The "Back story"
While in Ethiopia in the Fall of 2012, I was struck by the physical needs of the people there; lots of them were truly "in distress" in a number of ways. I hadn't been in a third world country since I was 13 years old and I actually expected to be struck (i.e. "wrecked") by the physical needs of the people there ... I didn't, however, think I would be struck by a clear opportunity (i.e. call from God, or "hearing" God's voice ... which is weird, I know) to help them.
God clearly calls us to care for widows and orphans in the book of James in the Bible. It took me traveling half way around the world and leaving my business, family and comfort behind to get me to a place where I could here God speak clearly about this subject. Now, I didn't feel a strong calling toward adoption or extensive traveling for humanitarian efforts ... but, I did feel like God was asking me to use my "talents & treasures" for His kingdom.
The next logical question: How is the owner of a little "dog store" going to possibly have anything to offer these folks that would address their "distress"?
"Seriously, they don't need dog food over here!" is what I found myself thinking in response to God's "prompting". I didn't hear an answer to the "how" question while I was on the ground in Ethiopia ... but, God was still working and moving.
After returning home and trying to process through all of what I experienced in Ethiopia in the midst of "re-integrating" into my safe & comfortable American life, I still felt compelled ... "nudged" if you will ... to use Dee-O-Gee to help widows & orphans. Through listening to messages at our home church in Bozeman and trying to find some time to be "still" and listen for God's direction on this "nudge" I began to see a vision of how God could use my expertise and connections to help widows and orphans ...
A few things began to line up for me:
So, we've decided to "pull the trigger" on this thing! WO Design will give a portion of each sale directly to widows and orphans in need (starting in Ethiopia) in a way that is effective, sustainable and sensitive to the local culture. WO Design will start with a few dog toys (because that is what we know) ... but, we'll venture into other consumer product categories in the future, as we feel lead. I'll keep you posted on the blog under the "WO Design" Category.
In case you haven't picked up on it yet ... the "WO" in WO Design is for "widows + orphans" ... get it?!?!
Current "Next Steps"
Launched from a clear identification of the needs of widows + orphans, based on personally experiencing their plight. In the first chapter of James in the Bible, we are called to "care for widows & orphans in their distress" ... that is the foundation of the vision of WO Design.