The Hope Bag Mission evolved from my personal experience with a young victim of human trafficking. Sarah (name changed to protect her identity) had escaped and was pregnant. She had been hiding in abandoned buildings when she delivered her baby in the city hospital where I worked.
As a critical care nurse, I have seen many women in need living in impoverished neighborhoods and squalor. But I had never seen a woman so completely broken until my life collided with Sarah’s. She was HIV positive and the bloody needle used on her newborn baby had pierced through my hand.
When the incident occurred, I had a village of support. When I went to visit Sarah before leaving the building that night, she sat alone in the dark, terrified. I sat down next to her and she spoke in a defeated, soft tone:
She withdrew into herself and almost disappeared. A river of tears was the only evidence that I was in the room with another human being. I held her hand and she slowly responded, gripping tightly as though she was hanging on for dear life. I gave her tissues to dry her face and a comb and brush to fix her hair. I continued to pillage through my personal things to help her to clean up. She was indeed a mess. When I left her that night, the saddest, most broken woman I had ever met was smiling. My new lip gloss was shining on her lips. My favorite handbag and all of its contents were clutched tightly to her chest.
I was there to meet the basic needs of one woman in her most vulnerable, broken state. I shared the warmth of human touch that didn’t cause pain and humiliation. I told her that I loved her and that God loved her. I provided her with simple personal care and beauty items that made her feel worthy and human again. I hope I made a difference because Sarah changed my life forever that night.
Sarah and other women like her are the inspiration behind Hope Bags. I believe personal care items are an intricate part of healing a broken life during a very difficult transition. Hope Bags extends opportunity and love from one woman to another by restoring dignity and trust.
"I want my ladies to know that there is someone in the world that loves them. That person is me."
- Founder, Sharon Hackney-Robinson
The WellHouse (Leeds)
Children of the Night (Van Nuys)
Restore NYC (NYC)
Truth for Women (Bethlehem)
The Well (Bucks County)
Dawn's Place (Philadelphia)
The Salvation Army- New Day Drop-in Center (Philadelphia)
FBI of Philadelphia (Philadelphia)
Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) (Philadelphia)
Refugee Services of Texas (Austin)
REST | Real Escape from the Sex Trade (Seattle)