Threads of Hope was founded by Dr. Kim Nimon. A commitment to Christian principles for helping those in need was her motivation to launch this life-changing project. Partnering with Jean Samaniego who was mentoring a group of seven artisans in a shantytown outside of Lima Peru, monthly purchases of textiles began and sales started in the U.S. Over the next five years, project sales and artisan participation tripled.
2004 - 2005
The “Show in a Box” sales concept was initiated and was proven extremely successful. No Cost consignment sales began shipping throughout the U.S. As sales increased, participating artisans and secondary producers expanded to reach 100 families. As pioneers in the socially responsible consumer’s Give Back Movement, ToH launched its first website and webstore. By 2010, ToH was selling out of product each year. Clearly there was more that could be done.
Since demand for the textiles outstripped supply, and consumers resonated with the social giveback model, ToH launched a new initiative reaching into remote Andean Mountain villages to increase outreach and textile supply. Originally three small sewing groups were incorporated into the project. In subsequent years that has increased to include 300+ artisans in co-ops as well as a startup cottage industry with 60 artisans. This expansion infused new potential and great new outcomes.
The University of Mary Hardin Baylor donated a large warehouse space and since then, a state-of-the-art logistics system has been launched, donated by the time and talent of pro bona professionals
Two innovative projects were launched, touching the lives of disabled young adults in the U.S. and physically disabled adults in southern Peru. A unique learning lab for teachers in training and special needs students is providing job training skills. The self-named “Chair People” in southern Peru are creating a new line of textiles to be launched in 2017.
We were pleased in 2016 to add a service to empower the community of differently-abled people. As product arrives stateside young-adults practice and hone their skills for retail work and data management. Overseen by a crew of student teachers and their professor, differently-abled students gain experience to create a resume that opens the door for gainful employment. It has been one of the highlights of recent years to launch this local outreach program in the Texas.
Threads of Hope worked to increase sale thereby increasing outreach to those we serve. By expanding our popup shows around the U.S. we are delighted to have surpassed $3M in economic benefits created for the women and communities we serve.
Innovation and outreach continue to abound! The benefits of ToH remain clear: Families living in scrap shanties now have homes. Communities are being impacted through ToH grants and positive financial training for the artisans. Children of poverty are in school. Artisans and their children are graduating from higher education and trade schools. The spiritual lives of women and their families are enriched and growing as they see the love of God made real through the hearts and hands of Threads of Hope volunteers and through The Hope Grant Fund that provides tanglible life change.
Financial Impact to Date
ToH now hosts sales throughout the U.S. Total sales in 1999 were $7000. Today the program has grown exponentially, selling over $2.5M in textiles. Our goal is to continue our commitment to do everything we can to provide those we serve with the opportunities for life changing empowerment that brings hope, possibility, and tanglible change.
The benefits of ToH remain clear: families living in scrap shanties now have proper homes with concrete floors, brick walls, and roofs instead of tarps. Artisans, their families, and communities are being impacted through The Hope Grant Fund as well as financial training for the artisans. Children of poverty are in school, with proper supplies, well fed, and healthier. Artisans are graduating from trade schools and their adult children have completed nursing and law school while several are in or have finished trade school. From one generation to move from abject poverty to degreed children is certainly God’s majesty and blessing displayed. Since 1999 Threads of Hope has been transforming lives, which will impact the generations to come.