CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Building Goodness Foundation in Charlottesville is helping raise money to expand a co-op in Guatemala.

It's called A Thread of Hope, and it’s a weaving business that provides education and positive economic development for women, their families, and the community as a whole.

The foundation has approved a new project that will double the size of the co-op.

For the women who work there, this expansion means higher production, more education, and a safe place to stay. But first, the foundation needs to get the project completely funded.

Weaving in Guatemala is something that is passed down from generation to generation.

“They are the largest indigenous women's weaving co-op in the country,” says Eliza Strode, the owner of A Thread of Hope.

The women's weaving cooperative in Solola, Guatemala, uses a traditional backstrap weaving method.

“If that art is lost because it doesn't pay to do it anymore and the women's daughters don't see any point in learning it, then a whole other tradition gets lost,” says Strode.

The co-op makes about 200 hand-dyed bamboo scarves every day, but the problem that arises is that the current facility is bursting at the seams.

That's why Building Goodness Foundation is stepping up to help.

“The bigger space will not only allow the women to do more work who are there, but will allow them to train and educate other women in the community,” says Emily Martin, BGF annual fund manager.

BGF has approved a new weaving facility that will cost $500,000 and, if funded, will be 8,000 square feet.

“I think they could increase their production probably four to five times what they're doing now,” says Strode.

On Tuesday, May 15, it held a fundraiser with A Thread of Hope to sell scarves to the community.

The co-op is completely female-owned and operated, and it gives 180 women the opportunities needed to provide money for their families. The new building will allow larger production for scarves, more classes for women in the community, and offer a safer environment.

“It’s women helping women, you know,” says Martin. “If we are given these rights as women, should we not pass them on to other women who, you know, are just biting at the bit to be able to feed their children, to send them to school, to give them opportunities that they see happening around them."

The current space is also being rented, which is another reason BGF wants to create a permanent facility for the weavers.

Construction cannot begin until the project is completely funded. If you want to support it, you can donate directly to Building Goodness Foundation or help by purchasing a scarf from A Thread of Hope.