A Wonderful Start

Donations of all kinds of craft and art supplies have given Her Treasure Box as great beginning!  About two weeks ago, the process had begun to post items on E bay.  Although time consuming to do so, we are encouraged to have sold five items. Its a start.

When collecting items from Linda’s in Latham she told me of the “Hugest Garage Sale in the World” being held at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds.  Vendors sign up for this event months in advance, so the possibility to obtain a spot was a bit iffy. All that was left was space in the pavilion.  I am certain it’s availability was held just for Her Treasure Box.  The location was perfect…..on the outside row, under a roof, with a breeze.

There was a steady stream of people and a lot of opportunity to share about Eyes Wide Open, the Coalition, the desire for retail space for Her Treasure Box and of course, our home for healing and hope! Some people were shocked, some got tears in their eyes, some gave more than the price of an item….others came back a second time to hand us a donation.

We came home with empty totes and a nice deposit into our account. We have officially begun the fundraising.

Please remember Her Treasure Box when cleaning out the craft room, attic or basement….!!!!

Advertisements

Moving Forward

DSCF0147What an exciting summer this has been! Those who have followed on Facebook already know that just last week, EYES WIDE OPEN NENY, Inc. received the 501 c 3 certificate.

There is a lot of business to pull together. Yikes. I am learning so much and will soon be hosting our first board meeting!!!

Beyond the official business….doors have been opening up to bring awareness in the community of who we are and what our intentions are….

As we have been collecting donations for Her Treasure Box, someone told us of the WORLD’S LARGEST GARAGE SALE held at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds. One week before the event, (which was yesterday), I called to secure a table…. I was given what was left, being folks knew of this way before we did and most spots were taken….however, there was still one open. It was perfect, under a pavilion, which meant not having to deal with a tent…there was a nice breeze and an amazing amount of shoppers!

The garage sale was a wonderful success!!!! There was a steady stream of people and a lot of opportunity to share about Eyes Wide Open, the Coalition, the desire for retail space for Her Treasure Box and of course, our home for healing and hope! Some people were shocked, some got tears in their eyes, some gave more than the price of an item….others came back a second time to hand us a donation.

What a wonderful experience! We had only two items that were priced $5.00 and both sold…everything else was pretty much $1.00…or asked for donation for the cloth…..All this to tell you we came home with a profit of $600.00.

I am taking this as God blessing our efforts and to continue! We sold a lot and I came home with several empty bins!
We had such an opportunity to talk with folks about what we were about!

Stay tuned…..I will be posting our September and October events soon.
AND…a new website will be out soon where you can find everything we are dong all in one place!

Thank you for your love and support!

The Sisters and Me

A coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause.

Last October I attended a Human Trafficking Awareness Workshop. I had been seeking and attending events, whatever I could find, to learn more and hopefully become affiliated with a group of people who share the same passion as I have been experiencing.

The workshop was very informative and I met many people that were involved in education, therapists, doctors, NPO’s and government affiliations. It wasn’t until this past February when, I was invited to a prayer vigil that it was revealed to me…this is the group where I belonged.

We really can’t go it alone in this life. We need one another. I believe we are stronger and better when we join together sharing our faith and ideas, encouraging one another to what we have been called.

I am so very thankful for the women brought into my life.
Together, we WILL make a difference in our world.

Nepal in my heart!

When I worked in a corporate office….there was always an IT guy….to me, he was my best friend.  I’m not so sure he felt the same way because I am certain he let my request go to voice mail on occasion.  Other times, I definitely heard a long groan on the other end of the phone. Now, in most cases, I am left to my own devices.   All that to say I have lots to share with you and I am not messing around with IT stuff for awhile.

The devastation and loss of life of the two earthquakes in Nepal are heart wrenching. There is no way of knowing the status of the young women I know.  So, my heart aches, yet motivates me to continual prayer for all the men, women and children.

