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Ordinary Women Projects

Donations to worthy causes

At the February 16th meeting, the proposal to sponsor the Manhattan Crisis Center (/month), and to sponsor an international organization devoted to improving women's lives (/month) passed unanimously.  At the first meeting of every month, OW will "pass a hat" for voluntary contributions from members.  If more than the monthly is donated, the surplus will be deposited in the OW savings account, and used to cove rmonths when we don't make our , or to cover summer months.  If anyone who doesn't attend meetings regularly would like to contribute, contact

The Treasurer and Advisor will keep track of the bookkeeping, and will take responsibility for disbursing the funds to the Manhattan Crisis Center and Ixoq aj Kemool.

OW discussed several international organizations,and in the end decided upon Ixoq aj Kemool Cooperativa(pronounced "Eeshock ach Kehmuhl"), "Women Who Weave,"a textile cooperative in Guatemala.

OW chose Ixoq aj Kemool from among many worthy organizations because we have an existing OW connection to this cooperative.  Kendra Staley and Summer Lewis worked with them during the summer of 2004, and Kendra is there now, helping them work on international trading possibilities, with plans for their weavings to be sold soon in our Manhattan.  (Currently, On the Wildside is interested and a possible sale at Take Back the Night is in the works).  Thus our financial contribution would be sustaining work already begun by OW members. Also, there are no overhead costs in contributing to this collective: we will send the money directly to Kendra, who will give it directly to the co-op. During the next four months, OW will work with Ixoq aj Kemool to find a way to make our contributions after Kendra's departure. 


About the Cooperative

The cooperative was formed 12 years ago with the help of a Peace Corps volunteer.  There are 26 members --all women -- who form the governing board.  Many of the women rely on the income generated from their weavings to support their families and send their children to school.  By working with the cooperative,the women receive a set amount per weaving; they do not have to deal with a market middleman/woman who would pay them the least amount  possible per weaving.

The cooperative would like to create a capital fund of their own in order to avoid having to take out loans from a bank (since banks charge a lot of interest).  The capital fund would be used to sustain the coop's needs, allow thecoop to give small loans to members and their partners/husbands, and to help pay for a telephone and telephone line in the co-op's office.

  The women at Ixoq aj Kemool are delighted that OW is contributing to their organization; they are proud to be allied with international women.  Intoox aweh! ("Thank you" in Poqomchi', the indigenous language ofthe women).

For further information about the cooperative,contact Summer Lewis and Kendra Staley at:

Check out the website for the coop:

Find a link for the cooperative on our favorite links page!