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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Beacon Bits -- Healing in Community

I recently chose to have a custom made handbag constructed from a deceased relative's unique Nepalese jacket by the women working in the local nonprofit 501c3 social enterprise, Unshattered. I had previously read about the newsworthy organization which focuses on meaningful work with purpose to prevent relapse and to aid in the recovery of women with opioid addition. I was intrigued about this nonprofit approach for recovery-related work training/apprenticeship and was quite impressed with its origins and steady progress since its inception. I was particularly pleased to see that the founder and CEO of Unshattered, Kelly Lyndgaard, was given a Women in Business award in December 2019 for creating and successfully managing this unique healing community. In addition, Unshattered was the 2019 recipient of the Innovation in Philanthropy Award from the Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  Both awards were well-earned within Dutchess County after Unshattered had previously received recognition from the White House in 2018 when increased funding for recovery initiatives was made into law.

So it was good timing for me to get more acquainted with Unshattered when making my custom design request and picking up the beautiful product right before New Year's. Despite the recent awards, it was business 'as usual' since production was ongoing and in full swing as the holidays approached; in addition, it was a perfect kick-off for another year of recovery for the women I met who designed and made my personal item of remembrance. 
Design and manufacture team, Lois (left) and Dea (right)
I love my special handbag and believe it might be the first of a very special collection I will continue to pursue! I was thoroughly touched by the attention to detail and the loving care that was placed into the finished project that I entrusted to workers who became personally known to me as they listened to why I chose to have the bag made in the first place and how pleased I was with the outcome. I sensed their overwhelming pride in their work and their appreciation for the well-deserved praise and genuine support I had made towards their recovery. It was a win-win proposition for all of us. And what women doesn't appreciate a new handbag? And who wouldn't be proud to wear the designer signature of the 'unshattered' logo on their shoulder when receiving compliments and then being able to share the back story of this amazing healing community?
One-of-a-kind messenger style handbag named "Molly" for a woman in recovery
Food for thought:  Hand-made items have always been close to my heart, both personally and professionally. I have witnessed firsthand the value of productive activity and how therapeutic goal-directed purposeful tasks work for the best interest of groups and for individuals. So the idea of Unshattered did not feel unfamiliar to me. But the scale and success and mission of this kind of work for the good of our society is the wow factor; it is not only timely, it is imperative for people to work together for personal healing and recovery. Handbags made at Unshattered are not only 'Made in America' and in step with the 'maker movement', this innovative nonprofit social enterprise is a business model of what could 'become' for so many individuals in our society that are looking for re-purposing, re-cycling, re-connecting and re-building. It is not about just about a product, it is about the process. A creative process. A process of healing in community. Unshattered points us in the right direction. 

Visit the shop in its current location at 1064 Route 82, Hopewell Junction, read more about Unshattered online and browse the handbags that can be ordered at

If you want to see Unshattered handbags carried in Beacon shops, tell them to get some in stock!

1 comment:

  1. Are there any MENS products available?...I may have to take a trip to the shop.