Baby, it’s cold outside, so we’ve been staying active! (And using a space heater.)
No one can accuse us of holding still. Read on to find out what we’ve been up to the past three months and what’s coming up next…
What We’ve Been Up To
This fall has kept us busy as we’ve been ramping up the fundraising, working towards hiring two part-time staff by June and covering monthly program and operation costs. While encouraged by the support of Trihope from so many arenas, we still have a ways to go to reach our goals. Our overall goal is to raise $5,000 per month by June, putting our milestone goal for the end of January at $2,500 per month. With current giving and pledges, we have raised $1,950 per month so far–and if those receiving this email who are not yet financial partners committed to giving just $10 per month, or $120 per year–this milestone would be met! Would you consider giving $10 or more per month? If you can’t–do you know someone who may be interested–a friend, co-worker, family member, church, etc? We would love to connect with them! Becoming a financial advocate for Trihope is just another way you can further the mission and invest in this work. We’re not lying when we say we can’t do this work without partners like you. Click the following link to join us as a financial partner: trihopemichigan.com/donate.
Paintings made by one of our survivors, for sale at Survivors’ Night.
The second Survivors’ Night was a hit! We welcomed 12 new survivors of sexual abuse and/or trafficking (and several returning) to our second Survivors’ Night in November. Receiving a 3-course meal, several craft and pampering activities, and theatrical games, the survivors enjoyed a full evening of laughs and spoiling. The goal for the evening was to bless the survivors as the precious women they are, to show them they’re not alone in the difficult path they walk, and also to offer a gateway for further avenues of healing to those interested.
Praise the Lord for PowerPoint. That’s right, PowerPoint has become a close friend as we’ve been increasing speaking engagements and training opportunities this fall. From teaching parents and guardians how to protect their children from sex traffickers to supporting professionals in methods for working effectively with minor victims and their families to educating members of the faith community on combating the supply and demand factors of trafficking in the Tri-Cities through our first quarterly CAST (Christian Anti-Sex Trafficking) Committee–we’ve been constantly learning and constantly sharing.
Trihope’s first quarterly meeting of the Christian Anti-Sex Trafficking Committee.
Did you know that very little is known about trafficking in the Tri-Cities? While more and more survivors are being identified and although the risk factors for this area are high, there is little to no data available here yet. It’s hard to kill a beast when you’ve only found the footprints. Trihope is looking for those interested in doing research to help us get a bead on the issue here and know how to combat it effectively!
Restored Gems and Trihope have partnered together to minister to those in the adult entertainment industry. Many of those involved in this industry come from backgrounds of childhood sexual abuse and/or trafficking. We think they’re valuable and want them to know they matter to us and to the Lord, so we’ve partnered with the outreach ministry, Restored Gems, to care for their needs and minister to them in whatever way needed.
Watch this brief video on Trihope’s upcoming retreat for survivors of sexual trauma and contact us if you or someone you know is interested in attending.
31 Days of Prayer – January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and hence, beginning January 1st, TriHOPe will be committing to 31 Days of focused prayer for the survivors and victims of sexual exploitation, as well as the groups that provide resources and assistance to them. Click here to sign up to receive each day’s prayer focus and join others in becoming everyday abolitionists through prayer. Then join us on Friday, February 3rd for a Night of Worship!
The Many Facets of Human Trafficking – Come out on January 24th for a training put on by the Mid-Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force on cyber safety, trauma informed care, and law enforcement’s response to human trafficking. Appropriate for professionals and community members alike! Click here for more information.
The next In the Wildflowers Retreat, a weekend long support group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, is planned for Thursday-Sunday, February 23-26. For the first time, we are opening this retreat to male survivors as well. If you are interested or know someone who may be, we’d love to talk with you more about this opportunity. We have seen survivors take huge steps forward in restoration and healing in their lives as a result of the retreat and hope to expand our capacity to offer the program more times in 2017.
Following that, on Tuesday, February 28th, we will be holding the second quarterly Christian Anti-Sex Trafficking (CAST) Committee Meeting. Those interested in playing their part in combating the supply and demand factors of trafficking in the Tri-Cities don’t want to miss this meeting. Stay tuned at trihopemichigan.com, email us at email@example.com, or follow us on social media for more information. Here’s your chance to become an everyday abolitionist!
Coming in February 2017, Trihope will once again be holding a retreat style support group for survivors of sexual assault based upon the In the Wildflowers curriculum.
