Beauty From Ashes Videos


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Child Trafficking Survivor Needs Our Help

Beauty From Ashes  has been contacted and asked to assist in an urgent need of a survivor of child sex trafficking living in the Fort Myers area.  She needs $1500 to acquire a car for transportation.  Below is information about the case:
Victim is 24 years old
She has an 8 month old baby
Client was pregnant when we first discovered her
Client has a missing child that was taken by one of the traffickers. Client has experienced much trauma.  Not only was she trafficked but was repeatedly raped, physically abused, and psychologically abused by the traffickers for months.  She has been Baker Acted twice.  Through all, she has stayed strong, positive, listening, and accomplishing her goals.  She is currently attending English classes and takes three buses to get there.  She is actively looking for a job, although the language barrier has made it difficult.  Client is working with Catholic Charities to find work, integrate to the new environment, English courses, etc . 
Client has been coming to therapy/counseling since January 11, 2010.  She never misses an appointment, does all her homework, and is eager to get better with each session.  Client is living on her own with the financial help of Catholic Charities.   We do not have funding to purchase a car for her.  We already made an attempt but it was denied.  She has the opportunity to purchase a small vehicle for 1,500 dollars.  Is there any way that Beauty From Ashes can have a fund raising event for her?  

The above was sent to us from a colleague of mine who has an MS in Clinical Psychology.  Would you please give to help this young, resilient, and brave mother?  This need is yet another example of how agencies and organizations partnering together is essential for the comprehensive needs of survivors to be met.  Not one agency can do it alone.  Teamwork is vital for their sake of recovery.  This survivor is demonstrating a commitment to receiving long term care and needs our help.  I assure you that 100% of your giving will be used to acquire her this vehicle. 

Please consider giving today so that we provide her with a car.  All giving is tax deductible.  For  $35 or more we will send you our  Child of God CD.  For secure online donations, CLICK HERE or mail your check, cash or money order to Beauty From Ashes, 5100 S. Cleveland Ave., Ste, 318-148, Fort Myers, FL 33907. Please notate in memo:  Survivor's Car.  Any funds received exceeding the amount needed for the car will be used in the Rahab's Hope Fund to provide for the needs of other survivors.  



Thank you for your generous giving.  Together we are making a difference in the lives of sex trafficking survivors.  

In His faithful service & unconditional love,

Julie Shematz
CEO & Founder 
Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries  

Monday, October 18, 2010

Medical Needs Provided, Strip Club Outreach Report, Bibles, Artreach, Volunteers Needed & More!

MEDICAL TESTS, IMMUNIZATIONS & PRESCRIPTIONS PROVIDED:  Beauty From Ashes (BFA) is pleased to announce that, in cooperation with the Lee County Health Department, medical testing, immunizations & prescriptions for survivors of commercialized sexual exploitation & sex trafficking will be provided free of charge to our clients.  

Community partnerships and cooperation of individuals within these organizations are VITAL in order to provide the comprehensive recovery services to survivors of commercialized sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.  Additionally, we applaud the cooperative efforts of Homeland Security (ICE - Immigration & Customs Enforcement), Laster Consulting, the Defender Foundation, US Airways, Abuse Counseling Treatment Center, Southeastern Network, His Place by the Sea, the Salvation Army, Discovery Counseling Center, Lee Mental Health, and Barry University who have been and are working together with us to see that the needs of survivors are meant.  

BFA's vision is that domestic victims will be given the opportunity to receive the comprehensive services they need in order to recover from the trauma and injustices done to them. Because of the above mentioned organizations and your partnership with us, we are accomplishing this goal.  THANK YOU! 

