Name: Cathy Zahn
My Business is:
The Giving “Three” Foundation “
Catherine Zahn The Giving “Three” Foundation “ -making survival accessible.
~creating products that help educate the world. 100% of the Proceeds from your Gracie Greene purchase are used to support the Zahn School in Cambodia.
Overcoming a hurdle to help others overcome a greater hurdle—this is how it started for Gracie Greene, LLC. Our business challenge was to create a product that would raise awareness and funds to help fight Human Trafficking of young girls in Cambodia. What would that product be?
We created dolls made from 100% recycled materials, customized dog coats and finally decided that functional, one of a kind Tote Bags and accent Pillows would be our niche. Trial and error, focus group feedback as well as the organic nature of the burlap led us to our product lines. Our business model is designed so that Gracie Greene is a self-sufficient company earning funds from product sales, not relying on constant fund raising events for revenue. Gracie Greene, LLC is a non for profit company, donating 100% of the company profits to the Zahn School in Cambodia . Recycling is part of our product creation. We design one of a kind, burlap coffee bean sack and leather tote bags and pillows. Business hurdle, no longer a hurdle, we have our products and manufacturing in place.
The greater hurdle is helping to keep young girls out of the sex trafficking rings in Cambodia. One solution is to enroll them or keep them in school, but in a country where so many things are stacked against them this is not an easy task. Following the genocide at the hands of the Khmer Rouge and continued, profound poverty, the despair here can drive a father to sell his young daughter for $50.
So, by now you must be thinking, what in the world can I/one person do to help? This social problem is so vast, is it worth mitigating and what good are my good intentions?
Through our partnership with World Assistance for Cambodia and a program called Girls Be Ambitious we developed a 2- step plan:
- give the children access to education by building schools in rural villages
- for each month that the child has perfect attendance the family receives $10, resulting in $120 for the year
Now everyone is incentivized to keep the children in school and for each year the child is educated she/he will move from oppression to opportunity! The Zahn School was opened in 2014 with the funds generated from Gracie Greene products. Computers and an English Language Program will be the next donation for the school.
As we navigate through our businesses and encounter hurdles it is important to think through solutions from different points of views and to be realistic about the complexities of achieving change. In the 1990s a Senator wanted to help Bangladeshi girls laboring in sweat shops, so he introduced legislation that would ban imports made by workers under the age of fourteen. Bangladeshi factories fired tens of thousands of these young girls and many ended up in brothels.
“Obstacles wouldn’t be called hurdles if there was not a way to get over them”