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Spreading Hope with Just A Few Stitches

Flags of Hope

Local Non-Profits Team Up For Community Awareness Fundraiser

Coastal Women’s Shelter (CWS) and Craven Arts Council & Gallery (CAC&G) of New Bern are joining forces to raise awareness about domestic violence in the local area with a project called “Flags of Hope,” inspired by the ancient Tibetan Buddhist tradition of rectangular “prayer flags” strung up to bring blessings upon the land.  This project will run until the end of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Flags will be sold online at, at local stores, and during MumFest in October to patrons, allowing them to write a message on the flag to express their hope for the community and an end to domestic violence. To purchase a flag ($10 each) and provide a message of hope of up to 15 words, either come to the Bank of the Arts or visit cravenarts.orgflagsofhope. You can choose to be anonymous or to include your first name. If you provide an email address, a photo of your completed flag will be sent to you to share on social media as we spread the word of hope through #FlagsofHope.

We Need Your Help. The organizations are calling upon those with sewing experience to assist with this fundraiser.  Mary Ann DeRossett, member of the Twin Rivers Quilters Guild, has already begun making some flags for the project with just fabrics around her home from past projects. For more information about the dimensions or other requirements for the flags please visit

“I am so excited to be a part of Flags of Hope. We need tons of sewers to create and embellish the flags in preparation for this joint awareness and fundraising exhibition,” said Mrs. DeRossett.

DeRossett is volunteering her time for this project to assist with workshops in the community. She has expressed that if any churches, sewing clubs, or other organizations would like her to assist in hosting a Flags of Hope workshop, to contact the CAC&G at 252-638-2577.

With the celebration of its 30th year, CWS has its own hope that the local community will truly be impacted by this fundraiser.  Fund Development Coordinator for CWS, Carey Ashcroft, expressed that the display of flags will be a symbol for something much more than a beautiful piece of art work; these flags symbolize why the organization opens its doors day-to-day. Funds that CWS receives will be used to help victims establish their new homes free from violence in Craven, Jones, and Pamlico counties.

CAC&G has worked for 41 years for the betterment of the community.  The present goal is to establish a working art facility in our community that will teach the fundamentals of art and how it not only enriches our lives but provides income to our local creative economy. Funds that the Craven Arts Council & Gallery receives from Flags of Hope will be used towards this initiative.

For questions about Flags of Hope visit or

Submitted by: Carey Ashcroft, Fund Development Coordinator, Coastal Women’s Shelter