Beauty From Ashes Videos


Monday, November 19, 2012

November eNews ~ Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from 

Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries! 

We have so much to be thankful for this season.  Currently, we are serving an average of 40 women a week, of which 17 are active in our weekly programs.  Two overcomers are enrolled in college and doing exceptionally well, while three women have registered for pre-college classes with the goal of starting college next year.  Two have courageously addressed addiction problems and have remained sober, and 9 have remained free from sex work since since beginning with us.  More importantly,  3 of the women recently received Christ as their Lord and Savior and are daily learning how to trust Him as they rebuild their lives!  

CHRISTMAS PARTY:  On Thursday, December 13th, we are throwing our first annual Country Christmas Party for our clients, their children, and families at our Equine Facility.  This party is in celebration of not only the Reason for the Season, but our client's progress and hard work in becoming overcomers.  In addition to dinner, there will be a campfire and we'll be playing horse shoes, corn hole, lasso the bull, singing Christmas carols, and our "horse-therapists" will available to provide services and "pony rides".  We are in need of sponsors for this very special event.  If you would like to help sponsor the event, a family, or an individual, please consider giving: $500, $100 or $50 to help.  We have 4 teenagers for each of which we are seeking a $60 sponsorship for Christmas gifts and are expecting over 60 attendees at this celebration.  Female volunteers, you are welcome to attend!  (Sorry guys, this one is for the ladies only, at the request of our precious clients).  Please call (239) 939-9218 or email for more information. 

EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING & HORSEMANSHIP MENTORING PROGRAMS EXPAND:  In addition to over  20 participants we've had experience our programs since launching, we will be providing an equine escape to the entire men's & women's staff of the Southwest Florida Teen Challenge on December 14th.  Plans are in the making to provide services to the residents of Teen Challenge and other local residential rehabilitation programs too!  Equine Assisted Learning and Horsemanship Mentoring helps to develop trust, self-confidence, communication, self-concept, perspective, self-acceptance, impulse control, social skills, boundaries, spiritual connection, and a team mentality.  Find out more about our unique prevention and restoration programs and view pictures by CLICKING HERE.   

Meet "Horse-Therapist", Handsome Boy by Karen Zeigler of Inspiration to Change. 

NEW PROGRAMS LAUNCHED - TUTORING & RUN 4 WELLNESS:  In the past month, we've implemented two new programs and they have taken off!  Recognizing the need for many of our client's children and teens, of assistance with school, our interns responded by providing a tutoring program that is meeting weekly before and during the "Breaking Free" Life Skills & Support Group.  Additionally, with a focus on holistic health, led by our very own fitness expert, overcomer, and Program Manager, Christa Hicks, women and their children are meeting weekly to run (some walk) a Fort Myers bridge for fun, fellowship, and fitness.

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH:  Recognizing the countless hours she's provided over the past year as a mentor, driver, strip club outREACH member, encourager, curriculum writer, and all the other things she's done in between and over and above, we want to honor Sharon Aldridge this month.  We thank Sharon and her husband Frank, for ALL they do in support of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries!  THANK YOU SHARON, we love and appreciate you!

URGENT NEEDS:  We have immediate needs for persons willing to volunteer as Math Tutors, Drivers, Childcare Workers, an OutREACH Food Coordinator and Event Coordinator.  Additionally, we need a love seat, end table, and chair for our office counseling area, and a water heater for the Equine Facility.  (A new shower has been provided [yay!]. Now we need a heater, plumbing pipes, and fixtures).  For more information on urgent needs, CLICK HERE.  For a detailed list of our all our current needs CLICK HERE.  See below DONATIONS for tax deductible giving. 

STRIP CLUB OUTREACH REPORT:  Thanksgiving arrived at our “adopted” strip club on Saturday, November 10th.  With trays full of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, salad, rolls and pies, our outREACH team was able to spend hours serving the employees of the club and spending time talking to the women.  Since 2008, Beauty From Ashes™ (BFA) has been sending outREACH teams to the strip club on the second Saturday of every month, taking a home-cooked meal and gift bags of beauty supplies, toiletries, and information about human trafficking and the services Beauty From Ashes™ provides to both the employees and management of the club.  

