Friday, March 23, 2012
We are honored to share that our Founder, Julie Shematz, was nominated by staff for Florida Gulf Coast University's Graduate Student of the Year. Julie is currently in her final year of acquiring a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling. Students chosen as candidates for Student of the Year have demonstrated standards of excellence scholastically, as well as within their community and society as a whole. Daily, Julie exemplifies principles of excellence, whether studying, interning at The Salvation Army, leading staff and volunteers as the Executive Director of Beauty From Ashes, or horseback riding (her favorite self-care technique). She is MORE than an overcomer and already a winner in the eyes of those who know her!
MARCH STRIP CLUB OUTREACH REPORT: On Saturday, March 10th, our team witnessed God's power, love, and grace in a mighty way, during our monthly outreach to a local strip club. Upon arriving in the locker room of the club, team members set up a beautiful spread including homemade lasagna, tossed salad, fresh flowers, and yummy cookies for desert! Team members had not yet set down the food and packages when a young woman ran back to ask for help in building a new life. The young woman had been connecting with the team over the past year and contemplating seeking help for weeks prior to the outreach. She showed up at a local church the next morning and has been receiving weekly counseling and support services since then! The rest of the night was equally successful as team members were blessed to share hugs, tears, and listening ears with the women working. The evening ended with the distribution of gift bags that included beauty supplies, human trafficking information, and the best of all, God's Word. The bags were prepared with lots of love the previous night by a group of volunteers from SouthWest Florida Christian Academy, Florida Gulf Coast University, and the Fit For Eternity class at McGregor Baptist Church. CICK HERE for pictures of the outreach.
SUPPORT & LIFE SKILLS GROUP: A support and life skills group, Breaking Free, is being held in the Fort Myers area on Tuesday's from 7-8:30pm. The adult women's, closed group, is being led by a master's level mental health clinician. If you are currently, or have been, involved in the adult entertainment industry and/or are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are eligible to attend. Registration required. To register and for more information, (239) 939-9218.
STAFF SEARCH: We are currently hiring for an administrative assistant/secretary position. CLICK HERE for more information.
DOCUMENTARY FILMING: March 9th and 10th, a film crew from Life Focus TV in Chicago, visited to interview over-comers, Julie and Christa (Program Manager) and document the model of operations Beauty From Ashes follows to reach, rescue, & restore victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. Beauty From Ashes will be featured in the documentary on sex trafficking set to air on the Public Broadcast System in approximately 3 months. We'll keep you posted of the dates as we find out!
BLOGS: Awareness leads to Prevention, Intervention, & Restoration! Check out our recent press coverage by the Fort Myers' News Press and WINK News, as well as our staff, interns, and volunteers' blogs on Human Sex Trafficking!
"When people think of a human-trafficking victim . . . many don't realize a victim also can be local, such as Fort Myers resident Julie Shematz." News Press. Read more
FGCU students "tell WINK News they're trying to make people stop turning a blind eye to such a terrible issue, and their fight against human trafficking starts with some education." by Wink News. Watch news clip and read more
FLORIDA TAKES A STAND BY PASSING TWO NEW HUMAN TRAFFICKING BILLS! by Michelle Morton & Christa Hicks. Read more
BFA STAFF RETREAT: "He gave me beauty for ashes. When I sat around the evening camp fire . . . God showed me how I represented the ashes being burnt and how through the ashes came this beautiful fire that was burning bright." Michelle Morton. Read more about the 5 days of camping and horseback riding along the banks of Suwanee River.
EAGLES AGAINST MODERN SLAVERY EVENT AT FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY," by Gabriela Diaz. Read more
PAST EVENTS: A group of student abolitionists, from Florida Gulf Coast University did an OUTSTANDING job coordinating and hosting Eagles Against Modern Slavery. Events, including 72 hours of prayer, spanned over 3 days and included a live performance by the local band, "Who Is Jon", free pizza and desserts, a documentary showing, and guest speakers including our founder, Julie Shematz. CLICK HERE for pictures of the event.
Saturday, March 17th, Julie Shematz presented at Pure Passion in Fort Myers, FL. We, at Beauty From Ashes, were abundantly blessed by those in attendance; their willingness to serve and the immediate follow through they displayed was a great example of what it means to GET INVOLVED.
UPCOMING AWARENESS/EDUCATION EVENTS: