Student club presents local women’s group with $11,000

Mount Mercy University’s Enactus team proudly presented a check today for over $11,000 to African Women Empowered, a local group that took part in the student group’s popular #Sandbags2Handbags initiative.

“It feels good,” said Enactus President Goar Kempf. “Especially at a time like now when refugees are questioned. To show how they give back to the community—that they help our community—it feels good.”

African Women Empowered (AWE) is a local business designed to give African immigrant women fair employment opportunities. The group produces fabric bags, beaded jewelry, baby blankets and Enactus’ popular reusable handbags, which are made from sandbags used to protect the city during major flooding last fall.

In just a few short months, the group has sewn more than 2,000 sandbags.

The #Sandbags2Handbags effort took the work of a whole community—from start to finish. After a call to help clean sandbags, students and community members gathered at different locations throughout the city and worked for hours de-sanding and sanitizing. The bags were then sent to AWE to be sewn, and, after quick work, to Red Ball Printing. The bags were finished with  inspiring messages related to overcoming the flood.

“Enactus relies on the community and the community relies on Enactus,” said Miranda Hammes, co-project manager for #Sandbags2Handbags. “Seeing the impact is amazing—it’s a feeling that can’t be described. The women worked hard on this project, and seeing how much they appreciate [the return] makes all of the hard work worth it.”

Find the bags at Mount Mercy’s online store, Raygun, Early Bird Coffee Café, Indian Creek Nature Center and White Lion Treasures.

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