Heavenly Treasures was founded in October, 1998 as a result of a life changing experience of founder, Kathy Gaulton. In July 1996, Kathy served on a short term team to Tanzania, Africa with the New Life Christian Church and Empowering Lives International.
While serving on that team God broke Kathy's heart for the poor. ELI Director, Don Rogers, challenged her to think of some way to help the women with a type of business. The women had been given 5 treadle sewing machines that were idle. Kathy had an idea of making drawstring bags out of local fabrics. The women were very excited and after a few hours of instruction, they began to sew. When the sun went down, they worked by candlelight. In two days, there were 300 bags! The message was clear that the desire to have some form of income was a high priority to the women in need. The hope they received from their hard work was an amazing experience. When leaving the village of Igoma the image of a woman running after the vehicle with the items she had made all night long became a life changing event that still brings tears. Realizing that not only discipling was our responsibility but also "teaching people to fish" with skills that will change their lives was cemented in Kathy's heart.
Kathy's career in retail merchandising over the past 30+ years had equipped her with skills and abilities that were needed in helping others. After visiting various missionaries and "field" missions, research and a desire to serve God, Kathy could see a need that was urgent and great. Her vision was to serve the poor through economic, income producing projects, Livelihood Projects, partnering with those with the same heart and desire. Working together bringing economic and spiritual transformation is a passion that God has placed in the center of Heavenly Treasures. Livelihood Projects are effective vehicles to help the impoverished to break the cycle of poverty.
God's purpose and plan for helping the poor is very real. Answering the call to fulltime ministry required the entire Gaulton family to change their values and lifestyle. The key to changing from a corporate career to full time ministry was to restructure financial commitments and debt to make it possible to leave Corporate America. Kathy resigned from DFS North America as Regional Merchandise Manager in January 2000, and served on staff with Empowering Lives International (ELI) for two years, now focusing on micro enterprise development through Heavenly Treasures.
Heavenly Treasures is a 501(c)(3) public benefit non-profit organization. It is capitalized through donations, grants and other charitable funding. Each project is funded by the products that are marketed on their behalf.
A board of directors supports Heavenly Treasures by recommending policies, development opportunities, and promotion of Heavenly Treasures projects. Each board member also partners through shared vision, passion to serve Jesus Christ and a heart for the poor. The board will serve as a visionary entity with a clear picture of God's plan as its compass.
Heavenly Treasures partners with Christian ministries and other charitable organizations; helps micro enterprises in need of development; researches and develops specific market opportunities for product distribution; works with national leaders on business development, locally and internationally, imports products; provides micro-loan opportunities; develops and sends short term teams to support those in full time ministry; offers opportunities for ordinary people to use their gifts and abilities to help the poor and oppressed.
Heavenly Treasures is founded upon Biblical scripture:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."