Beloved Bundles Birthday Celebration
When we started this journey in the non-profit world, we knew we had to determine something we could realistically accomplish and whatever it is it must speak to our mission statement. When we became aware of what happens when a survivor goes to the hospital for a forensic exam, or rape kit, and law enforcement is involved and their clothing is seized as evidence leaving them with hospital paper scrubs to wear home, we knew we could do something about that. Beloved Bundles became our first initiative.
A Beloved Bundle consists of clothing, undergarments, a toiletry kit to allow the survivor to get showered, a hair brush, and flip flops. All of this is included in a teal string backpack...teal is the color of sexual assault. We also decided to include a small journal...just because.
A few weeks ago, realizing that Molly's birthday was coming, I decided our first donation of Beloved Bundles would happen on May 18, the date she should have turned 24. It seemed an appropriate and meaningful date to make good on our promise to change the conversation about sexual assault and empower survivors to find their voices.
A bra donation event was organized by the manager at the Soma Store (where Molly worked) on University Drive in Fort Worth. All 16 stores in the district enthusiastically participated in this grass roots effort to do something to help in our endeavor to create Beloved Bundles. The drive was held on May 11, 2018, and was such a huge success on that one day, it was decided to continue it through the weekend. The final count of bras which were purchased and then donated to Project Beloved was 315!!
The remaining ingredients of the Beloved Bundle were purchased thanks to the incredible support we have received through donations and product purchases on our website. Several students from Trinity Valley School volunteered to help sort items and assemble the Beloved Bundles. It was incredible to think this was going to be real. It was actually going to happen.
May 18 arrived and we coordinated with the wonderful people at The Women's Center of Tarrant County. They have been more than gracious and supportive of our efforts...from the very beginning of this journey. Thank you, Deborah and Alisha.
I am proud and overwhelmed to report that there are now 50 Beloved Bundles available for advocates to take with them when they are called to accompany a survivor at the hospital. It breaks my heart to know they are needed. At the same time, it is my hope that the Beloved Bundle will be a small, tangible reminder to those who have suffered worse than their worst nightmare that they are loved, they are believed, and most importantly, they are BELOVED!