In the Wildflowers Retreat Overview
The retreat format provides an opportunity for survivors to step back from their busy lives and take some much needed time to seek God’s healing for the wounds they have carried for so long. The retreat will be led by members of the Trihope team and will explore several topics, including sharing stories, releasing shame, healing through God’s love, and ministering to others. With several of the retreat leaders coming from backgrounds of sexual assault, they understand many of the emotional difficulties and the courage involved in participating in such a group. They are prepared to walk alongside group members in the difficult, but freeing, journey of restoration taking place over the course of the retreat.
The retreat will take place Thursday, February 23rd at 7 pm to Sunday, February 26th at 5 pm at Bay Shore Camp, 450 N. Miller St, Sebewaing, MI 48759. Enrollment packs are available now by contacting us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The total cost of the retreat including room, meals and workbook materials is $250 per person for a shared room (an additional $100 per person for a single room). All materials, including the $250 retreat fee (made payable to Trihope), are due January 29th. Completed materials can be emailed to email@example.com, placed in the Trihope mailbox at NLCF, or mailed to New Life Christian Fellowship, ATTN: Trihope, 6115 Shattuck Rd, Saginaw, MI 48603.
Please note: We cannot guarantee a place on the retreat for enrollment materials and/or fees turned in after the January 29th due date.
Find out more!
In the Wildflowers Retreat Video
It’s that time! September just ended. That means you won a quarterly update.
It’s been crazy around here the last few months. Read on to find out what we’ve been up to and what’s coming up next…
What We’ve Been Up To
This summer we’ve had to take a brief step back from programs to build a stronger organizational foundation for Trihope. We became officially incorporated in August and submitted our non-profit application to the IRS after months of working on it. This fall we’re busy fundraising to get off the ground by next June. Because it will no longer be possible for Trihope to operate on a volunteer basis next year (the video below explains why), we need to raise at least $5,000 monthly to cover not only the program and operation expenses of the organization, but also to hire two staff to run them. Interested in joining our team as a monthly sponsor? Click the following link to sign up: trihopemichigan.com/donate.
As exciting as fundraising and applications are, that’s not all we’ve been up to!
Survivors making crafts at Survivors’ Night
In August, we held our first Survivors’ Night. We invited survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sex trafficking to come out for a night of pampering, food, and fun to bless them as the precious women they are, to show them they’re not alone in the difficult path they walk, and also to offer a gateway for further avenues of healing to those interested. We served approximately 12 survivors at the event and the question of the night was, “When will you do another one?”
After Survivors’ Night in August, we joined the Running to Freedom 5K and hosted our 2nd Annual Open Mic in the beginning of October. Our president, Kelsey Dillon, spoke at the 5K, sharing the stories of her first four encounters with sex trafficking survivors–all personal friends. You can catch the tail end of the speech on Trihope’s Facebook page (under videos) and learn a few ways you can be an everyday abolitionist right where you are. That, or contact us! One of the pillars of our organization is community mobilization–that means helping each person or each organization play their part in eradicating the sexual exploitation occurring in this community. Did you know that the Tri-Cities is an incubator for sex trafficking? You can learn more about it by attending the first meeting of the Christian Anti-Sex Trafficking (CAST) Committee on Tuesday evening, November 29th. More on that later!
The Open Mic was a huge success again this year. Approximately 115 people turned up for the night. Over $1,000 was raised for Trihope and when it was all said and done, nearly $750 came in in monthly support. Aside from that, it was a wonderful night full of incredible talent! If you didn’t make it this year, you’ll want to come next year.
Finally, in September, the long-awaited Open Table has been launched! We have been excited to partner with New Life Christian Fellowship and The Open Table to set up the first table in Michigan to support a survivor of sex trafficking. This may sound mysterious for those unfamiliar with the model, so click here to learn more about this unique way of responding to poverty, and now, human trafficking as well.
What’s Coming Up Next?
On November 14th, we’ll be hosting another Survivors’ Night. We need RSVPs by November 7th, so pass the word to any survivors you know! This is a night designed to bless and encourage them. They won’t be asked to share their story, answer any questions, or sign up for additional programs. We simply want them to know they are precious and valued.
Following that, on Tuesday, November 29th, we will be holding the first quarterly Christian Anti-Sex Trafficking (CAST) Committee Meeting. There will be a presentation on the supply and demand nature of sex trafficking, why we believe it’s a big issue in the Tri-Cities, and how the committee is structured to combat it. Then each attendee will be invited to evaluate and identify their ability to combat it within their own sphere of influence. Here’s your chance to become an everyday abolitionist!
The next In the Wildflowers Retreat, a weekend long support group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, is planned for Thursday-Sunday, February 23-26. We are considering opening this retreat for the first time to men as well. If you are interested or know someone who may be, we’d love to talk with you more about this opportunity. We have seen survivors take huge steps forward in restoration and healing in their lives as a result of the retreat and hope to expand our capacity to offer the program more times in 2017.