On February 21, 2012 I attended an event for Beauty From Ashes (BFA) at Cypress Lake United Methodist Church in Fort Myers. This was the first time I met Julie Shematz, founder of Beauty From Ashes, and heard her share her testimony as well as present on the works of BFA. It was great to see so many people in our community concerned and passionate to help BFA’s cause.
In 2010 the department of Justice said the average age for a girl or boy to be sex trafficked is 13 years old. I have cousins who are 13 years old and I could never imagine their innocence violently given to a world of such darkness. BFA believes in intervention, prevention and restoration. These women and men should not be treated as criminals but as victims. These women and men need more than just to be saved from sex trafficking. They need a safe home, counseling and a very strong support system. Beauty From Ashes gives them the help they need and they need your help to do this. BFA is the only survivor-led sex trafficking organization in Southwest Florida. With your help Beauty From Ashes can assist more victims to become overcomers.
Beauty From Ashes is a Christian based nonprofit organization. Mrs. Shematz shared this verse from the Bible, which demonstrates a lot of the meaning behind the beliefs and feelings BFA stands for.
“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82: 3-4
Gabriela Diaz is senior at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in Communication with a minor in Spanish. A native Florida resident, she is originally from Miami, and a volunteer for Beauty From Ashes Ministries.