Noticing Neighbors with Deborah's Legacy
This day has been a long time coming! It’s bracelet release day, and I’m so excited to share this story with all of you. The Noticed Network and Deborah’s Legacy have joined up for a very special collaboration: a unique bracelet for Noticing the people in your life. Like a secret message, these colorful glass beads represent the dashes and dots that spell out the word “Noticed” in Morse Code. Each time the wearer sees it on their wrist, it serves as a tangible reminder for how valued they are. Amy and Allison Huebner started talking about this idea in such a fun way, Deborah’s Legacy is such an amazing organization, these bracelets have so much love put into them, and—I’ll let her tell you about it.
Hayley: It's really nice to meet you! Amy is so excited about this collaboration, she’s been telling me the play by play for months! The bracelets are so beautiful. How did the project come about?
Amy and I were at the golf course with some of our husband’s fraternity brothers and friends when this came up. She hijacked a golf cart and we spent the whole afternoon riding around in it together.
Hayley: Why do you think you two click? Allison:
We both have a pioneer spirit. We're not afraid to bounce ideas off of one another and be creative out loud. She told me about wanting to do these Noticed Morse Code bracelets, and it just happened to be a very short jump from some projects Deborah’s Legacy was already working on. We moved forward from there!
Can you tell me what Deborah’s Legacy is about? What do you guys do?
Deborah's Legacy is a two year transitional living program for women facing addiction and homelessness. Many times our residents are just coming out of prison or have had an experience with law enforcement, so they need a place for healing. We are a Christian based program and our curriculum is based on a faith in Jesus Christ. Hayley:
What does it look like, from when you first meet?
They can stay with us for free for up to two years. From there, we walk beside our resident sisters in their search for recovery and healing.
Hayley: It's amazing that they can stay with you. How do you help them move forward during that time?
When the ladies come to our house, many are not employed. Instead of them jumping right into a job, we like to offer employment with us through our social enterprise so they can focus on recovery first. Making this bracelet is part of that social enterprise. We employ them to spend time together with us around the table making the product. This bracelet project is an answered prayer, in that way.
Hayley: I think it adds meaning on all sides that this bracelet is about being Noticed right from the beginning. How have you seen ripple effects from this project on your end? Allison:
There have been moments where I pause and look around the room and think, This is it. We’re doing what we set out to do. It’s all of us sitting around the table—staff and volunteers and residents—working together toward a common goal. We’re all threading these beads, all making slip knots. And I just think, this is it. We are now experiencing everything we’ve wanted employment for these women to be.
I know Amy is so thrilled about this, too! What’s it like when you’re all making the bracelets together? Allison: There is so much energy! It’s this special time to open up to each other. You can say the same thing having shoulder to shoulder time at the table as you would in a one on one recovery meeting, but it's going to feel much different. At the table, it just feels like friends having a conversation. Hayley: Makes sense. Allison: Those conversations will actually break down the walls and help build relationships, which is the foundation for everything.
Hayley: I'm sure that there's a lot of trust involved.
There is. And some of the residents have mastered making these bracelets. They don't take a lot of technical ability, but they do take some! There are times I come in to work on them with a mindset of: oh yeah, I got this. But then they’re much more challenging than I thought! This project has provided moments when the tables are turned and the teacher is being taught. So I get to say things like, “We need so-and-so to come in and finish this up, because she's a pro!” It's fun giving kudos. It also gives them a moment of saying, “Yeah, I am good at something” at a time where maybe they don't have any confidence.
I've gotten to see a couple different iterations of these bracelets along the way.
I know there's been some back and forth about colors, the type of bead, what works, what feels high quality—Amy told me that you guys had to switch threads because the first ones started to fray! It sounds like there’s been a lot of intention to hand pick each material, and the bracelets are really beautiful.
What I told Amy is we're both going to know more about beads than we want to know! I do know the learning curve has been steep. But that’s a joy, too. We’re always searching for the strengths of the individual here at Legacy, and everyone brings what they’re working with. Ideating is my happy spot, and there's other people whose strength is assembly or finishing touches on the other end. We work together as a team to get a quality product for you. Hayley:
I’d like to ask you, why is it important for people to be seen for who they are and to be Noticed?
Our culture can be so critical of not measuring up to this photoshopped version of what perfection should be. What we do here challenges that. That's something that The Noticed Network and Legacy have in common, and I think we’re closely tied together in that way—we’re trying to see the individual for how God created them to be and celebrate that by bringing it forward.
The Noticed bracelets are a tangible way of sharing with someone that we appreciate how God created them and that He did not make a mistake. I’m excited to be on a journey together with you, regardless of how insignificant you might think your part in my journey is, we're connected. So I'm going to share this bracelet with you, because I'm Noticing and recognizing that we're connected, and I love being connected through life with you. That's what excites me about this.
What are some traits that you hope these women have as they leave Deborah's Legacy? Allison: We want to see that they are connected to a healthy community. That we move from being somewhere that they lived for two years, to: these are my people! And for them to know that they're always welcome here. Again, another philosophy that is evident in The Noticed Network: to change their culture to where they see their own potential. So that they’re more confident in their own unique strengths.
Those are really valuable takeaways. You can build a life on that.
That's our goal, right? Yeah, exactly that. When they've graduated from the program, these are the things they can build a life on. Good words.
Can I get a shoutout from you? Who has lifted you up throughout this project? Allison:
First and foremost, like always here at Legacy, I feel like I'm the spectator in the work that God is doing. The team of people He has brought together to make this place possible far surpasses anything we could have ever imagined or done by ourselves.
I also think it's important to recognize that people aren't here by accident, that they are here for a purpose. If everyone could adopt the philosophy of The Noticed Network, of giving a shout out to the people that have impacted their world, even if it's by giving a bracelet... wouldn't the world be a better place? Hayley: Thank you for making the world a better place to be. Thank you for what you’re doing. Where can our readers find you to support you?