Lisa's Writing

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One Year of Love Letters

“I think these are love letters,” my daughter said as she sat cross-legged on the floor of a storage unit that held the last of my parents’ belongings. We were finally cleaning it out after three years of my grief-laden procrastination. Parting with the tangible memorabilia was an economic decision. Since Dad’s death, we had […]
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My Mother in Blurry Shadows

There is an app called Blur Photo that allows you to safely post a photo that will, no surprise, blur faces. This Mother’s Day, I downloaded the app so I could safely hide my mother’s identity while writing an entire post about my mother’s identity. It’s been a strange year, right? Actually, it’s been a […]
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Goodbye, Grace

I guess everyone thinks their dog is the best. We told her this a hundred times in the week before we said goodbye, and we meant it. Grace was a black lab mixed with a little bit of something else – we were never sure what. It didn’t matter. She was her own sweet self […]
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Move the Needle

A Nonprofit Founder's Story of Seamstress Apprenticeships, Peddling Products, and the Need to Make a Difference

The Story

What happens when accepting an invitation to visit Ghana turns into a nine-year journey?

Lisa Jackson Tresch was a magazine editor who had a comfortable, settled life. What she thought was a one-time trip to the Ashanti region of Ghana led her down a path of learning about the struggles of single mothers and how seamstress apprenticeships can help move the needle toward a better life. Along the way she peddled stitched items and eventually started a nonprofit that focused on income sustainability for the women. She never did learn to sew, but she discovered how to survive detours, dead-ends, and do-overs, and celebrate the small movements toward success. Ghanaians begin their visits with travelers by asking, “What’s the news from the road?” This book is her attempt to answer the question, share the lessons, and take readers on the journey with her, all the way to its unexpected conclusion.

Move the Needle is a deeply personal founder’s memoir that reminds us that we don’t have to know everything to start something, and that it might be the small incremental movements that change the world.