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Swag & Sweetness: Learning and Laughing Together

Laughter pours out of the room that women have gathered in for Swag and Sweetness Classes. The classes, serving women from Blackhawk Courts, are offered through a partnership between Rockford Housing Authority, Zion Outreach, and Angelic Organics Learning Center.

natural body careThe two-month series provide residents with the opportunity to make new friendships while learning to make body care products and sweet treats. One participant, Courtney Aldridge values the fellowship opportunity.  "You get to know each other and you get to know more about people than you usually do that way you come as a community and help out," Aldridge said.

Women learn together about health concerns of store-bought beauty products and how to make their own at home to improve their health and save money. This pilot program also offers the women a chance to earn some money by selling their handmade products at the Blackhawk Courts Farm Stand and at the upcoming Angelic Organics Learning Center staff and board retreats. If all goes well, the program may develop more next year.

toothpaste recipe"We may pursue how to turn it into a more commercial situation and of course it's fun.  It could provide jobs and of course it provides a chance to use what we grow on our earth," Katie Townsend, Urban Farm Educator, said.

Over the course of a two month period, the women learned how to make body butter, salt scrubs, infused oils, natural cleaners, lip balm, toothpaste, teas, raw coconut desserts, and more!

The Swag and Sweetness classes were even featured on the WIFR's local news! Click here to see the video.

You can save money at home making your own natural body care products too! Try this awesome natural toothpaste recipe!

Natural Toothpaste

1/2 cup            Coconut Oil

2-3 T               Baking Soda

2 packets         Stevia Powder

15-20 drops     Cinnamon or Peppermint Essential Oil

10 drops          Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional)

10 drops          Myrrh Extract (Optional)

Mix all together and store in a small container. Some program participants tried using some orange essential oil with the peppermint oil for a nice effect.