Vi Bella Haitian Artisan Team

A Year-End Letter from Vi Bella's Founder

Dear Friend of Vi Bella,

First, on behalf of everyone at Vi Bella; our amazing artisans, the management team, non profit board, and the Haitian students our non profit helps send to school, many thanks for your support and prayers over the past year. The stability of a good job and the opportunity to afford an education for your children is an enormous blessing in Haiti and other developing countries. Thanks to supporters like you, 45 Vi Bella artisans have full time jobs in Haiti and Mexico, their children are attending school, and families are thriving. Over 50 more artisans in these countries also receive ongoing support when Vi Bella purchases their hand-crafted wares and raw goods. 

Our deep desire is to continue and enlarge our job creation ministry and school sponsorship. In doing so, we show the artisans we work with that our love and support, like God’s love and support, is constant, even in places and times where nothing seems certain. No matter what, we rejoice that God has blessed us with the Good News of the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas. We know that we always have hope in a perfect future in Christ, regardless of our earthly circumstances. 

2022 has been a year of political turmoil in Haiti, with violent gangs controlling vast areas of cities, villages, roadways, and society in general. Gun shootings and kidnappings are all too common. Because the gangs control the fuel supplies, people who rely on fuel for generators to provide electricity to run businesses or gas to travel to work have been severely impacted. Food supplies have become scarce and expensive, trucks carrying clean drinking water have been unable to move, and schools have not been able to offer classes and much needed daily meals to students because of the tight grip the gangs hold over society. Many businesses have had to close because it is too dangerous and challenging to work in these conditions. 

We are extremely grateful that our Haitian management team is a group of dedicated problem solvers who find a way to keep people employed safely in the midst of this humanitarian crisis! We consistently receive notes and calls from artisans expressing thanks for the security of their jobs. 

At this time, we are looking for safe living spaces for a group of Vi Bella jewelry artisans whose village has been overtaken by gangs. We ask that you consider donating funds to offer them safe shelter during this emergency. We also plan to donate extra funds and gifts of food to our team in Haiti because the ongoing crisis there has caused food prices to skyrocket to never before seen highs. As always, we continue to offer school sponsorship to Haitian artisan children, and your donations mean the world to these families. 

On another note, we recently enjoyed a wonderful trip to Vi Bella, Mexico. Our first order of business was to celebrate the good work and dedication of the Vi Bella team by enjoying a day out in the city of Monterrey. We ate delicious food, took in many of the beautiful sights of the city and topped it off with a lovely canal ride in a gorgeous park. To make the day even more special, artisans shared how having a job in a safe environment has blessed them personally and their dreams of expanding the reach of Vi Bella to more women like them. Days do not get a lot better than this!

Vi Bella Mexico Artisans with Founder/CEO, Julie Hulstein.

The Mexican leadership team has been working hard for many months laying the groundwork for a new expansion project in their country. I am so proud of these talented and dedicated individuals!  While in Monterrey, we had amazing meetings between Vi Bella leadership and Mexican leaders in government, higher education, philanthropy, church outreach, social reconstruction, and social enterprise. I could hardly believe I was blessed to meet all these movers and shakers who have a passion for helping people live their best life. 

At this point, we have plans to move forward in a joint venture with several of these leaders to give employment with dignity to more women who come from backgrounds of poverty and gender abuse. Women who receive these jobs as artisans will also be given access to therapy from a licensed, Christian therapist. The leadership of the project will work to create and deepen connections between artisans and others in a caring, uplifting community. 

As we move forward with this new project we are excited to announce that we are working on new designs that highlight the artistic and cultural heritage of Mexico and capitalize on the many resources of this wonderful country. Stay tuned! There is much more to come!

We depend on purchases of Vi Bella artisans’ hand-crafted accessories to keep this important ministry alive. We appreciate every time you choose to support Vi Bella artisans with your purchasing power. You have kept us going throughout this year. Thank you! We hope you will continue to remember Vi Bella whenever you need beautiful accessories. 

In addition, during  this Christmas season, we humbly request that you consider including Vi Bella Serves in your year-end giving. Vi Bella Serves, Inc. is a recognized 501(c)(3), so your donation is tax-deductible. 

You can donate online and get an immediate receipt at https://www.vibella.com/pages/donate Click the “donate” link at the bottom. 

Please contact the Vi Bella Serves Board President at Amanda.Bahena@WoodsFuller.com or 712-441-0751 with any questions. As always, every dollar is appreciated, and every dollar goes directly to a person in need of education, health care, or housing. 

Thank you again, and we wish you a blessed Christmas season.

Sincerely,

Julie Hulstein

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