Not Just Black Pants

An advocate from one of the shelters we serve reached out to us last week.  This is that story...

"One of our teens just got a job but unfortunately can’t find black work pants (even at our stores!) and had to call out!" 

She went on to say that she had called around to all of their usual resources for this type of need but were unable to find her particular size pants, and they were out of gift cards, so going out and buying a pair of pants for her was not an option.  My heart broke for that young girl who was just trying to get her life back, but didn't have the "tools" she needed. And the shelter advocate was at a loss.  

So she reached out to us!! OPT is blessed to be a part of a network of wonderful organizations at the Harrelson Center! I contacted the Help Hub and Philippians 3 Ministries, and we were able to find a pair of black work pants in the exact size the young girl needed!! I showed up at the shelter with two bags - one held the black pants, and the other was full of cosmetics and beauty essentials - all the tools she would need to feel confident and prepared on her first day of work! 

A pair of pants and some cosmetics may not seem like much, but to that young girl, it was a glimpse of HOPE and a chance to make a new start. That's Operation Pretty Things! 

If you would like to be a part of life changing stories like this one (and I really HOPE you do!), please consider giving today! As you can see...every little bit counts!! #notjustblackpants to change a life today!

Meet Natalie

Over the last decade, Operation Pretty Things has been touching lives with simple tangible extensions of love.  One of those  recipients is Natalie...

"I’ll never forget the day I received a gift bag from Operation Pretty Things during an empowerment meeting. Inside were beauty items I couldn’t have afforded—luxuries to me. Then I read the notecard. In that moment, I realized how much caring and thought had gone into the gift because a stranger thought I was worth effort. My abuser withheld attention, affection, and access to money. I can’t tell you how much love the OPT gift conveyed. It showed me that I am worth someone’s time and effort."
"I was subjected to emotional abuse my entire life, but it wasn’t until my ex-husband left me stranded with almost nothing in a strange new town that I even recognized it. I had married and moved with my ex-husband to a foreign country where, in isolaon, he slowly turned from Prince Charming into a cold, miserly man.
I suffered the loss of my self-worth, was kept in the dark about our finances, and was treated like I was nothing more than a piece of furniture for him to use and forget about. Our household was so fraught with tension because disagreements were outlawed by my ex and he used stonewalling as a means of avoiding conflict. My child developed OCD behaviors as a way of coping with the strain---I turned to bulimia.  Shortly after my ex-husband deserted me, I stumbled upon descriptions of covert abuse. I began attending an empowerment group where I learned how abusers wield power to control their victims.
My healing journey had begun.
Today, I am employed full-time and a proud first-time home owner. My artistic abilies had been hindered by PTSD and the stress of a contenous divorce, but they are coming back now. Art is so therapeutic. I also make a specific effort to take care of myself like I never have before. I am slowly blossoming into the woman I am meant to be—not oppressed by abuse.
One of my goals is to bring attention to the covert side of domesc violence because it is not well understood among the general population. I hope to write a book about my experience and to again enjoy traveling around the world. Someday, I hope to find a non-abusive man to share my life with, but if that day never comes, I will be so thankful to continue living a life free from abuse."