City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Beautiful, Not Forgotten, Women

Belle And Sparrows – Changing Lives, One Person At A Time

Empowered women empower women. Since its conception in March 2017, Belle and Sparrows' representatives committed to making long-term relational investments in women. Based in McKinney, Belle and Sparrows is a 'by women for women' nonprofit that reaches women, both locally and globally.

Lynde Griggs and Tiffany Utech founded Belle and Sparrows after Lynde says she saw a lack in women serving women, and wanted to assemble an organization to help bridge that gap. 

“Each story may be different, but we all want to be seen, be known, be valued, and live a life of dignity,” states Lynde. “Getting to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with these women who are rebuilding or coming out of situations is a gift.”

The organization’s name is not without meaning and purpose. The word “belle” means beautiful in French, and “sparrows” are referenced in the Bible as small birds that are not forgotten. When forming the organization, Lynde and Tiffany say they wanted to make sure every woman knew they were “beautiful, not forgotten."

Belle and Sparrows' supporters help women change the trajectory of their lives. The group assembles teams of women to serve other women. Belle and Sparrows' leaders partner with local organizations that are typically residential programs for women who are rebuilding or coming out of certain types of situations, such as being homeless, fleeing domestic abuse, recovering from addiction, were formerly incarcerated, having left the sex industry, having been human-trafficked, or are living in abject poverty. 

Lynde says most of the time these situations are cyclical. Meaning if there is one, often there are others. "They all have a part in each other. Belle and Sparrows works to help keep women from returning to this cycle."

The heart of Belle and Sparrows is twofold. The first is to equip women on short-term trips to know their worth and to step out to serve marginalized and forgotten women. The second is to share love with the women the organization serves, letting them know they are beautiful and worthy and then experiencing the joy of lives transformed.

To date, Belle and Sparrows has served 2,094 women with 66 local and global trips. The organization served women in four countries through 18 different ministry partnerships. Some of these ministry partnerships include local organizations, such as Exodus in Dallas and Emily’s Place in Plano. Outside of the DFW region, they also work with Hope is Alive and Rose Brooks, both based in Kansas City, Missouri, alongside Christ for All Nations in New Mexico serving a local Navajo Native American community. Globally, the team works with women in the Tabacal village in Guatemala, teaching them simple card-making crafts and helping provide economic stability. 

Without programs in place to assist with unemployment and recovery gaps, industry statistics indicate most women fall back into addictions or crime. "Belle and Sparrows is committed to filling that gap and offers employment and job skill training to women who're rebuilding their lives through The Stella Projects candle line," says Lynde. 

“Belle and Sparrows is important because not only are we raising awareness about troubles facing women in the areas we serve; we are, in our small way, making a difference,” adds Lynde. 

The organization operates and fulfills its mission solely through the support of individual donors, churches and volunteers. Lynde says the organization is grassroots and organic.

Belle and Sparrows hosts three fundraising activities a year, which include Birdies for Belles, a spring-held golf tournament, Boots and Belles, a line dancing event, and a fall "Ungala." While financial donors always are needed, the group's leaders share people’s donation of time is just as important. 

“Our mission is to help one woman at a time, and change the direction of their life,” exclaims Lynde. “If we can help their lives be changed for the better, we will keep doing that.”

BelleAndSparrows.org

  • The relationships Belle and Sparrows makes with the women they serve is so beautiful and impactful.
  • Belle & Sparrows event supporters (from left): Diane Zaia. Tiffany Utech, Stacy Lonze, Sarah Fraiser.