By Kelly Lyngaard.
I’ve fallen in love with a local ministry, The Walter Hoving Home, that my church supports.
The Hoving Home is located in Garrison, NY (also in Las Vegas and Pasedena, CA). It is a residential, spiritually-based rehabilitation center serving women ages 18 and over who have been involved in drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, and other life-controlling problems. Their mission is to rebuild women’s lives that have been shattered by addiction.
The Hoving Home is an independent 501c3 Ministry that my church has been involved in for a long time. In fact the way I learned about it is because a couple of women in the program spoke at our church’s women’s event 2 years ago. Following that, I got involved and joined the board of the Hoving Home. A few months later I founded Unshattered.
My church has been exceedingly supportive and sees the Hoving Home, and Unshattered as key ministries that they support. In fact, we just did a capital campaign – part of which is raising money to support ministries like (and specifically) the Hoving Home. We have several women who are now on staff and/or graduates of the program attending the church
We recently had our women’s Christmas event and it is focused on how the Church can invest in and support the home. The Unshattered team will sell purses and we’ll have the director of the home share with the church how they can invest and support.
It’s independent, but we’re key supporter of this local ministry. To be clear though, I wasn’t asked by the church to be involved, they just happened to be the conduit by which I was exposed. The church presents the ministry as one they believe in and encourage us to find a way to be involved as much or as little as we choose.
In order to run their locations in NY, CA and NV, the home asks each woman to raise $500 a month in support, but as you can imagine, most of these gals don’t have the income or support network to afford that. However, the home doesn’t turn anyone away who can’t pay, nor do they accept any government funding. Fundraising and programs such as Unshattered help to meet the financial needs of the home.
I have always loved making new things from old, several years ago I made a bag out of my grandfather’s worn out suede coat (pictures and story of why I started Unshattered here:http://unshatteredny.wordpress
Here’s a great example of a refashion one of our artists did – a messenger bag out of a military coat: http://unshatteredny.wordpress
What I love the most about the business is not just the handbags the ladies craft, but the joy on their faces when people admire and purchase their work. They begin to see themselves as more than addicts and they become artists and entrepreneurs. Each handbag is designed and made by a woman in residence who is winning her fight against addiction. We sell our handbags through Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/Unsh
At our first big event this year it was so fun to see them women interact with the customers and to receive the praise and affirmation of their hard work. One of the women, who had been prostituting to support her habit before entering the program was traveling with me and on the way home she said, “I can’t believe we made $1200 in one night!!! On purses!!!” she paused for a second and then said, “I mean, I’ve made $1200 in one night before, but not like that!!” Ha!
The women of the home have completely captured my heart and when they demonstrate that they really want to change their lives, I’m all in to help. We’ve done well for our first year, >$18K of revenue with >$14K of profit all going directly to the Hoving Home.
I’m not in full time ministry but this is becoming and increasingly important portion of my life that influences and inspires me. Believe me, I get way more out of helping them than they do from me!