By day, Erin O’Connor is a Victims Advocate at a District Attorney’s office in New England – but that’s not the only way she supports a community. Erin founded Threads of Hope, a non-profit that consigns clothing to fundraise for various charities.
How did you get the idea for Threads of Hope? How long have you been working on the project?
I launched Threads of Hope in January 2019, but had been working on it for a year before that. A friend introduced me to Poshmark, which is an app where people can sell their clothing that they no longer use. I loved not only purging my closet, but I loved packaging them up and sending them to someone who could use what I no longer can. After some thought, I created Threads of Hope; we collect gently used clothes and sell them with 20% of proceeds going to charity. The charity rotates every month, giving us a greater chance of helping the most people.
What is your full-time job? How do you feel like it ties into your sense of advocating for others?
I work full time as an advocate at the District Attorneys Office. Throughout my seven years with the office, I have met so many people in challenging situations — anything from having their home broken into, to losing a loved one to homicide. Although I offer support and provide services to these people, it’s easy to feel like I’m never doing enough.
I have talked with so many people who want to help different causes but don’t know how or feel like they could never make a significant impact. With purchasing second hand clothes through Threads of Hope, people can help the environment and also help a great cause at the same time.
What kinds of causes do you support with TOH? Have you made any cool connections?
Threads of Hope supports a wide array of causes. We have collaborated with local non-profits such as The Home for Little Wanderers, The Women’s Foundation of Boston, and the Jeremiah Program. We have also collaborated with Fighting Pretty out of Portland, Oregon, who sends care packages to women battling cancer. We have some great organizations lined up for the future months as well; in October we will be collaborating with Winters Gift, a non-profit out of Utah that sends recovery kits to women who have undergone mastectomies.
What’s your vision for the future of your organization?
My goal is for Threads of Hope to help people all over the world. With our monthly charity changing every month, people can really learn about who they are helping and what their donation is doing towards.
How do you manage your “side-hustle” with your full time work?
It takes a lot of dedication, discipline, and time management! Starting a business is stress inducing for anyone, but especially where I am the one overseeing everything, it gets very overwhelming. In addition to a full time job and starting a business, I am also in the midst of planning my wedding (this is where time management skills come into play)! What helps is knowing that the work I’m putting in now is paving the path for the life I want for my family and I. The balancing act of being a good partner, daughter, sister, and friend can be tough, but I know it will be worth it.
Sara Remus is the founder and Executive Director for Pop Culture Positive. A California native, she lived in the golden state’s high desert and Central Valley until 2015 when she relocated to Boston to start a new East Coast life. She is passionate about creating spaces for inclusion, critical thinking, and changing how we handle body image. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.