RU spokesperson leaves role to advocate for end of female trafficking, abuse in Dominican Republic

Caitlyn Scaggs will be working with international non-profit, New Hope Girls, to support the sale of ethically made handbags and the rescue of girls from exploitation.
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 5:44 AM EDT
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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - Radford University spokesperson Caitlyn Scaggs is preparing to leave her role at the end of April for a job with an international organization. Her first assignment? Spreading the word about what exactly is New Hope Girls.

“Here’s our bags,” she said showing off the products displayed on her wall. “What I love [is that] we have a lot of variety. As you can see we have a really bold yellow here in our Croc. We have tropical and fun. This is the 2021 collaborative bag with Vera Bradley.”

Scaggs is quite the saleswoman.

“Our fabrics have a really nice feel and finish because they are upholstery fabric,” she explained.

She’s been a brand advocate for New Hope Girls long before she was on its payroll.

“This is the first bag I ever got when I became a fan of New Hope Girls,” Scaggs said. “I got it 3 and a half years ago. It’s our hobo style.”

Not only because she likes the fashionable accessories, but because she loves the mission even more.

“I felt like it was something I wanted to be a part of and a fight I wanted to join,” she said.

The organization is based in the Dominican Republic, where the abuse, exploitation and trafficking of girls and women is rampant.

“And at New Hope Girls, we are fighting those issues and we are fighting for our girls every day” she said.

Rescued girls are taken to safe houses, where they can be cared for and shown God’s love. Women in the community are taught how to create these hand-sewn bags so they can provide for their families.

“One of my favorite parts of our bags is that they all come with a tag that tells you who made your bag,” Scaggs said.

After ten years of existence, it’s hard to quantify the impact New Hope Girls has had on these women’s lives.

“We’ve helped so many, but we know there are so many out there awaiting their rescue,” she said.

Which is why Scaggs is leaving Radford University after two and a half years to support the cause full time.

“It is hard to leave Radford because I am a Highlander,” she smiled. “I’ve had so much support from everyone at the university and really just a sense of excitement. So it is a challenge, but they’re not done seeing me on the campus.”

And next time you do see her, she’ll probably be sporting a New Hope Girls bag

“I do love the bags!” She laughed.

You’ll know each bag has the potential to change a girl’s life forever.

New Hope Girls’ tag line is “Created for More.” It’s a declaration every woman in the Dominican Republic, in the United States and even around the world has value, honor and worth.

Scaggs will be in a social entrepreneurship role to spread awareness about the organization, the issues plaguing the Dominican Republic and introducing the world to their ethically made handbags.

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