My office overlooks our Serenity Garden, which is one of my favorite places in the world. But it’s more than a beautiful space.
Over the summer, I witnessed a moment there I won’t ever forget.
Minutes before, our staff had told six new survivors that they were about to walk through their Serenity Garden, which is lined with bricks with messages from people who have helped to pave the way for them to come to Rethreaded.
I watched out my window as our staff walked through the garden with our new survivors, who all passed my window in silence, crying.
That moment is why we built this garden, and it’s why we’ve asked our neighbors to donate bricks. Our survivors feel treasured and cared for, when they see how many people have been waiting for them to come home.
But those bricks aren’t just for our survivors. They’re for the people who have donated them, too. And each brick tells a story. If you would like to be a part of that story please follow this link.
Read Through the Stories Behind Our Bricks
We wanted to share some of the most special bricks with you here in this blog post.
Dory and her mom
“My Mom is a bastion of love and kindness. It’s a tiny way for me to express my gratitude to her and for her. The quote is from her favorite performer, Paul Simon’s song “Love me like a rock.” It’s also meant to remind all who see it that they are loved.” Dory Larsen.
Our Shirley, Rethreaded’s Concierge
This Brick belongs to our very own Shirley Turner, who serves as Rethreaded’s Concierge. If you know Shirley, you know that she overflows with love and thankfulness.
Shirley’s sister surprised her with this brick, and it means so much to both of them because they worked hard to restore their relationship after Shirley’s experiences with addiction and human trafficking had strained their relationship.
This brick is a testament to the fact that, when we do the hard work to heal, it’s possible to restore our relationships–and even parts of ourselves–to become stronger than ever.
“It was completely unexpected. She kept it a secret for months. There are no words that can describe what I felt when I saw that brick. There was so much joy in my heart! I knew my sister gave me the brick because of her love for me and out of appreciation for Rethreaded. She knows this job has allowed me to grow into the woman I am created to be.”
Honoring the memory of Mary Lou
The summer we were fundraising for the building, my Aunt Mary, who was my mom’s sister and best friend, passed away after a long fight with cancer.
She was a loving person and made everyone around her feel so special. She added so much love into this world, and we were all better for having had her in our lives.
We wanted her to have a brick in the garden because everyone needs an Aunt Mary in their lives. I know that she is welcoming everyone in that garden with her acceptance and love.
The Wolfburg Family
Many families have chosen to have a brick in their family’s name. One of our favorites is the Wolfburg family, whose family logo features a sunset and two parents holding their child’s hand. It’s both joyful and serene.
“It was important to our family to support Rethreaded’s efforts to secure their forever home, as we value the work they do to fill a void in services offered in our community. Seeing firsthand how Rethreaded’s work changes lives inspired us to invest in expanding their services and thus their impact. It is essential that we support and elevate every member of our community, especially those most at risk and most in need. In an effort to create safe spaces for each and every person in our community, and to help them fulfill their personal goals and aspirations, we are honored to put our name alongside Rethreaded, the work they do, and most importantly, the women they serve.”
A Mother’s Journey To Healing From Loss
Some of the bricks in our garden represent finding hope in the darkness.
Katrina lost her daughter to a battle with addiction and human trafficking, and she has turned the pain of losing her daughter into a passion for advocating for others who are experiencing the same thing.
Katrina’s generosity and involvement not only memorializes the memory of her daughter, but also makes redemption possible for other families who are still fighting for their loved ones.
“Having a brick honoring my daughter Kye’s life in the Rethreaded garden means so much to me and her legacy. It means that while she may not have gotten to write her story physically at Rethreaded, she can still be a part of every woman’s journey that walks through the door.” – Katrina
“You can do hard things”
We say this phrase a lot at Rethreaded, so when we saw that someone had chosen this brick to put in our garden, we were elated.
It is a good reminder to us all that we can do the hard work of healing, restoration, and rethreading our lives so that we, and others in our community, can find freedom.
This brick was sponsored by an amazing company called Go Ruck. It’s a great reminder that there is always humor in the journey, if we know where to look.
It helps remind us not to take ourselves too seriously and, as their brick says, “always be cool.”
Stephen Freeman and the Team at Kairos Digital
Companies can use their businesses to do great things. One of my favorite examples is Stephen Freeman and his team at Kairos Digital.
Stephen made the generous decision of buying everyone on his team a brick so they all could be part of paving the way for survivors of human trafficking.
“As a business owner, I know the importance of a good return on investment. Not only did buying each member of the team a brick have an impact them, we also know the double impact it is having for survivors of human trafficking. Every time we visit Rethreaded, we know their names and messages are paving the way for others. That is the kind of investment I want our business to be known for.” – Stephen Freeman
In Memory of Gloria
We love bricks that honor loved ones. A dear friend of the Rethreaded organization decided to honor his sister, Gloria, by purchasing a brick in our serenity garden.
Gloria was his beloved sister, who was lost too soon. In honoring her life, he keeps her legacy alive not only in his heart but in the stories of our survivors.
“My sister Gloria was the only girl among six children. With five brothers, she was naturally a bit of a tomboy and a free spirit. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio, but left home at 16 and moved away to California. She was a funny, loving, and smart woman. She had three children, but often struggled with the demons in her life that were a result of a turbulent childhood and circumstances beyond her control in California. She died suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep, long before her time. She is deeply missed by her children and her youngest brother Mark, who purchased the brick in her honor.” –Mark Tumeo
What Story Will Your Brick Tell?
We still have just over 150 bricks left, toward our goal of 500, and we know that you have a story waiting to be told in our Tranquility Garden.
Do you want to sponsor a brick with a message of hope, just for our survivors? Or, would you like to honor a loved one who has inspired you? Maybe you want the community to know that your company stands with survivors?
No matter what your story may be, we have a brick waiting to carry it. When our survivors step over your brick, it will mean the world to them to know that you–and your story–have been a part of their journey home.