Supporter Spotlight: Elizabeth Torres

When Elizabeth Torres heard about Hoʻōla Nā Pua, she decided to use her longstanding talent for crocheting as a way of raising funds for survivors of sex trafficking.

While attending the Arise Conference at Inspire Church, Elizabeth heard Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s Community Outreach Manger, Tammy Bitanga, tell her own story of transformation from surviving to flourishing. At the conference, she was also struck by the experiences of another woman, who spoke about a rescue home in Cambodia. Elizabeth says, “She told stories about girls that were my daughter’s age—and my daughter is five—who were were getting trafficked.” Spurred on by these stories, she created her business, Mia Bella Cose, to support Ho’ola Na Pua’s mission here in the islands.

Elizabeth’s gift for crocheting began when her dad’s friend taught her the skill at age 11. Twenty years later, she continues to demonstrate her flair through her emerging small business, and gears her overall aesthetic toward the cute and adorable. Currently, her elastic tiara headbands are in demand, modeled daily by her daughter, who also shares her mom’s desire to help girls in need. In addition, Elizabeth creates coffee cozies for Starbucks’ reusable cups and is taking special orders for mermaid lap blankets. With most of her projects, she donates 100 percent of the cost of materials and the profit from her sales. Each piece is handmade to order and can consequently take a few days to a few weeks to reach her customer’s hands.

Individuals who wish to purchase her creations should visit her Mia Bella Cose Facebook page, where orders can be made by sending Elizabeth a message. You can also stay up to date via her Instagram page. Additionally, she brings her work to craft fairs, where she shares her products and spreads awareness about the issue of sex trafficking in Hawaii. Although gaining recognition for her name and products is still a work in progress, she remains strong in her conviction to use her talents for social change.

To potential volunteers with that same desire, she says, “If you have the urge inside, don’t ignore it. Don’t give up, even if it’s frustrating. Stay determined! It’s really rewarding to know that you’re helping and doing what you can.”

Written by Elisabeth Kurashige | Volunteer

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