Hope needs wings to get to where it needs to go. This design was inspired by that—by a very specific story actually. People need a lot of practical, tangible things, but among the intangible ones that those things represent is hope.
Have you ever read something that stuck with you—like sucker-punch stuck with you? If ever there was a perfect lyrical illustration that parallels a person’s life, I think this story about “O” and the words from the song, “I Dreamed a Dream” seem a heartbreaking match. (You can read Sarah Mae’s post series on her journey to Southeast Asia with The Exodus Road here.)
Stories like this can feel…hopeless. Can anything be done—anything useful enough, quickly enough to matter? I don’t have that answer. I love a quote by Makoto Fujimura in which he states “The arts present the most powerful way of ‘nonviolent resistance.’” I suppose it’s a comfort of sorts on the days when it’s incredibly clear that what I do isn’t exactly curing any diseases or saving anyone from human trafficking. (If you’re an artist in need of encouragement, I highly recommend this post by Jon Acuff about God’s love letter to artists.)
Hope Needs Wings is dedicated to “O.” All (100%) of the net profit—that is, everything not associated with print production, shipping, etc.—from this design will be donated to The Exodus Road. If your main priority is seeing The Exodus Road receive financial assistance in doing what they do, please skip right over all this and donate here because that means every single dollar of what you pay benefits them directly because donations don’t require production fees.
If you’re still digging the idea of having a shirt or other product, you can check out their products over in The Exodus Road shop or go over to my shop to look for Hope Needs Wings products. If you do purchase a product—whether Hope Needs Wings or one of the many products at The Exodus Road’s shop—use it as an opportunity to share a story. (Additionally, sharing The Exodus Road’s website and social pages is a completely free way to spread the word about what they’re doing.) It’s too easy to miss how many people are affected by trafficking or are working in the sex industry for their own and their family’s survival like “O” is. Knowledge creates awareness. Awareness creates opportunity for action. Action creates change.
You and I alone cannot change the world. We can collectively commit to trying to influence it though. You can learn more about The Exodus Road and their commitment to pushing back against trafficking here and donate here. I don’t know what will become of “O,” but I pray that hopes finds her and the ones she loves.
Honestly, this feels like setting up a lemonade stand to raise funds to fight world hunger or something, but I guess an idealistic part of me is hoping this is a proverbial “loaves and fishes” opportunity that could serve more people if put in the right hands.
Full disclosure: ONLY the Hope Needs Wings design benefits The Exodus Road, so look specifically for the hand lettering butterfly design products here and here if you want to purchase the design that helps The Exodus Road. Products subject to vendor availability. Note that I have another (different) butterfly design I sell that’s a painting, but it’s not included in the fundraiser.
If you’re an artist looking for a way to have a selling option with no inventory and on-demand printing on your own website, check out my post here. I’m grateful that now there are options online that exist for selling that don’t involve high cost and meeting order minimums. If there’s a non-profit near to your heart, you might consider how a design you’ve created could raise funds to help.
*UPDATE: There’s been interest in this design being used as a tattoo. First, understand this is copyrighted work. That said (and because I know I can’t entirely enforce what you’re going to put on your physical body) I’m flattered, but I have a couple requests—
1.) Please always make sure you’re getting ink done by someone who has a track record for doing safe, quality work.
2.) Would you please consider donating to The Exodus Road in at LEAST the amount you’ve paid for your tattoo. Hear me out. You’re going to look at that ink for a LONG time, but your investment in saving people will last so much longer. I feel so strongly about wanting this design dedicated to benefitting this cause that I’m forgoing any profits made by this design, which means it’d be awfully nice if this design actually benefitted them in some way. It’s a win-win. You’ll get cool ink, you’ll know you supported a cause every time you look at that ink, and you can tell others about it, too.
I’d LOVE to see your ink! Show me on social media; use #HopeNeedsWings.