It is fact that traffickers for laborers and the sex trade see this as prime time to prey on grief stricken, displaced survivors.  Support pours out of us initially, in prayer and giving of money and supplies. However, the aftermath of this tragedy will continue for years to come.  There are many excellent organizations receiving donations to help.  The one that has been closest to my heart is Maiti Nepal.  Anuradha Koirala is truly my hero. She is a widely recognized activist and lecturer who has dedicated her life to combating the sexual exploitation of women and children.  http://www.friendsofmaitinepal.org

At its Kathmandu center, Maiti Nepal is now providing refuge to an additional 200 earthquake victims — children and young women who are homeless and at risk for human trafficking.

Just a reminder that the recovery process is much more and longer than our memories.  The sweet and innocents of this country need us.

 

 

Collaboration

global_collaborationis a deep, collective determination to reach identical objectives; when two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals.  I believe it is the way to bring human slavery to an end.  This crime isn’t isolated. It affects our communities, cities, and regions all over the world. A good portion of my week is conducting research, and educating myself. This winter I attended a gathering of humanitarian organizations that are in the Capital District specifically The goal was to inform one another of their existence. It was an effort to collaborate. I have discovered a tremendous amount of information out in the world wide web, each is doing their part to eradicate sex/human trafficking.

So all this is great, right?  Human trafficking is a problem and there are organizations working on the issue. It’s their job right? Well, organizations are only as strong and effective as their support.

I really love this picture.  It is many hands, from all around the world.  These are hands representing each and every one of us.

This is our world. 

Missing…

………………….couldn’t login…this happening after writing my dislike for all the techno stuff in the last post…so that is kind of odd and eerie! Action…well the “unfolding” has continued…I am excited, full of energy and some have said I am in need of focus…so I am trying that on for size and ask you to please send along your prayers and well wishes. The “What’s Next” has been looming…and it is time to concentrate on a path. What is kind of neat…I had set a goal; deadline,really, to have Fragrance in the Desert to the publishers by end of April 2014. A friend encouraged me today to appoint a “deadline” as to where to go from here perhaps by the end of April.
In the meantime, what is falling in to place is meeting some amazing women, working diligently with their energies, faith, and support to work together as a collaborative, …force to be a voice to our communities, and government to eradicate human trafficking and with hopes to bring support, and healing to assist victims become survivors.

If you have some interest in joining our efforts, information you would like or wish to sponsor an awareness event (no matter the size of your group)..please leave me a way to connect with you in the comments section.

Lots more to come!!!

Smart phones, i phones, skype, texting, twitter, apps

Yikes…we have to keep on this….don’t we?!  It’s the way the world communicates.  Some of us like it…some of us, not so much.  Me, not so much.  However, (and this is a big however) I am really grateful for the technology available.  The latest thing I found I needed was an APP…called What’s App, to add to my phone. I spent a better part of a day with my phone in one hand and surfing around the internet checking you tube, trying to figure it out.  To make matters worse, I was told it is so easy to do.  (rolling my eyes here)

This app has enabled me to connect with Adjoua.  She is now reunited with her family in Ghana.  The waiting for her return was not easy.  Knowing she finally made it home and not having the ability to connect with her was distressing. Via facebook I could write to Barbara who could text Adjoua….so for a few weeks we sent messages between the three of us.

While Adjoua lived in Kuwait, we could Skype, use facebook, email, etc etc…It is much different now that she is in Ghana.The network isn’t readily available., neither is electricity, I have learned.  So, whats app, installed on our phones, has made it possible for us to keep in touch!  We can even send pictures!

As for most who have been abused in human trafficking, reintegration is not easy.  Most do not return “home” in good standing.  No money had been saved and brought home.  There is no job waiting for you. Friends and family aren’t always understanding, which makes it difficult to find your place in these circles.   It’s a big step in rescuing these women and girls from abusive situations, getting them off the streets, safe from harm, even getting them home.  However, that is only the beginning.  Healing is needed for their body, soul and spirit. Self esteem is lacking, fear is present, discouragement and depression can easily lead them back to what they had known.

Maiti Nepal is the best example I have found providing “aftercare”.  http://www.maitinepal.org (I searched and searched hoping to find something similar in Ghana..to no avail)  Education programs of awareness are a must…everywhere!  And as long as human trafficking, child labor, sex trade exists, the need for rehabilitation and reintegration programs are as paramount.