Hope Renewed


We are sitting at my kitchen table, sharing a cup of coffee. Laughing at my ‘American’ coffee maker, Yaisel tells me about Cuba, her homeland, and how they brew a cup there. She tells me how the coffee plant is so strong, that when you climb the mountain to pick the coffee beans, you can hang right on to them to pull yourself up. Can you imagine? Picking your own coffee beans? I bet that’s the best cup of coffee around. She has brought her beautiful daughter, who is happily playing princess with my little girl. I love watching the two of them interact, she speaks softly to her in her original language, hoping her new friend can understand.
She came so we could talk about what she was going to make for the October box, and the more we talked, the more excited I get! I realized this was an answer to her prayers, just as much as it was an answer to mine. Isn’t it cool how God works? She told me about life in Cuba, how she studied art appreciation and worked at a museum. After getting married and having her daughter, she was asked to stay home, and made a living by selling the things she crocheted, knit or embroidered… she could do it all and loved every minute of it.
She is a refugee that has been relocated to America, and her dream is to make a living selling her crafts here as well. She can apply for a loan for refugees to start a small business, but the thought of owning a store intimidated her, so she stopped the process. I encouraged her that there were other ways to sell those items, and I am happy to show her. She would love to stop her factory job and crochet, which is when she feels happiest. Anchor of Hope Box is the perfect start for her, a step in the right direction. With the funds she earns through this she can get set up to continue crafting, creating a website and hopefully get her items in a few stores. And I will walk right beside her for this journey. That’s the goal- the vision here. To empower. To encourage. To bring hope.
Your participation in Anchor of Hope Box is helping this amazing woman, and many more just like her, have hope. Hope because she sees that others care and want to see her succeed. Hope for the future, and for new beginnings. And isn’t that all something we need once in a while?


Six S’mores… and more! Labor Day Fun.

What a special day! One of the things I am most excited about, with this new venture is the relationships I get to build. Yes, I am so happy that Anchor Of Hope Box will be a financial help to these families, and that it will bring hope where hope has been wavering. But I love, I mean LOVE the relationships I am getting to build.
Last night we had two families from the Congo over to celebrate Labor Day. They brought their kids, who swam in the pool. They splashed around like it is the best thing in the world, and their giggles were contagious! Never mind that it was so cold they were shaking, they didn’t care.










We taught everyone how to play Uno. Seemed like a simple enough game, you don’t need a lot of English to be able to participate. I learned the word ‘kucheza’, which means ‘play’. They say it when you aren’t paying attention and it’s your turn.


Which I realized was directed at me a lot.  🙂 Those are my daughters in the photo. Check out the expression on the one on the right… she only has two photo faces- extreme cheesy-ness (which you see here), or what we call ‘super-grump-face’. Which is most of all other photos.


As it got dark, we built a bonfire. The goal was to introduce them to the American treat, S’mores. The men grab the wood and start chopping, they have shown us to a new way to chop wood! It takes about an 8th of the time, my husband was so impressed. They even did it while sitting in their seats, no need to stand and haunch over the 20150906_202015_LLSsplitting log. I pull out the chocolate and all the kids gather around… oh, now they are excited! “Chocolate, I love chocolate!” one of the kids exclaim in their sweet accent. The cuteness factor is through the roof! We show them the marshmellows, listening to them repeat it back to us. “Moosh-mellows?” This was new, they do not have these in Africa. I explain that we will roast it, then add chocolate and graham crackers…. They can’t wait. Their faces, oh my goodness, S’mores are a huge hit.




I ask if anyone wants anymore before I put them away. Anniela shoots her hand up and we all laugh. “How many have you had?” Someone asks her.  I tell her, “Don’t feel bad, I could eat 3… you are a girl after my own heart.” She laughs loudly, “Six! I have had SIX!” Oooooh my…….. she has me beat. She has a stronger stomach than I.


We laugh and tell stories, funny stories. Our family tradition has always been to tell funny stories from when we were kids whenever we have a bonfire. We invite our guests to share in this tradition and they tell us how it is their custom too. In Africa, the village cooks together, over a fire much like this and they stay up late and talk of many things… history, politics, funny stories. It was a wonderful night. I’m so glad I have the opportunity to get to know these beautiful people.
Anchor of Hope Box will be a blessing to this family, they are artisans who will contribute to the subscription box. When you become a subscriber you are directly impacting these families, and more. Thanks so much for partnering with us in this new and exciting journey.


The Sweetness of a Moment


Can you handle all this preciousness? This sweet little boy is the son of one of our artisans. My daughter and I took their family to enroll him and his siblings in school. They are refugees from the Congo and have only been here a few weeks, but have been so excited about school starting! It took awhile to get everyone enrolled, and on the way home I look in my rear view mirror and spot this happening. My daughter fell asleep on his shoulder and he was so sweet, he didn’t move. He stayed perfectly still to let her rest, then fell asleep himself. The sweetness of the moment almost brought me to tears. How many 6 year old boys do you know that would let someone fall asleep on their shoulder, much less a girl? This family has some of the kindest children I know. Considering all they have been through, it amazes me. I’m so grateful our families get to know each other.
When you subscribe to Anchor Of Hope Box you are directly impacting their lives, you are helping this father support his family. Thank you for partnering with us as we work to empower those around us to overcome.



If you are new here, take some time to look around. We exist with the desire to help survivors of human trafficking and refugee families living right here in the United States overcome, by selling their hand-made items via a subscription box service. That means that for around $34 a month, you can have a box of these items delivered right to your door. No obligation, you can join or unsubscribe whenever you would like. But with every box you receive, you are empowering and providing for these beautiful people, directly impacting their lives.
Our first box is mailed in October, so in the meantime, join our mailing list. We want to keep you updated with all that’s going on and you will be the first to know when we are ready to take subscribers. We can’t wait! Thanks for taking this journey with us.
Tell your friends. Join the movement. Be someone’s hero. Today.