Peas for Prosperity

10:23 AM, Jun 18, 2010   |    comments
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Christy Annis puts people to work for her new company, Peas for Prosperity.

 

ATLANTA -- Christy Annis calls herself a "recovering attorney." Like one in 10 Georgians, she was unemployed and a little lost.

"I made a decision to recreate my life," Annis said. "I didn't know what that life was going to look like, but I knew I wasn't going back to where I was."

She found her way in the story of the black-eyed pea: "After General Sherman captured Atlanta, he and the troops marched from here to Savannah. They destroyed everything along the way, but they left the black-eyed peas. They thought only cows ate the peas. People survived on those. Those peas saved people from starving. So the South got a second chance," Annis said.

She started a company called Peas for Prosperity. She packages peas and the story in a gift bag. She also takes throw-away maps, newspapers, magazines and makes them beautiful again, a lot like her workers.

Annis partnered with the Center for Self-Sufficiency, formerly called the Samaritian House. There she met Larry, an unemployed Iraq war vet.

"A little bit of self-esteem can make you grow so much, into a beautiful flower," he said.

Larry and the other men at women at the center are trying to get back on their feet. As a small step, some do part-time work for Peas for Prosperity.

Christy is struggling to pay her mortgage and struggling to get her business in the black, but she still splits the profits from every bag of peas and every piece of jewelry. Part of it goes back to the center, putting people to work.

More than anything, Christy is in the business of second chances.

 

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