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!
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.