Ambassador Guest Post: Inspiring the Next Generation of World Changers
Deirdre Catlett is a wife and homeschooling mom, and a Noonday Ambassador. She became an Ambassador two years ago and has become a fierce advocate for Noonday’s Artisan Partners across the globe. But the desire to make an impact hasn’t stopped with Deirdre! Today on Flourish, she’s sharing how her Noonday business has sparked a passion for social justice in her daughter Sydney. Read on to learn more about Deirdre’s journey–and how her daughter now dreams of using her own voice to make a difference for others.
A lot can change in two years. As a homeschooling mom of four, seminary student and ministry leader, taking on the role of Noonday Collection Ambassador made absolutely no sense for me. Two years ago, my house was covered with schoolbooks and piles of laundry; a never-ending flow of dirty dishes constantly filled the kitchen sink. I needed fewer things on my plate, not more. And, sure enough, when I became an Ambassador, my “To Do List” got a whole lot bigger. Noonday catalogs and order forms wound up in the most unlikely place, while handcrafted Artisan pieces found a home in my son’s Lego sculptures.
Looking back on that time, I understand why people advised me to wait on becoming an Ambassador. But, the truth is simple: If I waited for the “perfect” time, I’d still be waiting. I also would have missed out on the opportunity to travel to Uganda on an Ambassador Trip last summer and I wouldn’t be going to Peru in June. But, more importantly, I would have missed out on the countless friendships I’ve made in the Ambassador community. These women have enriched my life; they have made me a better person. I also would have missed out on the next life-changing adventure I currently find myself on.
Throughout the chaos of the past two years, four sets of eyes have watched my transformation from ignorance about fair trade to advocacy for men and women around the world. My kids have offered to help every step the way, sometimes with the small task of putting labels on my catalogs. Other times, they attended Trunk Shows where they heard about the work of our Artisan Partners around the world and about the impact of our purchases. Somewhere along the way my eldest, Sydney (15), also became inspired to blaze her own trail.
A few weeks ago, I traveled with Sydney to Haiti. Preparing for that experience proved difficult. Pictures of poverty, no matter how accurately reflecting real life, never replace the experience of being surrounded by the truth of poverty: waterways brimming with trash; homes constructed of rotting wood, cardboard, and sheet metal; children walking through dirt roads without shoes and sometimes without clothes. Reconciling this reality with her life here in Maine started a wrestling in Sydney’s spirit. It fanned into flames a desire we began to see in her as I continued along my Noonday Collection journey.
Sydney has developed a passion for using what she has been given to help others. And she hasn’t stopped at just learning and discovering. She wants to encourage others to use their voices for good, and she is now in the process of launching an organization that inspires members of her generation to make an impact through their time and money.
This July, Sydney and I will travel to Rwanda, which will include a visit with Noonday’s Artisan Partners in Kigali. As I think about this upcoming journey, my mind goes to Noonday Collection Founder Jessica Honegger. She often shares about taking a trip to Kenya when she was 15, which opened her eyes and changed her life. It has since changed the lives of countless others. One teenage girl traveling to Kenya created a ripple effect felt within the lives of our Artisan Partners around the world, the Ambassadors who are privileged to share their stories, the Hostesses and customers who make all of this possible… and the children watching us as we bravely say, “Yes!”
I can’t imagine where I’d be right now if I turned down the opportunity to become a Noonday Collection Ambassador. I won’t lie. It’s been hard, but the adventures and blessings have been worth every sacrifice. I’ve never been more thankful for the opportunity to show my children a life of advocacy. Through my work with Noonday Collection, I get to educate and inspire the next generation of World Changers. Best. Job. EVER.
Meet Deirdre Catlett
Deirdre Catlett is a wife and homeschooling mom. When not balancing the responsibilities of educating her children and being a Noonday Collection Ambassador, she is pursuing her Masters at Dallas Theological Seminary and mentoring young women. She is a firm believer that every voice matters and works tirelessly to make sure each one of those voices is heard. She and her husband live in Portland, Maine with their four kids.