Refugee-Made Gifts With Love Big Enough to Unmake Violence

ricardo gomez

In a world where conflict can be found just about anywhere, the good folks at Preemptive Love are committed to risking their lives for peace. The Preemptive Love Coalition was started in 2008 by Jeremy and Jessica Courtney, Americans living in Iraq in the midst of war. As college sweethearts, the pair balanced each other out while discovering a shared zest for life, believing that together they could accomplish anything. When 9/11 hit just 3 months after their wedding, they watched fear in the U.S. turn into hate and hate into war. Jeremy and Jessica chose a different path, pushing beyond the fear. By moving to Iraq, they expanded their worldview and became part of something much bigger.

As the young couple immersed themselves in their new Iraqi community, they experienced a novel sense of belonging, recognizing their neighbors from different cultures and backgrounds as family—playing music, singing, and sharing meals and stories. When they discovered a child in their neighborhood needed surgery to address a heart defect, Jeremy and Jessica began brainstorming ways to help. Soon they discovered other children with similar medical issues, many associated with the effects of chemical weapons, and the couple sprang into action, sowing the seeds for Preemptive Love.

Although their team is based in Iraq, additional staff and volunteers work in offices across the U.S. and around the world. The non-profit organization has grown, but its mission remains the same—people helping people to unmake war. In addition to providing relief and empowerment services to displaced persons, they also invest in better lives for refugees and survivors of war from countries such as Iraq, Syria, and beyond. Once the essentials such as food, shelter, hygiene kits, and access to clean water are covered, Preemptive Love helps families rebuild their lives by starting home bakeries, corner stores, sewing shops, cellphone accessory shops, fruit stands, and candle-making businesses. In addition to adding value to their local communities, many refugee-made products can also be purchased online at, empowering peacemaking efforts all over the world.

Nathan Holles, Preemptive Love’s eCommerce Merchandise Coordinator, knew he needed packaging for their soap, candles, and hand-stitched goods that was sleek and matched the style and quality of the products. “We are especially pleased with the muted colors and basic storylines on our paper tubes. They are inviting, elevating our products without stealing the show,” said Holles.

With international sourcing and shipping as some of the non-profit organization’s biggest retail challenges, Holles was happy with Paper Tube Co.’s ability to make the product packaging experience smooth and easy. “We chose Paper Tube Co. because of the communication, helpful customer service, and amazing customization,” stated Holles. “We’re on a path to growth and hope to expand our product sourcing to other countries we are working in, such as Lebanon, Venezuela, and Colombia.”

At Paper Tube Co., we’re proud of the good work our customers are doing to promote peace in the world. We think the story on the Preemptive Love website says it best, “We’re not just aid workers. We are peacemakers. Every meal, every liter of water, every new job is a chance to demonstrate a different kind of love. A love big enough to unmake violence.”

“We ultimately chose Paper Tube Co. because of the communication, helpful customer service, and amazing customization. Peggy has been a dream to work with. She has helped us every step of the way.”–Nathan Holles, eCommerce Merchandise Coordinator, Preemptive Love