Local charity sends Ugandan women to business school

Consumers won’t find No. 2 pencils and Elmer’s Glue at Saturday’s half-price back-to-school sale taking place at the Light Gives Heat warehouse, 2507 Weslo Ave. 

Instead, shoppers will be able to select from hundreds of handcrafted bags, shirts and half-price necklaces designed by Ugandan artisans, each accompanied by a compelling story about the way the designer works to build a better future for herself in the west African nation.

Light Gives Heat, a Grand Junction nonprofit, is using the proceeds to send more than 50 Ugandan women to business school, the nonprofit’s founder, David Hansow, said.

To that end, all of the organization’s Ugandan-made jewelry will be sold at half price from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. 

The sale will allow Light Gives Heat to pay the costs of an 18-week business course for 57 of the artisans, most of whom have not attended school beyond the sixth grade but still find a way to support their families, Hansow said.

“Here in the U.S., we often take education for granted. In Uganda, it is something only a privileged few get to experience,” Hansow said.

As an added bonus, any Grand Valley teacher who attends the sale can take home a free lanyard necklace valued at $20.

“It’s LGH’s way of saying thank you to all educators for the vital work they do in our community,” Hansow said.

Light Gives Heat, started in 2007, is based in Grand Junction. It has generated enough revenue during the past six years to pay sustainable incomes to more than 100 women in Uganda. What the nonprofit pays provides the women with enough money for them to send their children to school and provide shelter, food and clothing for their families. 

For more information, visit http://www.lightgivesheat.org.


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