Hyde County Hotline branches out to Ocracoke
…..WITH SLIDE SHOW
By CONNIE LEINBACH
County Hotline, the nonprofit agency based in Swan Quarter, recently
opened Tapestry, a Studio on Ocracoke. It is a retail operation for
Hotline’s recycle project business model.
Proceeds from the shop/studio fund Hotline’s crisis intervention and
advocacy services to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in
Based on the successful model, Endless Possibilities in Manteo, Hotline
takes discarded clothing and fabrics donated to its thrift stores and
weaves them into rugs, runners, handbags, and other items.
The Ocracoke store opened June 5 in the Spencer’s Market complex along
School Road. Hotline has two other thrift stores in the county—in
Swan Quarter and Engelhard.
“We see Ocracoke Island as a hub attracting visitors from all over the
world,” said Kathy Ballance, executive director, based in Swan Quarter.
“Our vision for the Ocracoke shop is to provide outreach and advocacy
services to a much larger population than we could possibly reach on
Already it’s working, Ballance explained, noting that she had gotten a
call from a Kentucky woman who had recently visited Ocracoke, saw a
Hotline flyer and called her.
“We want to provide an opportunity to anyone to get the help they need
wherever they are to stop the cycle of violence,” she said.
Hotline provides educational services, such as one presented recently
to Ocracoke School graduating seniors about “acquaintance rape.”
“A big percentage of rape is by people who know the victim,” Ballance said.
Hotline will present a workshop at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 14, in the
Ocracoke Assembly of God Fellowship Hall on how to handle a crisis call
from persons who are deaf or hearing impaired. It is open to the public.
In addition to items made from recycled fabrics, Tapestry’s inventory
includes consignment items from several Hyde County crafters, such as
paintings, oyster knives, note cards, and more.
Ballance said she welcomes more items from Ocracoke crafters and artists.
One unusual line of consignment items is Santa Clauses painted on crab shells.
Ocracoke resident Lida Jones, visiting the shop during its open house
June 9, was thrilled to see a rug made from men’s neckties just like
one she had made several years ago out of dozens of ties belonging to
her husband, Bill Jones, a retired minister.
“He hasn’t worn a tie since he retired several years ago,” Lida told
shop manager Valerie Spencer of Ocracoke. “I just love the idea
of recycling those old ties.”
Best of all, the recycled items are going to a good cause, she added.
The tie rug for sale in Tapestry had a “sold” sign on it, but Bill
happily brought theirs over for the shop to display in case others want
to do the same with their old ties.
Among the items made from recycled materials are girls’ dresses made from pillow cases and aprons made from old jeans.
Ingeborg Frye, Hotline response team specialist, was on hand to
demonstrate how the recycled materials are woven into usable items.
Frye, of Ocracoke, coordinates the various professionals needed in sexual abuse/violence cases.
welcomes volunteers to take part in the initiative by working in the
store, staffing the crisis phone lines, and helping to weave the
materials. Currently, there is one loom in the shop, but another
one will be added in the days to come, Spencer said.
No experience is necessary to learn how to weave, Frye said.
“It takes 15 minutes to learn,” she said.
Store hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Awareness that help is available for those with concerns about their
domestic situation is the heart of Hotline’s mission.
Among the services the agency provides is a 24-hour crisis line,
advocacy, referrals, transportation, counseling, accompaniment to the
hospital and court cases, support groups educational presentations,
professional training, financial and safety planning, and shelter
Brochures with this information are available at the store.
Hyde County Hotline, in addition to this retail operation, is partially funded through grants.
Donations of household items and clothing in good condition to sell in
the thrift stores, as well as cash, is welcome, Ballance said.
She also said she is looking for a staffer to substitute when Spencer
cannot be in the store.
For more information, call Ballance at 252-542-9029.
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