INNER CITY OUTREACH REPORT:  Every Wednesday night, Grace Church in downtown Fort Myers offers a worship service followed by a free dinner, serving anywhere from 150-200 people a week.  We send an outREACH team in order to show support for our current clients and provide information to any woman seeking assistance.  We have been so excited to see the number of our clients who attend the service grow, connecting with each other and offering support to one another.     

LIFE SKILLS & SUPPORT GROUP:  Led by a Master’s level mental health clinician who is an overcomer, we offer a support group every Tuesday night from 7-8:30pm in Central Fort Myers for women who have been s*xually abused, trafficked or exploited, including women who currently work in or desire to exit from the s*x-for-sale industry.  Free child care is provided.  For more information and to register, call (239) 939-9218 or email  

NATIONAL SEX INDUSTRY OUTREACH & AFTERCARE TRAINING:  We have a few seats left for our January 9-12, 2013 training at Barry University in Fort Myers, Florida.  January is the National Human Traffiking Awareness month and 1/11 is the National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness.   Since 2005, we've been presenting these unique trainings and in 2010 we received a grant from the Department of Health & Human Services to develop the training into a professional, multiple module, integrated curriculum that also addresses sex trafficking.   For more information and to register for the nation's most comprehensive training of this nature, CLICK HERE

EVENTS:  In the past month, overcomers have spoken at universities, human trafficking conferences and churches on behalf of BFA.  Since the beginning of 2012, we have appeared at over 80 events, reaching over 4,000 people.  We believe it is through human trafficking awareness that prevention, intervention and restoration happen!  Our multi-media presentations range from 30-90 minutes in length and have been presented to ages 8 through 80+.  Venues include social service agencies, churches, universities, colleges, health departments, and nursing associations, to Girl Scouts and country clubs.  To see more of our upcoming events, including the November 29th Sanibel Community Church's evening with 3 international humanitarian heroesCLICK HERE.  To schedule an overcomer to speak at your event or invite BFA CLICK HERE

SCOPE OF SERVICES:  We, in partnership with multiple local agencies, are able to provide over 30 services, all free of charge.  Some of the services Beauty From Ashes™ provides are: Mental Health Counseling, Social Services, Spiritual Counseling, Career, Crisis, and Addiction Counseling, Case Management, Mentoring, Medical Services, Relocation, Short-term, Long-term Residential Program Placement, Consulting and Referral for governmental and non-governmental agencies, support system to loved ones of s*x workers, Trainings, outREACHes, and more.  For a full list of programs and services, CLICK HERE.    

FUND RAISING:  There are many ways you can support the work Beauty From Ashes™ does, and whether it seems big or small, every bit of your support does make a difference!  From organizing a bake sale or a car wash, donating a percentage of your business sales, to offering a matching grant, your fund-raising ideas and efforts can greatly help fight human trafficking in America and continue to allow us to reach, rescue and restore victims of s*x trafficking and s*xual exploitation.  Please contact us today with your ideas.  Thank you!        

DONATIONS:  Your private donations make our work possible and we rely on them for program and operational costs.  Please consider giving a tax-deductible gift today.  For $35 or more, we'll send you our Child of God CD as our way to say thank you for partnering with us.  For secure online giving CLICK HERE or send your financial gift to 13300 S. Cleveland Avenue, Suite 56, Fort Myers, FL 33907. 

MONTHLY ePRAYER ALERT:  For details of how to pray for us in the month of November, CLICK HERE


WEEKLY GLOBAL PRAYER: To meet with intercessors locally, call (239) 939-9218 for location.  To join us in spirit from wherever you are and for a prayer guide, CLICK HERE.

Stay up to date with the day to day operations of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries and latest news on domestic s*x trafficking by following us on twitter & like us on our facebook fanpage.

I cannot thank you enough for your continued support and encouragement.  As we all celebrate Thanksgiving this week, we are thanking God for you and your support of the mission of the Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries: To prevent, reach, rescue, and restore victims of commercialized s*xual exploitation, abuse, and trafficking.  On behalf of myself, the board, staff and volunteers, Happy Thanksgiving, from our family to yours!

In Christ's love and service,

Julie Shematz
Where Victims Become Over-Comers