Vera Bradley Pledges Support from Market Tote Sales to THP

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The luggage and accessories company, Vera Bradley, has pledged US$10,000 from sales of their exclusive, new, reusable Market Tote bags to The Hunger Project (THP). The exclusive, eco-friendly bags will be available from October 17 through November 2 at participating retailers.

THP will use this funding in its work to mobilize communities, empower women, and forge effective partnerships with governments so that women, men and children in the developing world can end their own hunger and poverty and become self-reliant.

This investment will enable THP to help create more success stories like that of Mrs. Derare Hirpha of Ethiopia. Derare, who was abducted from her rural village as a young girl and forced to marry an older man, has transformed her life through her work with THP. Her involvement with THP has enabled Derare to become a community leader and a successful entrepreneur, who can now feed her family and send her children to school. Regarding THP, Derare says "I was inspired by the objectives of the project. My heart started to shine again when the organization clearly stated its commitment in promoting gender equality through women's empowerment programs with focus on its Microfinance Program for women."

Through THP's unique methodology, communities become food secure; achieve access to healthcare, clean water and safe sanitation; halt the spread of diseases like HIV/AIDS; become literate and educate their children; access microfinance services; foster community cooperation; include women as full and equal community members; and transform mindsets of resignation and dependency into a "can-do" spirit.

Jill Lester, THP's President & CEO, says that "Sometimes circumstances ask greatness of us. The global economic crisis is one such opportunity. Vera Bradley is seizing this moment by investing in The Hunger Project's work. I am heartened by the company's generosity as they make a first time pledge in THP's unique and successful strategies that have people meet their own basic needs and achieve self-reliance."

Visit Vera Bradley's site to find a local retailer where you can purchase a Market Tote now!

About Vera Bradley

Vera Bradley handbags, stationery, travel and eyewear are everywhere! Vera Bradley products have popped up on television shows: Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, According to Jim, Samantha Who and in more than 20 feature-length films, as well as in celebrity gift lounges surrounding the 2009 Tony Awards and 2009 Daytime Emmys. With an award-winning float in the 2009 Rose Parade, 3,500 retailers and 25 corporate-owned stores across the nation, the Vera Bradley story is a testimony to the American Dream; friends Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller founded the company in 1982 with just a $500 investment. Visit verabradley.com for more information.