Empowering Women Re-Entering Community From Prison
In May, for every purchase you made, we donated a pair of underwear to women living at Journey House - Journey to New Life's temporary housing solution for women returning to the community from prison.
A few years ago when we met the staff from Journey to New Life for the first time, one of the founders - Sister Georgia - told us that she's often the one who personally goes and picks up the women from the penitentiary when they are released and brings them to their new home at Journey House. She often asks the women "what is the one thing you need (or wish you received?)" when they walk out of the prison doors. In addition to a bus pass (which Journey to New Life provides), many of the women mention new, clean underwear!
That's where we come in handy... :)
This visit was the third time Journey House welcomed our team into their doors. The first two times, we joined for dinner - home cooked by a few of the women. We painted each others' nails and we set up an underwear boutique experience where the women got to shop, hand pick and take home their favorite style/color/size in the underwear donations we brought for them to choose from. As we often say, "It's not just underwear, it's dignity."
^Our 2016 visit to Journey House
This time, we wanted to add a little more flavor to our underwear drop-off event. We reached out to a few of our favorite women-owned businesses with a request to collaborate with us, and we planned an exciting night for the women living at Journey House.
^Special thanks to these badass biz babes for collaborating with us: (far left to right: Tara Shupe - photography, Hayley Santell - MADI designer and founder, Emily Kolega - co-founder of EMBR and The By Grace Foundation, Amanda - MADI Makes graduate and seamstress of the underwear donations, Miranda - MADI Makes seamstress trainer, Posy KC - flower crowns)
We had so much fun connecting and laughing as a group!
Here's how the night went...
1st: The women got to shop for new underwear from us
Don't forget, or every MADI Apparel item you purchase, a pair of underwear is donated to women all over the world - to organizations like Journey House :).
2nd: Shopping donated items from The By Grace Foundation and EMBR Wipes!
The women got to shop and take home clutches donated by The By Grace Foundation, plus luxurious lavender foot wipes by EMBR Wipes.
3rd: Flower crowns and beautiful portraits
The women picked out their favorite hand-made flower crown from Posy KC and then stepped into their very own backyard lush greenery oasis to have a portrait taken by Tara Shupe. It was so fun to watch their faces light up and soak in their own unique beauty.
We left feeling grateful, hopeful and excited about the JOURNEY ahead of each woman. Then, one of the kindest nuns who lives with, mentors and cares for the women at Journey House sent us an email shortly after we left that melted our hearts.
"What a wonderful uplifting evening for Journey women. They so appreciate being cared for, pampered, looking pretty, having their pictures taken and new special panties. Thank you from all of us."
We were SO touched and can't wait to come back!