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Customers shop for hope, change at local nonprofit working to better women around the globe

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BATON ROUGE - Amid a time when the feeling of hope is needed most, one local nonprofit is using handmade goods to better women around the world.

Spreading hope in the form of fun trinkets and opportunities, The Hope Shop sits along Government Street in Baton Rouge. The shop sits in the shade of a satsuma tree, but the white building with bright orange doors is not one to miss.

Rebecca Gardner is the founder of the Hope Shop by Hands Producing Hope. She says she established the shop to bring a sense of serenity.

Handmade goods and gifts cover the walls in the Hope Shop. The unique designs are meant to inspire customers and help those who use their own hands to make the items.

"Through the shop we're able to partner with organizations in Haiti, in India, in Cambodia, " Gardner said.

The inventory at this small store is colorful, simple, and handmade. All goods that are being used to tell a story.

"There's real human beings behind the items and it really does matter how they're treated and it really does matter that they are earning a good livelihood," Gardner said.

A brick-and-mortar of hands producing hope. The shop is giving women from around the world new opportunities.

"Through COVID, our literacy schools in Rwanda and maternal health program were shut down for a while. Now that things are opening back up there, we have been able to have that funding to get that back up and running," Gardner said.

Gardner says when you buy, you help build.

"Through your purchases, you're supporting women coming out of trafficking that are building a new life, you're providing work for women in really rural communities, Gardner said.

Gardner says when customers leave the store, she anticipates they feel confident, inspired, and hopeful.

The community is encouraged to stop in, grab some magic, and join the mission to find hope in the Hope Shop.

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