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This is Home: Be Braver Co. assists people in Guatemala

Published: Dec. 11, 2020 at 5:23 PM EST
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VIENNA, W.Va. (WTAP) -

Robert and Tessa Yeater both are from the Mid-Ohio Valley, Robert from Williamstown, and Tessa from Belpre.

They have lived in Guatemala as part of their mission for the past eight years. They came back to the Mid-Ohio Valley for their daughter’s wedding, but were unable to go back and live there full-time due to travel restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

They wanted to make sure that the people of Guatemala were still fed and healthy, so they decided to open a store in the Grand Central Mall, called “Be Braver Co.”

Robert and Tessa wanted to share their purpose with the community, and thought opening a store was the perfect opportunity to do so.

“When this opportunity came up, we thought, how great our opportunity to show people what we do,” said Tessa Yeater, a co-owner of Be Braver Co. “Get them connected, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll want to bring their family to Guatemala, build a house for a family, put in a stove for a family, and get them more connected to the world globally and what’s going on.”

They are selling items that were made in Guatemala, from shoes and handbags, to coffee and hot chocolate. And the money made from the purchases goes directly to their feeding program.

“You’ll get a little card in your bag that says, ‘Thank you for feeding a child in Guatemala,’” said Tessa. Everything in the store is already paid for, we don’t pay the artisans once it sells, we pay them up front for all the items.”

Community out-reach is a big part of what the Yeater’s are doing for their mission. Robert says that the fact that the store stands out in the area, is a reason why business is good, and that residents are loving what they do.

“We’ve had people from every walk of life, and every generation come in,” Robert said. “Most all of them always say, ‘Wow, we need something like this in the area.” It’s so neat, it’s something that really is different.”

The work is not possible without their Guatemalan families, who continue to make the items and ship them to the United States for the Yeater’s to sell.

That connection is a large part of why the business has been a success during the time that the Yeater’s have been back in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

The Yeater’s hope that they will be able to return to Guatemala full-time very soon, and when that happens, they still plan to come back to the Mid-Ohio Valley every holiday season to run the store.

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