children. After visiting hut after hut, each telling the same story, I stumbled out of the village, sat down in the dirt, and wept. That’s when I knew my life would never be the same.
Life in Columbus
Upon returning home to Ohio, I knew that change needed to happen. I also realized that the same woman who was selling her body for a loaf of bread in Ethiopia, was the same woman in Columbus, who was selling her body to feed her children. 2 women, a world apart, same problem, same heart. Legacy and Eleventh Candle Co. were founded, out of the desire to bring hope to women, both in the United States and in Ethiopia, who have been vulnerable to human trafficking, abuse, exploitation and addiction. I knew that somehow, someway, I needed to be a light in all of this darkness.
What is Legacy and Eleventh Candle Co.?
Our goal is layered. We realized we needed to provide a solution in Ethiopia that was sustainable, meaning, we needed orphans into homes, families legitimately making money and a way to decrease the overwhelming disease in this community. We have provided skills training to 16 women, who are now making beads, metal jewelry and hand-carved wooden crosses and figurines. These items are sold in the United States, providing these women a dignified way to earn a living. In Columbus, we are employing women, who, also, have been victims of trafficking and addiction. We have taught them to hand pour soy candles in a variety of marketplaces. These two enterprises, seemingly worlds apart, directly feed into each other.
How is my donation or money from my purchase used?
All profits from the sale of Eleventh’s artisanal products go directly back into the mission of Legacy both here in the United States as well as in Ethiopia. Since that first, life-changing trip to Africa, Legacy has collaborated on the building of a school, a soccer field for children, supporting a local co-op and employing Ethiopian artisans to create products to sell. Most recently, Legacy has come alongside the Ethiopian Almaz Ashene Children and Family Support Center Association whose focus is on early childhood education, working with the street children, and empowering women within their own communities. In Columbus, we also employ women vulnerable to trafficking, abuse, exploitation and addiction at the Eleventh Candle Company. These women now have a sense of dignity, supporting themselves, receiving restorative counseling and becoming a part of a legitimate, worthy community. All of which, enables them to transition into a long-term, productive, healthy lifestyle.
Change the WORLD with us.
Every person can make a difference regardless of where you are in life. Any contribution, financial or time-based, makes an impact. We aspire to bring together people from all walks of life to create a tribe, to serve the world and leave a Legacy. We hope you join us.
Please join us as we light a candle every morning so that more women on the street can find their way home.