Summer News: Exciting Things Are Happening At The Candle studio
Summer is here. How quickly the days are flying by!
And like every season, it’s a time of transition. Vacations are being planned, the school year is coming to a close, and we’re preparing for some shifts here at RE + NEW + ALL too.
In fact, the story of RE + NEW + ALL is one of ongoing change, transformation, and renewal. We’re just one step along each trafficking survivor’s path to a new life, and it’s such a blessing and privilege to be a part of their lives. And as a transitional work program, we’re always evolving and growing in how we serve women in recovery.
So without further ado, let’s fill you in on the changes afoot at RE + NEW + ALL this summer!
Candlemaker Kudos: Celebrating Our Spring Graduates
Congratulations to the most recent graduates of the RE + NEW + ALL program: Sam and Jessica! We honored their hard work and dedication to the craft of candlemaking at our spring graduation celebration in April.
Both women came to train at RE + NEW + ALL through our partnership with Thistle & Bee, another social enterprise assisting trafficking survivors. And Sam and Jessica are both returning to Thistle & Bee and will continue their employment journey there.
Sam specifically will be working with Thistle & Bee’s clinical team, offering peer support to other women in recovery. This will be excellent experience for her while she continues her college studies in social work and counseling. She’s already finished her first semester, acing all her classes with straight A’s! In addition, she marked her third year of sobriety in May. Woohoo!
We’re incredibly proud of Sam and Jessica. And though they’re moving on from RE + NEW + ALL, they’ll continue to be involved in our community and participate in events.
Come September, we’ll be welcoming the Class of 2023 into our training program. Of course, we’ll be sharing news about our latest candlemakers then, so stay tuned and get ready to make a difference in more lives!
Cookies & Community
Even when candlemakers graduate and move on from RE + NEW + ALL, they are forever part of our family. So, we plan occasional events or activities where past and present candlemakers can network, connect, and be reminded that they have a supportive community in their corner.
In May, we gathered together to bake cookies. That’s right—we don’t just make beautiful candles; we bake delicious cookies too! Especially when it helps one of our partner organizations.
These cookies were for our partner A Way Out’s outreach program called Bakers For Bouncers. Our cookies became part of a gift bag that A Way Out volunteers delivered to dancers and bouncers at local strip clubs.
A Way Out gives out these gift bags with love, acceptance, and an offering of support. This outreach helps A Way Out introduce its services to women who are or may know someone at risk who needs help. It’s a way of establishing trust and a safe relationship with them.
It’s so meaningful to play a role in spreading light in the world. And our small cookie contribution to these gift bags allowed all of us to enjoy a lovely evening of fellowship and friendship.
Shades of Summer: Prepping for the Season Ahead
In the meantime, there’s lots of buzz about another big transition about to take place: RE + NEW + ALL founder Lee Howard is getting ready to welcome her first child in July! We know this bundle of joy will bring so much light and joy into everyone’s lives.
With Lee going on leave in a few weeks, a smaller staff holding down the fort, and preparations in motion for our fall training, we ask for your patience as we fill candle orders. You may even want to place a few orders in June so you’ve got plenty of light on hand for yourself and to give others as we head into summer.
Also, please be aware that we’ll only be shipping out orders Monday–Wednesday to protect your candles from the summer heat. Shipping early in the week helps keep your candles from sitting in hot warehouses on weekends. We love summer, but don’t want the season’s high temps and humidity harming your special order.
Offering Light in Times of Crisis
While things may be slowing down a bit in our studio, the need for help has not. And RE + NEW + ALL is here when those calls for assistance come in.
Women who have passed through RE + NEW + ALL’s doors still sometimes struggle. Recovery is hard and takes time. They’re still healing from trauma and finding their footing. So when someone is in crisis, we’re so grateful we can continue offering a helping hand.
Since our last newsletter, we’ve helped one woman who was raped get the medical assistance she needed and be with her for support.
We were able to buy desperately needed groceries for another woman and her two children when their food stamps were stolen by a hacker. We also worked with her to adjust her probation status so she can check in by phone instead of in person
We formed a new partnership with an organization in Texas called Unbound when we connected a survivor to their safe house and recovery program.
And, a few of us visited another recovery center in Florida called The Yellow House. We met with their team and encouraged the survivors in their program.
Why are we sharing all this with you? Because you’re the reason we’re able to show up and lift up these women time and time again. It’s important you know the life-changing difference you’re making in so many lives.
RE + NEW + ALL exists to offer restoration, empowerment, and community to women at-risk, in recovery, and on the road to a new life. And we're committed to walking alongside these women for as long as they need us.
But, that’s only possible with your support. When you buy one of our lovingly hand-poured candles or become a sponsor, you’re the reason we’re able to go the extra mile and offer assistance beyond employment and training.
If you’re well-stocked with candles right now, we’d love for you to consider becoming a sponsor. You'll be helping us prepare for the new class of candlemakers arriving this fall and continuing to transform survivors’ lives. To learn more about being a sponsor, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish you a wonderful summer! And, as always, thank you for being part of the RE + NEW + ALL family. Please reach out to us if you have any questions and know we’re so grateful for your light in this community!