Our Story

Thank you for visiting Change the World by How You Shop.  Let me introduce myself.  My name is LeeAnne McCoy.  I am a Christian and seek to follow God in all I do.  I have been happily married for 17 years and am blessed with six wonderful young children.  Change the World by How you Shop is my passion.  But to explain, we will have to go back in time a bit.

 

The story behind this website starts over twelve years ago.  My husband and I stumbled upon a video by Michael Card, showing imprisoned Chinese pastors being forced to work 16 hours a day until their fingers bled, making Christmas lights to send to the U.S.  Wanting to show empathy for their suffering, we made a decision that day to stop buying products made in China.

 

As you can imagine, shopping for our family has been rather difficult ever since.  But every time I put an object back on the shelf, disappointed after checking the label,  I would remember those struggling in China and it no longer felt like such an inconvenience.

 

The world has changed a lot over the past twelve years.  I do not know if imprisoned Chinese pastors are still being forced to make Christmas lights.  But I do know that more and more has come out in the media over the years about the deplorable conditions in some Chinese factories.  So my husband and I continued our personal boycott of China because we did not want to profit from other people being exploited.  (Note: Not all Chinese factories are bad.  We still buy from China when we can trace down enough information to feel confident the workers in that particular factory are treated well!)

 

But after years of shopping this way, I began to question what was the point?  I did not share my conviction with others because it was personal and I knew that Chinese workers needed jobs, even sweatshop jobs, in order to feed their families.  So how was my one-person boycott making any difference for those workers I wanted to help?  Plus, the more I read in the news about exploitative conditions in other places, the more countries and brands I felt compelled to boycott.  Pretty soon, I worried, I would be unable to purchase anything in good conscience!

 

I needed to know why I was shopping the way I was and whether or not it was worth doing.  So I began reading...and researching...and studying...and praying....and researching some more.  I learned about globalization, economics, poverty, modern-day slavery, child trafficking, sweatshops, bonded labor, fair trade, direct trade, free trade, trade agreements, activism, etc. until my head swam.  I studied the issues from all sides and bounced deep questions off my patient husband, who as a first-year middle-school teacher already had enough on his plate!  

 

The more I learned, the more depressed I became.  To be honest, it would have been easier to stop researching.  As the saying goes, "Ignorance is bliss!" And the problems were so deep and so vast and so far away. How could I possibly make a difference?  Yet the more helpless I felt, the more passionate I became to do something.  The question was what?

 

So I prayed...and prayed...and prayed some more.  I considered organizing boycotts of brands known for utilizing exploited workers.  But I learned that boycotts sometimes hurt those at the bottom of the supply chain because they lose that low-paying job they so desperately need.  I considered becoming a Fair trade activist.  I could feel better about my shopping and help rescue people from poverty, but what would I have accomplished for God?

 

​It was my husband who challenged me to think outside the box.  That and the inspiration of reading Kevin Belmonte's excellent Biography of William Wilberforce.  What if there was a way to make a difference in a positive way?  What if I could shop in a way that rescued people from poverty and slavery plus showed them God's love and true freedom?  What if I could get other people on board to change how we shopped together and broaden the impact?  Were there any other Christians out there who felt like I did?

 

​I sat in front of my laptop and cried the day I found Amani Ya Juu's website.  I was no longer alone.  There were others who thought like me and were already out there making the difference I longed to be able to make.  As you will see browsing through this website,  Amani Ya Juu is just one of many faith-based organizations that are going even beyond Fair trade to save others from exploitation and make a real difference in people's lives.  I have had to search hard to find them, but I am discovering more all the time.

 

At last I had found my mission.  To connect people who want to make a difference by how they shop with those who are out there combating exploitation in the most positive way imaginable through God's love.  So I have taken my years of research and combined it all into one, easy to use website so you can too can learn how to change how you shop.  (I created the website I wish I had stumbled on years ago!)  And you will find you are not alone.  People from many different denominations, countries and backgrounds are also joining in to give a "hand up" from poverty and exploitation, utilizing trade to change lives.  So, please help me spread the word, and together we can change the world by how we shop! Like Matthew West sings, let us "Do Something"...

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
Matthew 25:40 NIV

"And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"

Micah 6:8 NKJV

“Look, the pay you have held back from the workers who mowed your fields cries out against you, and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.”
James 5:4 NKJV

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." 

James 1:27 NIV

What are you looking for?

Accessories

Affordable Gifts

Air Freshener

Animal Gifts

Aprons

Art

Athletic Wear

Baby

Backpacks

Bags

Baking

Baskets

Bathroom

Beach

Beads

Beanies

Bedding

Bedroom

Belts

Bible Covers

Bibles

Bird Houses

Birthday Parties

Body Care

Bookmarks

Books

Brick&Mortar Shops

Calendars

Candles

Cardigans

Cats

Cell Phone Holders

Chimes

Chocolate

Christmas Decor

Christmas Gifts

Churches

Clocks

Clothing - Kids

Clothing - Men's

Clothing - Women's

Clutches

Coasters

Coffee

Coffee Mugs

Coin Purses

College Students

Cord Keepers

Corporate Gifts

Cosmetic Cases

Cosmetics

Coworker Gifts

Crafts

Curtains

Custom Products

Decorative Pillows

Dishes

Dogs

Dresses

Duffel Bags

Easter

Electronic Holders

Elephants

Essential Oils

Eyeglass Cases

Fair Trade Events

Fair Trade Shops

Fall Decor

Father's Day

Fingerless Gloves

Floor Mats

Food & Drink

Formal Wear

Fountains

Fourth of July

Frames

Furniture

Games

Garden

Gift Bags

Gift Guide

Gifts $30 & Less

Gifts $20 & Less

Gifts $10 & Less

Gifts $5 & Less

Graduation

Grandparents

Greeting Cards

Hair Accessories

Haiti

Hammocks

Hampers

Handbags

Hats

Headbands

Hobby

Holidays

Home Decor

Hoodies

Human Trafficking

Jackets

Jeans

Jewelry

Journals

Jumpsuits

Key Chains

Kids Clothing

Kids Gifts

Kimonos

Kitchen

Lamps

Laptop Cases

Laundry Baskets

Leggings

Leg Warmers

Lip Balm

Lotion

Lounge Wear

Luggage

Lunch Boxes

Maternity

Men's Fashion
Men's Gifts

Messenger Bags

Mother's Day

Mittens

Musical

Napkins

Office Supplies

Organization

Outdoor

Pajamas

Pants

Passport Covers

Pastors

Planners

Planters

Plus-Sizes

Pot Holders

Pumpkins

Purses

Puzzles

Quilts

Refugee-Made

Rugs

Scarves

School Supplies

Scrubs

Scrunchies

Shirts

Shoes

Shorts

Shower Curtains

Skirts

Slippers

Soap

Socks

Stationary

Storage

Summer

Sweaters

Swimwear

Tablecloths

Table Runners

Tablet Sleeves

Tablet Stands

Tea

Tea Towels

Teacher Gifts

Teacher Supplies

Tech Accessories

Teenagers

Tees - Men

Tees - Women

Thanksgiving

Throws

Ties

Toddlers

Tops

Totes

Towels

Toys

Travel

Unicorns

Valentine's Gifts

Vases

Wall Art

Wallets

Water Bottles

Wedding

Wedding Gifts

Wholesale

Winter Wear

Women's Gifts

Wristlets

Yarn

Yoga Pants

©2019 by Change the World by How You Shop. | Images on this site are copyrighted and are used with permission. | Created with Wix.com.

FOLLOW US:

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Pinterest - Grey Circle