It is a half hour drive from Lee’s Summit to Restoration House. Windy roads over country hills, until I reached a small ranch style home positioned just east of Harrisonville. Next door sits two non-descript buildings. The first is reminiscent of a church but is currently under construction and is hard to identify. The second is a big, brown, steel building. Nothing about them impressive, but the landscape is beautiful and peaceful.
I pulled into the gravel drive, unsure if I was in the right location, so I pull out my notes for the address and check that Google lead me to the right location. Everything checks out, this is the spot.
There was no front door or entrance and no one in sight, so I poked around until I found a side door to enter. I stepped inside and found complete demolition. Tools and supplies all over, exposed subfloor and fresh, unpainted drywall. Construction workers were surprised to see me, obviously not expecting visitors, but they directed me down the hall when I said I was there to meet Roxie.
Roxie was in the next room, busy directing two other construction workers. She instructed me to wait for her in the big, brown building, or as she called it, the New Life Center.
As I waited for Roxie, I heard chatter of women in the kitchen. The building is quite big, and it’s obvious that it is used for many purposes. Several empty folding tables were set up around the room, boxes and random items were stored along the walls and corners, and in the center, it was set up like a shop class. Tools, craft supplies, and a large workspace. This is where I met Roxie.
Roxie Loyd is the Director of Programs and Services at Restoration House and has been with the organization for five years. A survivor herself, Roxie is the one that spear headed making and creating goods. Healing arts was a big part of her survival story and something she wanted to give to the girls at Restoration House.
The workshop was impressive to see. Half of the space was dedicated to making tumblers, and the other half was set up for making candles and cold press soaps. Roxie gave me the tour, showing me the high quality tumblers up close and pulling finished soaps from the wall for me to smell. The new pumpkin scent was amazing! They have a long list of products including candles, goat’s milk cold pressed soaps, tumblers, sugar scrubs, wax melts, key chains and more.
The stainless steel, double insulated tumblers come in a variety of colors and designs. Each one carrying a handmade, unique quality with no two tumblers looking the same. The women are beginning to accept custom orders. Businesses can customize the design, colors and even upload a logo or image to the side of the tumblers. It’s great way to support a great cause while marketing your business.
Goat’s milk cold pressed soaps have introduced an interesting new layer to the programing at Restoration House: small animal therapy. The organization has six Nigerian pygmy goats on the property that produce milk for the soaps and are also very therapeutic to interact with and take care of.
Products are sold primarily through the ReHope Market and Café in Greenwood which directly supports the mission and cause of Restoration House through its sales. They have recently sold their first wholesale order to McClain’s Bakery in Johnson County to carry the survivors’ products, and there are plans to open an online shop in the future. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to fund Restoration House programming, product supplies, curriculum books and more!
When I asked Roxie how long they have been making products, I was surprised to hear it has been less than two years. “It’s just amazing,” said Roxie. “This has grown so much faster than we could have ever imagined and that gives the women something to be really proud of.”
On my way out, Roxie took me through the construction again. The organization is renovating an old church building to make space for twelve new rooms for victims. “We receive calls every day from all over the country asking if we have space for more women,” explained Roxie. “Right now we have to say no, but this renovation will allow for us to accept more women in the program.”
To learn more about Restoration House visit restorationhousekc.org. Contact the organization for custom or bulk product orders, or shop at ReHope Market and Café in Greenwood, Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Restoration House is a nonprofit organization that offers long-term, residential housing and restorative programs for adult women and minor girl survivors of human trafficking. Their mission is to offer a home and hope to survivors without charge and without discrimination.