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As I sit here next to my Christmas tree, I can’t help but feel so thankful for this past year. This time of year, is a time of reflection and of hope, and I am full of both! Mostly as I reflect, I realize we have been busy! Our organization has made great strides toward our goal of opening a shelter to heal the whole person, body, mind, and spirit from sex trafficking. However, we still have miles to go.
In the meantime, we are building a community to support the girls, and a stable financial basis to keep the shelter going for years to come. And, we’re teaching advocacy skills to anyone that will listen.
This has been a year of learning and making new connections. We are getting creative in our ability to raise funds and in the ways we reach out to girls in need. Our mission is becoming more and more important. The national human trafficking hotline had 54 calls this year from Arkansas. There were 5,147 calls from across the country. We could eventually house any of the girls involved in those cases. Right now, they are being housed in foster homes, residential facilities, and maybe even jail. The reality is that there are nowhere near the number of specialized shelters needed to give these survivors the care they so desperately require. I hope you will continue with us on this journey.
THE COMMUNITY MURAL On June 2nd, Boss Monster Games hosted us in creating a mural with a message of hope on their wall! We invited other nonprofits to come paint with us so we could get to know each other, and possibly help each other in the process. Frey Paints and Coatings and Leonard’s Hardware donated the supplies. Sara Daily and Jan Bennett created our art and put in the final details. Thank you to The Call, Counseling Associates, and Southern Christian Children’s Home for
participating! We had so much fun and hope that this mural will bring some joy and color to our town.
HOPE IN THE VALLEY This year was the 2nd annual “Hope In The Valley” fundraiser. We had a blast and we know you did to! Local restaurants donated their food, volunteers gave their time, and musicians gave their talent to make this night fantastic! Thank you to Robb McCormick, Welch Photographic Art, Sweden Florist, Quizno’s, Stoby’s, Mary’s Kitchen, Pasta Grill, Kob Jai, New China, Linh’s, Kneading Hands Bakery, and Old Post BBQ!! The rain did catch up with us this year, so we changed locations at the last minute. It was a big success and something that we will continue. Hopefully next year we can put my husband in the canoe to place the 100 floating luminaries in Lake Dardanelle! Be on the lookout for the dates for 2019.
HOW CAN YOU HELP We need you! Volunteers and supporters make a nonprofit what it is and take us where we need to go. Take a minute and fill out our Volunteer Questionnaire. This will help us get to know you and the things you like to do! We look at our volunteer list every time there is a project and send out emails asking for help. We currently need specific help in the following areas:
Outreach projects (such as educating local hotels)
We also need prayer. Take a minute and follow our Facebook prayer page at #PrayForNewHope.
I’m not going to sugar coat this! Shelters are expensive. We need people willing to donate financially. The state won’t even allow us to open our doors until we have half of our yearly budget in reserves. Please consider the following:
Giving a certain amount monthly
A one-time donation
Maybe you have a house you’re not using?
We appreciate your time, money, and talents! Also, our board is growing! If you would like to be a leader for our cause and help direct our path, consider being a board member. We would love to add people with professional skills and business backgrounds, but anyone with passion for the cause is welcome.
MENTORING WITH WELLSPRING Wellspring Living is an organization based in Atlanta, GA that has been working with trafficking victims since 2001. They have some amazing programs that are saving lives, and we are so happy to be gaining from their knowledge. We will not be reinventing the wheel, but talking with people who have been there. The program is a year long and will cover everything from programs, policies, and fund raising. Art Heathcock and Day Burns are working directly with Wellspring to shape the future structure of our programs.
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS We had some excellent speaking opportunities to educate the community on human trafficking. We are so grateful for the chance to share our mission and God’s vision for survivors of trafficking. We would like to say thank you to the many organizations that have blessed us with your time and support including:
Gateway Pentecostal Church
Arkansas Mental Health Counselors Association
Perry County Homemakers Extension Group
Fellowship of Christians
YOUTUBE CHANNEL January is human trafficking awareness month. So, we started 2018 off by creating a short video of spoken word by Natalie Rogers. You can find this video on our Facebook page or website as well as our Youtube channel. We also post videos with information about New Hope and human trafficking. Check it out at New Hope on YouTube!
We’ve made so many great friends in 2018! We’ve spent the last couple of weeks reaching out to try and express our gratitude to have you with us in this mission, but there’s really no way to reach everyone short of an email newsletter! But, we’d like to just take a minute to say thank you to you all. Your impact is more than you know. Through our Lord’s call on us, and by your encouragement and community, 2019 is shaping up to be awesome!
All of us here at New Hope would like to wish you a very merry Christmas! We pray that the coming year brings you much joy and blessings!