STRIP CLUB OUTREACH:  Saturday, October 16th, the BFA outREACH team delivered a home cooked meal of eggplant parmigiana, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cucumbers, black and green olives mixed with romaine, rolls and various brownies to the employees of our local adopted strip club.  They shared testimonies of triumph over the sex industry, drug addictions, jail time, and unhealthy relationships.  As praise music played in the locker room, the team listened to heart breaking stories, shared tears, gave lotsa hugs, prayed with the majority of the employees, served communion, and was told over and over how special them coming in there makes the girls feel. Gift bags that included the Reach Up magazine and beauty supplies was also distributed.  All in all, the night felt as if the Lord released a spirit of repentance over many of the employees.  Ultimately, the team ministered love, grace, hope and truth.  Please keep the employees in your prayers.  May they read God's Word and fall in love with their Creator, the One who will set them free to be all that they were created to be  May their identities in Christ replace misconceptions regarding who they are.  For pictures, CLICK HERE

ARTREACH:  October, North Fort Myers, FL - Beauty From Ashes is participating in ARTREACH, a program of the Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships (HTAP).  ARTREACH educates teen girls about Human Trafficking through group art sessions and encourages them to channel their feelings about human trafficking into a creative work of art.  Julie Shematz shared her testimony of bad and good decisions, how she was trafficked, freed, and her healing journey with teens and their mothers this past Thursday.  Julie will continue to serve in this creative community outreach as an art educator and role model for the rest of the month.  For more information on ARTREACH, please visit website or contact Nola Theiss, Executive Director of HTAP at (239) 395-2635.

FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE is DONATING BIBLES to BFA for the month of OCTOBER:  One of BFA's biggest needs is bibles!  The Family Christian Store located at the Gulf Coast Town Center in Fort Myers, FL has made Beauty From Ashes Ministries their ministry of the month for October in order to help met this need.  When you give $5 at the store for BFA, they will provide to us a beautiful, purple, leather, New Testament outreach bible.  Please stop by Family Christian for all your Christian bookstore needs, give to BFA, and tell them thanks!   [BFA is wanting to distribute 50 of these bibles for our Christmas gift give away in December].

theCALL2XXX:  Join us for weekly global prayer to abolish slavery and for the organizations reaching, rescuing, restoring and advocating for the victims.  Fridays 8-9am EST For more information and prayer guide:  CLICK HERE

PRAYER REQUESTS:  We care for you and have a team that prays over your every need.  Please send them to

DONATIONS:  Your partnership is vital for us to continue providing awareness, advocacy and reach, rescue and restoration services to victims of commercialized sexual exploitation.  Please consider becoming a monthly partner by giving a tax deductible gift today.  For  $35 or more we will send you our  Child of God CD.  For secure online donations, CLICK HERE or mail your check, cash or money order to Beauty From Ashes, 5100 S. Cleveland Ave., Ste, 318-148, Fort Myers, FL 33907.



MENTORS & VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:  BFA is in need of mature, stable minded and committed servants to assist us in providing education to the community, and advocating, reaching, rescuing and restoring victims of commercialized sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.  If you are interested, please contact BFA Volunteer Coordinator, Dotti Craig.   For a list of volunteer positions, CLICK HERE.  

Lastly, most of you know, I am currently a second semester, full time graduate student at Florida Gulf Coast University, in the College of Education, Mental Health Counseling program, in addition to running BFA, case management, being a wife, and serving at our local church.  Please know that if I've not responded to your email or phone call in a timely manner, I do apologize.  Understand that myself and our staff, all of us volunteers, are doing the best we can right now with what we have in time, talent and resources.  I am in need of a personal assistant and administrative assistants to work in the office and online between 3-20 hours a week.  We also have an intern program.  If this is something you feel you are called to, please contact Dotti Craig. (Application, references and background check required).  Finally, I encourage you that if you've not gotten a response from me or staff, to re-contact us, preferably through email.  We get hundreds of emails a day and many times we are finding that even though they are flagged for follow up they quickly move down in our inboxes and simply get overlooked.   I apologize for the inconvenience and assure you that we are working to improve this as we are trusting God to be our ultimate Provider.  Your grace in the mean time will be greatly appreciated.  

Thank you again.  Together we are better and we are making a difference in the lives of survivors! 

In His love & service,

Julie Shematz & the BFA FREEdom™ Team

Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries  

Where Victims Become Over-Comers