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STEPHEN HEMELT — Twisted Gypsy raising money through #Loveisvisible to bless 2 local families

Evy Knight, and her husband Donny, understand tough times and serious challenges.

Due to a serious illness, the couple had to close a Houston-area boutique, relocate and search for a new beginning.

Evy, 50 at the time, said it was a struggle, one that was only survivable due to faith and the love of family and new friends.

Evy and Donny ended up moving to Nederland and opening Twisted Gypsy on Boston Avenue. That was four years ago and they have since expanded to a larger location at 1219 Boston Avenue. Call 409-344-8998.

Today, Twisted Gypsy sells an assortment of clothing, jewelry and fun unique accessories.

As you can imagine, the retail business has been a struggle this year, a trend Evy told me started in 2019 with the pre-Thanksgiving explosion at the TPC plant in Port Neches.

“My husband and I, we were one of the ones who thought we were going to lose our business,” she said. “We’re a mom-and-pop store. Starting with the explosion last year, Black Friday and all the holidays kicked off bad. We get into 2020 with the pandemic and then one thing after another with hurricanes. We were closed for two months. We are blessed that we were able to come through all of this.”

Evy readily admits social media is new to her but the pandemic forced her to redesign how to bring in business.

What followed was a lot of prayer and requests for help sent out to her children, nieces and nephews.

“I am used to picking up a newspaper and reading it or reading a hard cover book,” she said. “I am not used to doing things online. With their help and a lot of prayer we were able to survive this.”

Now, Evy and Donny want to give back. Love has been visible in their lives so it’s time to show that to others. The result is a #Loveisvisible campaign that includes seed money donated by Evy and Donny.

They are hoping to bless two local families in need with $1,000 apiece this holiday season. The two chosen families will be announced Dec. 12.

Until then, anyone in the community can nominate a local family or person in need by dropping off a short paragraph entry about the family and why they are deserving.

Proceeds are being raised through cash donations and through the purchase of promotional #Loveisvisible shirts.

“I told my husband I want to start a new campaign,” Evy recalls. “We were bad off, but you look around the corner and people are having it a lot worse. We are blessed and kept the doors open, so lets start #Loveisvisible. You can see love. Love is everywhere.”

The winning families can spend the money how they see fit. The final selections will be made Dec. 12 by Donny and Evy, with help from the Nederland Chamber of Commerce and Nederland Economic Development Corporation.

“My husband and I want to give back because we have gotten so much from this community, which greeted us with open arms, and we want to share and show that love is visible even in the hardest of times,” Evy said.

All money raised will be split between the two chosen families and announced as part of a live show in December.

Stephen Hemelt is the president of Port Arthur Newsmedia. He can be reached at stephen.hemelt@panews.com and 409-721-2445.