My sister, Beth, is such an inspiration to me! She has started a non-profit group called Hands of Hope which works in conjunction with Girl-Child Network Worldwide
I suppose it would help to explain the Girl-Child Network Worldwide first. They are an organization working with girls in African countries who are victims of abuse, human trafficking and/or rape to help them transform into survivors and leaders. GCNW builds centers which provide education, medical care, legal assistance and police protection.
My sister started Hands of Hope to use needlework (her huge passion!) to help in this process. Kits are put together of embroidery hoops, floss, needles, scissors, cloth, etc. and then sent to the GCNW centers in Africa. There, interested girls are taught embroidery skills and will practice with the provided kit. With guidance they are then taught design basics and work to create an embroidery design of their own which represents something special to them.
When the design is completed, it will be sent back to Hands of Hope, where my sister will make kits to sell using the girl’s design. All proceeds will then be sent back to that girl, to help her gain the means to seek an education, starting a business or similar goals which will improve her life.
Beth runs an Etsy store where she sells hand-crafted items (she is SO talented) and then pours all profits into the supplies for her charity.
As you may recall, I am running a fledgling machine embroidery business called E’Bellish. Beth is my first customer, well guinea pig, because while I an donating my time and work to Hands of Hope, she has had to wait for me to learn what I am doing! LOL! Doing a machine embroidery design from scratch may sound simple, but I have been working on it for over a month now. It required learning all sorts of things from creating vector graphics; providing the machine with instructions to compensation with the stretch of fabrics; and engineering the most effective order to stitch the design to reduce thread count, time and distortion.
This weekend everything has been coming together and it is SO exciting! Beth has been sending out sponsorship requests and just learned on Friday that Janlynn Corporation (a national company which makes and sells needlework kits) wishes to be a long term sponsor and partner with Hands of Hope. I did a happy dance because I finally pulled it all together and successfully created and stitched out the logo for Hands of Hope. And finally, one of the items in the Hands of Hope Etsy store made the front page the Etsy site today, as a featured item!
How cool is all that? I am so, so proud of Beth and I hope you might take a moment to visit her website which further explains her vision Oh by the way, if you are interested in helping, she is currently running a contest with prizes for anyone who helps out.