Meet the New Hope Girls

Earlier this year, I was changed. Changed for the good in a way that I can’t fully put into words. This change took place during our mission trip to Honduras. Meeting the sweet children who were in such need, seeing their beautiful spirits shine through despite the hardships they’ve been through, knowing that as much as we helped them that week it wasn’t enough. All of it changed me. 

Read about our trip to Honduras in this blog post

I’ve always had a heart for mission work. Always wanted to do more. I feel those of us who have are called to help those who do not. To truly be the hands and feet of Jesus as best we can. 

That’s why, ever since we returned from Honduras, I’ve been doing two things. The first, planning our next trip! Read about that in this blog post. The second, looking for other ways to help, especially to help the girls and women of these desperately poor nations. 

Like so many things God has planned for our lives, this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of women and girls came at an unexpected time in an unexpected place. 

Today I’d like to introduce you to the New Hope Girls and share with you one way I’ve discovered that I can help these women and girls. And it’s a way you can help them, too. 

Not an ordinary trip to market.

In January of this year, I went to my very first market in Atlanta with my friend Cindy Manly from Art Shattered. Market is difficult to explain. Picture a huge building with floor after floor filled with shops and stalls where vendors show off their new products. It’s a place online and small business owners come to find stock to sell in their shops. 

Market is a great place to spot upcoming trends and get a sense for what the hot items of the season are going to be. My reason for coming to market was to get inspiration for new paintings and ideas for 2022. 

New Hope Girls  bags on display on a shelf

On the last day of market, Cindy and I were walking down the last few aisles we hadn’t yet gotten to. We had seen a lot of items and talked to a lot of vendors. 

The last booth we visited – the very last booth – had super cute bags on display. They were also giving away the most beautiful handsewn masks, so of course Cindy and I went over to get one. 

It turned out, this booth was so much more than a place to source cute bags and pretty masks. 

Who are the New Hope Girls?

As we looked at the different bags on display, we started talking to the women staffing the booth. Now, if you have been around here for very long at all, you know I’m a talker! LOL 

Soon we found ourselves sitting down and talking with Kaitlyn who is an executive for New Hope Girls, the creators of these bags. We spent more than an hour with Kaitlyn, learning about New Hope Girls and figuring out how we could help with their mission. 

inspirational Stickers on a laptop

New Hope Girls is a Christian-based organization in the Dominican Republic serving women and girls in desperate need. Girls in this country are in danger of being exploited in every imaginable way. New Hope Girls operates a safe house where girls who have suffered a variety of traumas come to heal and to receive help. Their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs are tended to with love. 

New Hope Girls also helps mothers provide for their families. Those beautiful bags Cindy and I admired? They are all made by women artisans in the Dominican Republic. 

Christie posing with a black New Hope Girls bag

This wonderful organization is indeed giving new hope to girls and women who have seen little of it in their lives. 

Getting involved. 

Cindy and I shared our faith with Kaitlyn, our history with missions, and our particular love for helping women and children. There were tears at more than one point during our time together. 

I was so touched by the work New Hope Girls is doing and wanted to find a way to be part of it. When Kaitlyn and I figured out this was possible, I was thrilled. It was a beautiful God moment. 

Stack of new hope girl bags to bring back to The Social Easel Shop

How is The Social Easel helping New Hope Girls with its mission of healing and hope? By selling the gorgeous bags these beautiful women make by hand. The bags you see on our website were made by these women. I hand selected the bags and patterns I thought you’d love the most. Each bag is handmade and each is one of a kind. 

Buying a bag makes a difference. 

Buying a bag seems like such a simple thing to do. But when you buy one of these bags, the proceeds returned to New Hope Girls allow them to continue providing rescue, refuge, and restoration to the women and girls who so desperately need it. 

Christie posing with a blue New Hope Girls Bag

These bags provide for the girls and women in several ways. The women artisans are employed and paid a fair wage for the time they spend crafting these beautiful bags. The proceeds from the sale of the bags comes back to the organization to provide for the girls in many ways including education, food, and healing services. 

As an online store, The Social Easel typically would not be able to carry items like these bags. We worked with New Hope Girls to find a way to make it happen and I’m thrilled to share their stories – and their products – with all of you! 50% of the proceeds of every bag sold goes directly back to New Hope Girls, helping to keep these women and girls off the street and safe from harm.

God calls us to serve him by serving one another. 

I hope you’ll consider purchasing a bag. They’re not just pretty and practical, they’re also a small way you can make a difference. 
If you’re open to making a bigger difference, there is still time to join me on our next mission trip to Honduras! Learn more about that trip in this blog post.