Addis Jemari and COVID-19- How We are Coping!

Mar 23, 2020

Dear AJ Family,

Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you as we navigate this new normal during COVID-19. We know plans have changed, activities have been canceled, and we are all hunkering down at home, trying to do our parts to keep everyone safe.  It certainly is unprecedented times! However, we know God is in the midst of it. While we don’t know what the coming weeks will look like, we lean into the One who does know!

We’ve spent a lot of time in prayer this past week about Addis Jemari, and how we can best encourage, educate and empower our almost 200 beneficiaries in our AJ Home and Family Empowerment Program during these uncertain times. We are planning, strategizing, and we have HOPE!

We are happy to report that all of our beneficiaries and staff in Ethiopia are safe! The COVID-19 situation in Ethiopia is much better (for now) than it is in the United States with only nine cases. However, should the virus continue to spread, our staff is already training on hand washing safety and hygiene measures to prevent the spread within our programs.

We want to keep you updated on Addis Jemari during the next several months.

First up…the Addis Jemari Marketplace is our first area of emphasis to keep things running “business as usual.”
(As a reminder, you can shop our handmade and fair trade products at

We kicked off 2020 with a goal to have 20 house parties in the year to share our gorgeous handmade and fair trade products from Ethiopia with your friends and networks. The momentum was amazing, and we had six parties scheduled from March-May. However, the parties scheduled in March, and most likely in April are canceled so we can keep everyone safe.

I’m not going to lie to you… the cancellation of these home parties is scary for Addis Jemari because it was a HUGE part of our revenue stream. As you know, 100 percent of the profits from our Marketplace goes straight back into our programs in Ethiopia. However, we are not without hope as we get creative, pivot, and switch things up!

  1. We are going to put a strong emphasis on our online store. We now have a mobile shipping department up and running to keep our AJ Marketplace employees and volunteers safe from having to go in Post Offices. Everything is being done from home! During this time, we are also going to be running a lot of specials and deals, including right now until April 6, we have FREE SHIPPING, just in time for Easter baskets. Just use this coupon code at check out: FREESHIPPING
  2. Speaking of Easter Baskets…be on the lookout this week for some Easter basket ideas! We realize with stores closing and people staying at home, you guys are going to have to get creative! We are here to help. We’ve selected some AJ Marketplace products that will be a perfect surprise for your loved ones and kiddos for Easter.
  3. We are going to launch online virtual parties in lieu of our face-to-face parties throughout the COVID-19 season. We are calling these online parties our “AJ Mobile Marketplace.” Be on the lookout for more info on that…we are so excited! We believe this is a great way to support a good cause and be in community with one another.

We have hope that we will come together as #AJFamily and support our AJ Marketplace through these new endeavors. Porch pick up in the Triangle area in NC is also available.

Please reach out with your retail needs and continue to purchase with a purpose to help keep our programs running! Of course, you can always donate to our nonprofit as well by visiting and it is 100 percent tax deductible.

We thank you for helping us continue to serve the children and families in Ethiopia with love and dignity.

1 John 4:19
“We love because He first loved us.”