Linn Asbury was touched by her visits to Kenya for business for travel organizations — so much so that the Carmel resident created Jubilee Spree, a nonprofit, to help Kenyan women sell their products in the U.S. to support their families.
Christmas for a Cause will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 13 at Carmel Christian Church. The bazaar, which features handmade items by Kenyan women and children, raises funds for Jubilee Spree. Some products are made by volunteers in the U.S.
The nonprofit’s mission is to empower women to change the world one village at a time by selling handmade products made by the women of Kager, Kenya. All proceeds benefit the women and children of Kenya.
“We taught them how to market the products and we would bring them back here and sell them here,” Asbury said. “We do this so the women will have an income. We don’t believe in just giving money. We show them how to make their own money.”
Asbury said Jubilee Spree is 100 percent volunteer run with all the money going to the women who make the products.
Asbury left Kenya in early March 2020 before everything before the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“I was on the last airplane out of Nairobi,” she said. “I was scared to death I wouldn’t get home.”
The pandemic has made economic issues even harder in Kenya.
Asbury, a 73-year-old widow, created Jubilee Spree eight years ago.
“I trained about 700 people over the course of that time,” she said. “I helped them identify what they can make. We taught them how to make beautiful handbags out of sisal. It sells like crazy here because it’s high quality and low cost.”
Asbury said when she visits Kenya, she takes seven 72-pound bags full of supplies and brings back seven bags of items the Kenyan women made.
“We send them the money before we sell anything because they need the money,” said Asbury, a member of Venture Christian Church. “Everything we do is high quality.”
Asbury wants to return to Kenya in March 2022. She booked trips several times but had to cancel them because of the pandemic.
“It’s hard to do a ministry 8,000 miles away,” she said.
For more, visit jubileespree.com.