One of the girls said that she felt the art was created specifically for her. She loved it so much.
One of my joys is making gift bags.
When I worked at Safe House domestic violence shelter, I loved the job of creating the welcome bags for the women and children who were coming in. So when a client was going to arrive, my job was to create a welcome bag that contained shampoo, conditioner,
toothpaste, tooth brush, soap, a welcome packet, hairbrush...if I found more donations in our closet, I would add a quilt, water bottle, journal, hand cream, body spray, and a stuffed animal (if the woman had a child/children). Also the second part was to prepare the room with fresh linens and towels. I know it was very traumatic for these women to go to a strange place, with people they don't know - so making the room and bed as comfortable as possible was important, especially to me because I knew first hand the importance of needing a toothbrush and slipping into a clean, fresh bed after a day of traveling, thinking, crying, not knowing what was happening. At nine years old my mother mustered up her courage to make an exit plan and leave her abuser, my dad.
Even though I was young and didn't know what was happening, I knew that I knew, that what my mom did took courage.
Even this very moment, I can feel the cool, clean sheets I slipped into that first night at the domestic violence shelter.
What may seem mundane, like washing sheets or giving someone tooth paste can be so helpful and comforting to another person.
My mission is to give out gift bags like these to at-risk, exploited women and youth.
I try to give every girl who leaves our care a gift bag with my book, a journal, encouraging art print, nail polish, and lip balm. I want every one of the youth to take home something that will help them remember what they have learned while they were with us and also items that will bring encouragement. My future plans are to include necessities like toiletries and a new blanket in each gift bag.
A percentage of every sale provides something that may seem insignificant to us but huge to an at risk youth.
Here is a link to my website if you are interested in donating to help me with this cause.
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