Proceeds from Hatching Hope’s Thrift Studio will help with disaster relief

ALABASTER – In 2010, Keli Wright’s Alabaster home burned downed, leaving her family with nothing.

“It was around Easter, my son was 5 years old and one of his teachers made him an Easter basket,” Wright said, “and the kids in his class each brought a toy from home to give to him. It was small gestures like that that meant the world to my family.”

Although Wright and her husband Patrick were able to rebuild their home, the tragedy changed the course of their lives and was the catalyst for the founding Hatching Hope, a disaster relief organization.

On March 3, a grand opening was help for Hatching Hope’s Thrift Studio, where residents can purchase gently used donated items. A portion of the proceeds from sales go toward providing disaster relief aid. The shop carries Dixie Belle chalk paint, homemade candles, home décor items, vintage and antique items and more. The store also serves as a donation drop-off location.

Wright and her son Ashton, who is 16 now, began assisting residents in the area who were displaced my home and apartment fires, and in 2016 Hatching Hope was officially founded and became a 501(c)3.

What started out as a passion project in her dining room has grown into an operation that has served nearly 9,000 families and pets throughout the southeastern United States and even internationally.

“I would’ve never dreamed that it would turn into this,” Wright said.

Since 2016, Hatching Hope has provided disaster relief assistance in Florida after Hurricane Michael, in the Carolinas after Hurricane Florence, after tornadoes in Beauregrard/Smith Station, a dormitory fire at Jacksonville State University and other disasters in Missouri and Mississippi. A group of volunteers also traveled to the Bahamas to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. Right now, efforts are focused on helping residents impacted by the tornadoes that ripped through Nashville, Tennessee.

“We went back to the Florida panhandle nine times after the hurricane,” Wright said. “What’s different about Hatching Hope is that we stay in touch with people and see them through the entire process.”

Two truckloads of supplies have already been sent to Nashville and Wright expects to make several more trips in the coming weeks. Crews deliver comfort kits that include an air mattress with a built-in pump, a pillow, bed linens, toiletry items, reusable totes and other necessities.

The parents of babies also receive Baby Backpacks that are equipped with a blanket, diapers, wipes and other baby essentials.

The organization also provides pets boxes that include a blanket, food, water/food bowls, a toy, a leash and other items. The organization’s “Little Kids Doing Big Things” program invites children to volunteer their time making activity kits for other kids affected by disasters. The kits include items like books, art supplies and stuffed animals.

“Knowing that our kits are often times the only possession that people have, they are built with a lot of love and the boxes are decorated with messages of hope and encouragement,” Wright said.

Donation items currently needed for disaster relief efforts in Tennessee include energy bars, nonperishable food, heavy duty trash bags, work gloves, cleaning supplies, plastic buckets, face masks, paper towels and other cleaning supplies. Cash donations are also being accepted on Hatching Hope’s Facebook page.

In addition to the Thrift Studio, Hatching Hope operates a 3,200 square feet warehouse where disaster relief supplies are stored as well as The Marketplace where residents can purchase larger items such as furniture, bedding, clothes, shoes, home décor, antiques, baby essentials, appliances, tools, crafting supplies and more.

The Marketplace is open every first and third Friday and Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and is located at 376 Shady Acres Road in Alabaster.

The Thrift Studio is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 72 Fulton Spring Road Suite C. For more information about Hatching Hope, visit HatchingHopeCares.org.