Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

The New Beginnings Project

(a.k.a. Suitcase Project) 

Delivering Rays of Hope

Since 2014

"From Our Hands to Hers" 

Women (and their children in those cases) who experience violence sometimes find themselves moving into transitional living arrangements after they fled the situation. Things happened so quickly that they find themselves without anything -- not even a toothbrush -- at a time when it would be dangerous or just not possible for them to venture out to a store.

When this happens, the organization assisting the woman contacts us and we deliver a bag to the agency packed with approximately three days of material items needed in the immediate aftermath of the violence. We pack tote bags for individuals and suitcases for families of various sizes...we call them rays of hope.

You can find out more about how the "From Our Hands to Hers" process works in the steps below!  

Step 1. Collecting Donations

Donating to the collection bins at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

Professor Tom Adamson's Business Marketing Class Fall 2015 Midland University

The Omaha Storm Chasers Donating "Sleeper Shirts"

Step 2. Inventory of Items

Suitcase Factory Manager Judy Metz catalogues all collected

items in preparation for a packing party, when bags will be readied for distribution. Because we rely entirely on donations,

a careful count of items must be kept so we are ready

to go when we receive a call.

Step 3. Packing Toiletry Bags 

Each bag contains approximately three days of supplies to help the women get started in their new life.

Step 4. Assembling Writing Packs 

Each bag also contains a writing pack. Women may use these items to keep notes on upcoming appointments, to journal, and/or to write a letter to loved ones to let them know she is now safe.

Step 5. Quality Control 

Quality Control ensures that all the totes are neatly organized and everything is in the bag. Quality Control also ensures that all the suitcases, packed and tagged for a range of family sizes, have every item in them, and that these fit into the suitcase!

Step 6. Hope Notes 

The very last item we pack is a Hope Note -- an anonymous, hand-written note which contains a message of light, hope, and love from a survivor to the survivor who will receive the bag. 

Step 6. Delivering Rays of Hope...

..."From Our Hands to Hers"

Needs List

Information on how to donate these items can be found on our “Contact Us” page. If you prefer, we’d be happy to do the shopping for you and info on how to send a check also can be found there. If your organization is interested in a bin to collect items for us, please

contact Teresa Houser at [email protected]


All items should be new and can be travel-sized -- these are available at most dollar stores or the “travel” section of your local pharmacy or grocery store

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shower Gel/Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Tissue Packs
  • Band-Aids
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Pain Reliever (40 count minimum)
  • Lotion
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Hairbrush
  • Neosporin (or the generic equvivalent)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Emery Board

Writing Supplies

  • Notebooks (new)--with perforated edges that can be neatly torn out to be used to write a letter in addition to journaling or taking notes
  • Pens
  • Envelopes
  • Stamps

Other Items

All items should be new, with tags on or still in packaging

  • Toilet Paper​
  • Bath Towels
  • Wash Clothes
  • Large “Sleeper Shirts”
  • Ladies Socks: all sizes, all styles

Other Packing Items 

  • Sandwhich Bags
  • Ziplock Freezer Bags (gallon-sized)
  • Medium-sized Binder Clips
  • Large Canvas Tote Bags (new preferred)