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."


Oh What a May!

Hello my friends and family!

I've said it before, and i'll say it again...I LOVE MY CITY and all the people in it who truly desire to make this world a better, safer place to live.  Operation Pretty Things had no shortage of love and support this month.  There are not enough minutes in the day to share all the little things that made this month so wonderful, so I shall recap (but just know, this takes a tremendous amount of self control!)...

Our Annual Mother's Day Event - All About Mom - was awesome!  We made 100 gifts and wrote loving and encouraging notes for the women in 13 counties along the coastal region of NC!  And thanks to the generous donations, we were able to ship the gifts to the shelters in time for Mother's Day!!  Thank you to those who came out and helped make Mother's day special for those most deserving ladies!  Your gifts were a blessing to their hearts.  

The following weekend, Port City Community Church had an event for mother's and daughters called Bloom!.  I had an opportunity to share the heart behind the mission of OPT and about my journey thus far, as God continues to shape me and use me in His beautiful story.  There were delicious desserts, and games, and a photo booth to capture those precious moments with the ones we love so dearly.  Together, moms and their daughters had the opportunity to make gifts and write love notes as well...126 in all!  Such a great night!!  Thank you PC3 for having me, and for loving and supporting OPT!

The following weekend (Yep! 3 weekends in a row!!) Perfectly Pinned Up joined forces with Rims on the River - Wilmington's annual vintage car and hod rod show - to raise money for OPT at the first Perfect Pinup Wilmington contest!!  Over $1300 was raised!!  Thanks goes out to Perfectly Pinned Up's Brittany Jean, Kevin Myers - Coastal Expressions Photography, Karyn Oetting of Second Skin Vintage, Wendy Reavis of Beauty and Pinups, Daddy O's Vintage Clothes and Joe Peptone and his magic pineapple (LOL)!  And we could not have done it without the efforts of the 10 gorgeous ladies that competed to raise the funds!!  It was a fiery hot day, but that did not stop them from giving it their all!! Be on the lookout on Facebook and social media for all the amazing photos taken that day!

Aaaaaaand big thank yous go out to LuLaRoe consultant Keelee Johns for having a week long fundraiser for OPT AND to Karen and Eric Thompson for spreading the word and collecting donations for OPT at the Lil Suburban Homestead Open Backyard Garden event!

My heart is so full of gratitude and thanks!  There are many who are hurting...weighed down by the weight of the world on their shoulders.  They do not need to carry that burden alone...and for some, that burden was lifted this month...even if only for a moment.  Those moments matter!  Thank you for making them possible!!

All that said.... Please consider giving monthly...every little bit counts, and makes a huge impact on the lives we love and serve daily.  I hope to have many more Mays just like this one, but i can't do it without your help!  You can click here and be the one today that may just save a life...

Love always,

Missy Boneske