The Friendship Stone is one of those things that you see and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” They recently sent me their Power of 2 (PO2) gift set and both my husband and I loved it. I like that I can keep the stone in the bag on my desk or toss just the stone in my pocket so that every time I reach in my pocket it’s there as a tangible reminder of the other person. It can also serve as a sort of worrystone.
The PO2 comes with two stones, two bags, two blank gift cards and a brochure explaining the meaning and origins of the stones.
All Friendship Stone purchases are “giveback gifts” meaning that 10% of profits go back to Western South African communities where the stones originate as part of Project South Africa. The PO2 also gives back in another way through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Twenty percent of profits go towards BBBS with fifteen percent of that going toward a local agency based on the purchaser’s zip code. These purchases must be made through the Big Brothers Big Sisters-The Friendship Stone site to be eligible.
Cathy Raff is the owner/founder of My Stone Company. This is her story as given to me.
“Cathy Raff was born in Ocala, Florida. She was one of five ‘Cathys’ in her high school and was given the nickname ‘Rafi which has managed to stick still today. A graduate of the University of Texas, with a BA with honors in Journalism with the emphasis in Photojournalism she now owns her own studio in Israel. It is from here that she runs My Stone Company with her best friend and sister, Jill, in New York. The Friendship Stone keepsakes and jewelry that her company produces and sells are more than just giftware, they stand as a symbol of the power of positive thinking and the ability to change your situation.
In her first year of college, Cathy was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitus and on her 21st birthday, had a total colectomy (total removal of the large intestine). Of the ordeal Cathy says ‘I knew this was really my birthday, as I felt re-born on the day after I awoke from surgery.’ Then when she was 31, she met the man of her dreams and married. It took them four years and twelve unsuccessful in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments to start a family. In the end they realized how lucky they were to have an alternative; surrogacy. The following years Cathy and her husband worked with three amazing women who were each incredible and responsible for helping bring the couple three healthy children.
Because she had been medically challenged so many times, Cathy realized the disease she dealt with on a daily basis was actually a gift. Cathy spent quite a lot of time thinking about life and what was important to her. Before her surgery, she had forgotten what life was without pain. She could not imagine what it was like to have energy or even the desire to get up in the morning. Several months after the surgery, all of a sudden, Cathy realized she had not thought about her stomach for over an hour! She started crying tears of disbelief. From that moment on, there has not been a day that she is not aware of the feeling of being pain free.
And in 2004, so began her journey with the friendship stone on a business trip with her husband to South Africa.
There’s much more to Cathy’s story that I am sure she would love to share with you. And the stones themselves have quite a story, too."
Be sure to take a look around the website and read the different stories and see the different ways you can get a friendship stone – as a necklace, as an engraved traveling stone, as a Power of 2 set, and others.
Right now the Friendship Stone would like to give one of my lucky readers a PO2 set. To win:
1. Comment on this post before Thursday, December 31st, midnight central time, and tell me a little about the friend to whom you would give the second stone.
2. You get one additional entry for each social networking site (your blog, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) you post this giveaway on. For Twitter it's as easy as hitting the "Tweet this" button at the bottom right of this post. Come back here and tell me where you posted it.
I will post the winner as we ring in the new year. Good luck!
This Giveaway is now closed!
When there are 20-50 comments on a giveaway post it's much easier to choose a winner. But when there are only a few I just want to send one to each of you. :) This time the Magic eightball chose Theresa Rhakov. Send me your mailing address and I'll pass it on to Cathy at The Friendship Stone. Congrats!