Hope’s Gate is so much more than jewelry. It’s jewelry with a story, jewelry crafted by souls with painful pasts, jewelry that makes a difference by “bringing hope to orphans, victims of human trafficking, and the world’s most vulnerable.”
The Birth of a Vision
Hope’s Gate was founded in 2011 by visionaries Patty and Bruce Bauman, Youth With A Mission (YWAM) directors in Wylie, Texas. (YWAM is an interdenominational missions group with over 1,000 locations worldwide.) The couple saw a need in three Christian shelters that YWAM helps support: Rescue House, SIITA Nest, and Shepherd’s House.
Kendra Medina, administrator of Hope’s Gate, said, “A lot of people get overwhelmed with the needs of the world. Patty taught me that God just wants us to do our part.”
Orphans are rescued from the street and taken to Shepherd’s House (India) and SIITA Nest (Uganda). Trafficked girls and young women are placed in Rescue House (a safe house in India) after being rescued by government officials. From there, Hope’s Gate partners with jewelry makers and designers to train these teens and young adults. Medina says, “Orphans and trafficked victims bear a lot of shame. We want to teach them who God says they are.”
“Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” – Psalm 34:5
A Glimmer of Hope
Hope’s Gate works with young women and men ages 16 years-early 20s. While developing job skills, these artisans are paid handsomely for each piece that they make, and they learn how to budget their earnings. Their hope is for this job to be a springboard to bigger and better things.
In 2016, Hope’s Gate opened a store on Ballard Avenue in Wylie, sharing a building with YWAM. Because the store isn’t in the shopping district, it doesn’t receive much foot traffic. Most of their sales come from online and jewelry parties hosted in churches and homes.
What makes Hope’s Gate unique is that it’s 100 percent nonprofit. The jewelry is sold here for a profit. But every cent goes back into supporting the trafficked victims and orphans. The volunteers even pay for their own mission trips and supplies for the shelters.
Hope’s Gate’s ultimate goal is that these teens and young adults are not put at risk again. Rescue House provides young women with amazing transition assistance into the world. The orphans’ transition assistance, however, has been problematic. Thus, the Hope’s Gate Education Fund was created. As a result, the charity sent 17 young adults to college last year.
The Impact of Hope’s Gate
Sujata is a recipient of the organization’s education fund and one of Medina’s favorite success stories. Sujata and her siblings were found begging on the street and taken in by Shepherd’s House.
After leaving the orphanage, she went to work in a call center. Eventually, Medina found out that Sujata wasn’t making enough to support herself. So, Sujata returned to live under a bridge with her mother (a prostitute).
Because Sujata was at risk again in a place she describes as “hopeless, dangerous, and scary,” Hope’s Gate raised funds to send her to college.
“Education is so cheap in India,” said Medina. “Just $1,500 covered Sujata’s first year of nursing school, including room and board.”
Hope’s Gate is also helping Sujata’s siblings. Her younger sister is getting a degree in theology. Her younger brother lives with a group of boys that Hope’s Gate assists and will soon graduate from high school.
James is yet another success story of the Hope’s Gate Education Fund. At age 14, he was on his own when his parents died. After his stay at SIITA Nest, James earned a degree in art design. Now, he owns a tailor shop and heads the jewelry project at the orphanage.
A Look Into the Future
Hope’s Gate has big plans to expand. The charity wants to broaden its education fund and open more jewelry projects to benefit Syrian refugees and another group of young women in India.
A lot can be done to support Hope’s Gate. Donations can be made to the education fund. Marketing and web-design assistance would also be helpful. However, the primary need is opportunity to sell.
This Valentine’s Day, choose gifts that give back. Hope’s Gate sells not only jewelry but also accessories and housewares. And the materials are locally sourced from India and Uganda. Stop by the store at 700 South Ballard Avenue in Wylie, Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., or visit their website to shop, donate, or get involved.