Round Two is Right Around the Corner!

It’s hard to believe that the news we are about to share with you is a REALITY! Our collaboration with Vera Bradley on International Women’s Day this year was a complete hit. We celebrated with tears of joy as the bags were sold out on the Vera Bradley site by 9am EST on their release day. It was such a gift to receive so much support and excitement from you all surrounding our collab! 

Much to our dismay, there were countless individuals who had their hearts set on the collection and were unable to purchase before they sold out. After reflecting with Vera Bradley about the success of the collaboration, they shared with us that they had purchased extra yardage of limited-edition fabric in case there would be a need for it in the future… This was a HUGE surprise and we couldn’t help but dream of making more limited-edition bags and pouches.

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With Vera Bradley’s support, we are relaunching the collection and offering both the hobo and pouch for purchase while supplies last! One of the best parts is, this time the collection will be sold in OUR online store!!! We are so excited to sell these bags and pouches directly to you, it is a dream come true and has truly brought this journey full circle.

Once we received the second round of fabric, our artisans got right to work and were overjoyed at the opportunity to jump right in again and craft these beautiful bags and pouches for you all! We are so proud of them and how much they continue to grow in this season as our production numbers have increased significantly these last couple months.

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As always, 100% of the proceeds from each purchase will go directly to providing rescue, refuge and restoration for girls and women in the Dominican Republic. Each bag and pouch sold has a direct impact on the lives of our girls and the ones that are still awaiting their rescue.

 
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Here are the logistics!

The bags will be released on Wednesday, May 1st at 12 pm EST.
Visit this link directly:

https://www.newhopegirls.co/special-edition-vera-bradley-collaboration 

and they will be available for purchase until supplies last! There are approximately 90 hobos and 100 pouches available and we are predicting they will go FAST!

Set your alarms for the launch hour so that you will have your chance at purchasing the collection.

Thank you for continuing this journey with us! We are so blessed to receive such tangible support and excitement from our community and beyond. You all help remind us we are not alone in this work and it truly does take a village to make it all happen.

Joy Reyes
Made for MORE

There were at least one hundred miracles leading up to this one. Our hope was full and the tension was real. We had been praying for a great success, hoping that the collection would sell out by noon. We wanted this to be the beginning of more.

We were dreaming big.

I fell asleep around 12am(11pm ET)— thinking, what can I do in the middle of the night… I tried to rest. At about 1am (12AM ET) my phone started going crazy with people in a panic trying to get the bag. There seemed to be struggles with an overloaded website and countless individuals started asking for my help. It was so exciting and I found myself fielding questions without even having opened the site, there just hadn’t been time! The buzz died down around 2:30am—I felt loved by so many loyal, courageous friends.

The next morning at New Hope Girls everyone was buzzing. We dressed in matching T-shirts designed for that very day. “Creado para Mas”—Made for More.  We were holding tight to those words and the promise that our future was bigger than we were able to imagine in those monumental hours since the bags had been released.


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The girls had decorated and the house looked truly amazing.  We planned a time of gratitude, a time to remember, a time let down and celebrate.  We huddled on the floor together singing, our eyes wet and leaking with hope and gratitude.  We took time to remember the process and the miracles we’d shared along the journey.

We pulled out the bowl of rocks. Each rock holds a word that represents a significant miracle to the person who had written it in the first place.  I took the first rock and wrote Vera Bradley, and as I began to speak of the rich connection and partnership we had formed, others followed and began reaching for rocks and writing their own words.

 
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The words Growth, More, Healing and Refuge were written on rocks with raw stories explaining why they had etched that chosen sentiment.  Stories of promise, dreams realized, from little shacks to beautiful facilities, from home machines to industrial, from yards to rolls.  Our director reached for two rocks and shared that one year ago we submitted papers for girls who had no name according to the government. She then took a moment to announced that their birth certificates were received during this very week and now they not only have names but rights to study, work and travel.  

 
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We cried a lot. We screamed and danced and celebrated and prayed. It was perfect. The emotion of the day literally took our breath away.  

Then, in the midst of our celebration, text messages, phone calls and notifications began flooding in. The bags are 100% sold out! We screamed and wept with joy. Struggling to breath, we were overcome by the dreams that were being fulfilled right in front of us.

 
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Wanda, the leader of our workshop, stood up and began to address our girls.

“You are the reason we do it.  You are the reason we celebrate.  You are the reason we work and can work.  You are New Hope Girls. You are created for more – we all are.”

 
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We are now in a season of preparation. We feed pressed to use this momentum and have hopes to hire more staff, conquer our shipping puzzle between the US and Dominican Republic that we just haven’t been able to crack, grow our workshop and production all the while beginning our next line!

It is our privilege to say thank you to each and every one of you. Whether you pressed like on a Facebook post, shared your excitement over the collaboration on your Instagram, stood up in your community and encouraged them to share about March 8th, or were one of the blessed number of individuals that were able to purchase the bags before they were sold out. We see you and we couldn’t have done it without you.

 
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Joy Reyes
The Countdown Begins!
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The Logo says it all. We are truly humbled and unashamedly ecstatic that in a matter of hours our collaboration with Vera Bradley will be LIVE! If you’re late to the news, no worries, it is our joy to fill you in!

Just over two years ago we began a relationship with a brand that has grabbed hold of our vision and partnered with us in a way that we never could have planned or dreamed of ourselves. 

Since 2016, Vera Bradley has provided and decorated a beautiful intake room in our safe house, donated powerful industrial machines and completely decked out our current workshop, and has collaborated with us in creating a limited edition New Hope Girls + Vera Bradley line launching on March 8th, International Women’s Day (Yes, THAT SOON!!) These are just some of the highlights and we have been absolutely blown away by their generosity and feel our hearts have been knit together for such a time as this.

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Our women have been working tirelessly over the last few months to make the bags that will be sold on Vera Bradley’s site. Both our signature Hobo and Pencil Pouch will be sold and there will only be 500 units each available for purchase!

It is amazing to reflect on the growth and transformation that has taken place within our workshop walls these last couple months. Our women have been on an incredible journey marked by such beauty and favor. We have been pushed to our limits but our YES has been our YES and now it is time to see the results from all the incredible work they have put into these beautiful bags that are truly made for more.

 
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As we have said yes to MORE, we are believing that this collaboration will give us the exposure needed to sell COUNTLESS bags, each one providing the ability to hire more women and rescue more girls through every purchase. 

Joy Reyes
Home for the Holidays
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I hope you all had a wonderful, meaningful holiday filled with traditions and loved ones!  Christmas and New Years can be a beautiful time, but also a time filled with triggers that have the ability to launch us into sadness and pain.  We work hard at New Hope to help our girls make new, happy memories and during the holidays we find it especially important to reimagine with them what it means to celebrate the birth of our King.  Every night of December we gather together and have a special devotion using The Advent book, which, if you haven’t seen it, it’s a beautiful addition to any advent traditions you may have.  We fill each girl’s stocking with ten tiny gifts and throughout the month there are surprise doors that prompt them to open each of their new treasures.  We find that the anticipation is perfect and helps to inspire and communicate the spirit of advent.  

 

On Christmas eve we share a meal and we go to sleep in our new PJs.  This year the ladies in the workshop made custom PJs for everyone in the girl’s house including staff. The tradition in our area is to celebrate the opening of gifts on Three Kings day, January 6th, but as we are making new traditions-- we open our gifts on New Years Day after a late morning recovering from the New Year’s Eve Bonfire.  Then, on Three Kings Day, instead of receiving gifts—we give them!  This year Vera Bradley helped us give by providing beautiful bags we could fill with treats for kids in the hospital during the holidays. 

 

Many of you helped shop for our ladies and girls this year.  I gave you wish lists and you all truly went above and beyond!  God used you to remind us of the "more" and the abundance He has promised us. Watching the individual reactions in the room as our girls and women uncovered their new treasures filled our home with gratitude. 

 

I remember when our girls didn’t know how to receive a gift.  There was NO affect or reaction… But look at them now!  Joy is truly a fruit of the spirit and we are blessed to bear witness to this fruit in each of our girls.  

 

Here is a sneak peak into the special Holidays of New Hope Girls. Thank you again for being part of our story and growth. We are grateful to begin a new year in reflecting on what we have been given while looking ahead to the goodness and beauty that lies ahead!

Joy Reyes
Year in Review

As the new year approaches we find it is the best opportunity to stand in awe and wonder of all that has unfolded in the lives of our girls and women. We are so grateful for growth and all the more we have stepped into as New Hope Girls.

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Thank you for being part of our story, our mission, the heartbeat behind what we do. We are so grateful to celebrate the triumphs amidst the difficulties that are littered within the daily realities we face. We say yes and step into even MORE as 2019 approaches. Please continue to pray for us, walk with us, and support us in whatever way you feel led in the coming year. We couldn’t do it without you.

Joy Reyes
Stepping Into More

This has been the year to look back and remember, one of constant change and growth. We are not exactly sure what is waiting around the corner, but we are certain it is more, and it is big. We feel a call to be brave! And each day is filled with hope of more. 

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We have held many little faces in our hands and whispered words that echo what we know and preach to ourselves... 

 

“I don’t know what’s coming, but it will be good.”

“There is more.”

“You were made for more.”

“God will make you brave.”

“You are not alone.”

 

We are determined to be faithful with what is in our hand. We keep reminding ourselves of where we have come from and this truth that has become our motto- “If you are faithful in little, you will be faithful with much.” We keep marveling in the reality that we now walk in the “much” of the “little” we held in years past and believe that we now stand in the “little” of what tomorrow holds.

 

We started in the barrio. With dirt floors and a treacherous walk up. We started where our girls lived. Above the streets that once named them. We were convinced that our small beginnings would be transformed little by little. Step by step. Through it all we have been growing in our endurance, in our belief that as we put one foot in front of the other we are being faithful to the calling we first received. We have stopped wondering when we’ll get to the top of the mountain, but rather, what else is there for us along the way, what new territory will we encounter, what else will be required of us?

 

We live in this tension. In a place where deep pain is met by true promise. We live on the front lines. As advocates, ambassadors, counselors, mothers. We’re with every girl in their healing. We are determined to see them overcome every wound. Stepping into the trenches, we become acquainted with their scars and every detail of their stories. We are truly convinced of our purpose as we see every one of our girls through their journey of rescue, refuge and restoration. And there are more, so many more. One at a time we reach out to them and bring them close to whisper...

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“I don’t know what’s coming, but it will be good.”

“There is more.”

“You were made for more.”

“God will make you brave.”

“You are not alone.” 

Joy Reyes
Healing Arts

She can paint for hours.

Peace resides

where unsettled anxious, restlessness and

internal chaos normally live.

But when she paints there is

just Peace.

I slid in next to her to bear witness to this truth.

“I notice such a peace as you paint.”

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“When I paint, I can breathe.”

She inhales and exhales as she says it.

I will never forget that moment.  It gave me a new resolve to integrate art more deliberately into our everyday lives.

There is power in art.

Creating beauty

Pure Communication

Raw

Free of words

On the road to healing, finding the words can be so hard, but maybe we can dance it out, act it out, draw it, sculpt it, capture it in a photograph…and then we can share it.  When we are ready.

 

"The transformative power of art is in the sharing"

- Brene Brown


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I am in awe each day with the level of depth and intimacy that can be achieved with some colored pencils, markers, scarves, photographs and music.  I’m not sure why I am so surprised.  I should know by now the power of “simple” when coupled with connection.

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“May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!”

Joy Reyes
His Lovingkindness

I had been telling people since January, that I would be in Seattle in July for an art training.   At least I hoped to be.  For years, I had been looking for the opportunity to learn how to use my love of art to help myself and others process and heal.  I knew there was power in creating beauty.  I feel we are made for it.

 

When I finally found an organization that would train lay-practitioners I was so excited.  I knew I would go.  I didn’t know how, but I knew I would go!  After locating the training, I quickly moved onto the next dream of who I would take along.  Who would help me launch art therapy within the walls of New Hope? There were lots of names and different factors excluded some of them, but I finally landed on the perfect fit.  I told them about it and asked them to make room in their schedules. 

 

I mentioned this desire in the last update sent to friends and supporters.  I still had no idea how I would get to that training, but I was certain I was going. 

 

Then, at a gathering, a new friend came up and told me she wanted to help in any way she could.  I told her how much I appreciated how she had already gone above and beyond in her loving support.  I hugged her deeply.  Then she mentioned that if I were ever to make it to her part of the US it would be so fun to connect. 

 

“Where do you live again?” 

“Washington.” 

“Are you close to Seattle?  Because we are going there in July.”

 

She told me that if the training was in the city we would be too far away to stay in her home, “BUT I have a million Marriott points and flight miles for that matter, and if I can help you in this way, I would LOVE to!”

 

I was thrilled at the thought, but I wasn’t going to hold her to it… then she wrote me. 

 

She was able to book our tickets and help pay for the hotel.  Oh, and first class was cheaper—Go God!  I applied for a scholarship for those attending.  We got it!  It was all falling into place.  I ran up and down the stairs, shaking my hands at the ceiling in gratitude, jumped up and down a few times and then literally did a happy dance before writing her to say THANK YOU! 

 

Her response-- “May the wonder of this adventure fill your cup!!!” 

Joy Reyes
Pursued

A new girl arrived on Friday.  She ran away on Sunday.  She ran right back into the darkness she had been rescued from.  She ran into the arms of those who had betrayed her, sold her.

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I have become really slow to judge over the years, and as I thought about this girl I chose to remember the times in my life I have run into the darkness.  

 

Afraid to hope.

Afraid to be seen.

Afraid.

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At an event recently, they sang this song…

 

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine

I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still You give Yourself away

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of Go

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Sometimes the unknown of what we might find in the light keeps us in the dark.

 

The fear of failing.

The fear of being known.

Fear keeps us in the darkness.

 

I began to pray for the opportunity to share this reckless, pursuing love of God with those around me and I heard the spirit whisper…

 

“You have to receive it first.” 

Before we can love with a reckless, pursuing love

--we have to receive it. 

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Lord may we be overwhelmed by your Love.

Love so fierce there can be no fear.

May we never long for the darkness we’ve been rescued from.

May we run toward the light.

 

But may we never forget that you found us in the darkness once

and if we find ourselves there again,

You will be faithful to go there with us.  

Joy Reyes
The Way of Compassion

There are stories that break your heart, that break you!  There are images that are too vivid, evil, dark and painful to get out of your head.  People ask me how we do it.  How do we manage all the pain without letting it get to us? 

 

The truth is that we don’t always handle it well.  We let the pain get to us.  We carry their burdens with them.  We cry deeply and we enter in.  All the way in. 

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Our mentor,

Jesus.

He entered in

All the way in

He loved deeply

Suffered deeply

He is compassion

 

Com—with

Passion—suffering

 

He let it get to him.

Move him

He reached down

His strength came from being connected to

Heavenly father

 



Joy Reyes