Belton, Texas – On Friday, March 21, the nonprofit organization Threads of Hope will celebrate the opening of its new warehouse on the campus of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor at an open house for the students, faculty, and staff of the university. From 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. that day, Threads of Hope will open the doors of the order fulfillment center, located in the J.W. Williams Service Center (800 Industrial Park Road of visitors can learn about the programs the nonprofit sponsors to help Peruvian women support their families through the marketing of their beautiful needlework.
The alliance between Threads of Hope and UMHB can be traced back to the fall of 2011. Each year the students of UMHB plan and stage a missions emphasis week, when dozens of representatives from missions programs around the globe visit the campus and talk to students about their work. Dr. David Bonner, who teaches in UMHB’s McLane College of Business, had become acquainted with the work done by Threads of Hope, a Dallas non-profit group founded in 1999 to help impoverished women in South America support the needs of their families through the creation and sale of embroidered textiles. Bonner recommended that representatives from the non-profit be invited to participate in Missions Emphasis Week 2011, and they did. That campus visit led to trips to Peru by UMHB business students in 2012 and 2013; there the UMHB students used what they had been learning to help the organization evaluate its business processes and outcomes.
Realizing that the university’s relationship with Threads of Hope could open the door to international service and learning opportunities for students in other disciplines as well, UMHB recently offered the non-profit a space in the J.W. Williams Service Center to set up a satellite warehouse and order fulfillment center. Ms. Jennifer Kellner was hired to direct the center and coordinate service opportunities for students who would like to volunteer there.
“The mission of our university is to prepare students for leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment in a global society,” said Dr. Steve Oldham, UMHB provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “We are excited that Threads of Hope has accepted our offer of space for their order fulfillment center here on the campus; it will provide opportunities for our students to take part in meaningful volunteer activities within walking distance of where they live. We are also looking forward to exploring how this collaboration could open the door for students from a variety of disciplines to take part in service trips abroad, taking the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired in the classroom and using them to help others less fortunate than themselves. Students who have participated in such trips tell us it is a life-changing experience, and that is something we would love to offer to all of our students.”