Beauty From Ashes Videos


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Advisor, Office, Therapy Horse, Bible Study, OutREACH Reports & More!

We are so excited to see what the Lord has in store for 2013, both for the organization and for everyone of our clients!  We continue to be grateful and thankful for the opportunity to serve over 40 women on a weekly basis, and we love seeing positive, healthy changes in each of their lives!

WELCOME DR. NAIRRUTI JANI TO BEAUTY FROM ASHES MINISTRIES:  We are pleased to announce that Dr. Nairruti Jani, Professor of Social Work at Florida Gulf Coast University has joined our Advisory Board!  Originally from India, Dr. Jani is recognized as an expert in human trafficking and has been the supervisor of one of our social work interns.  She has a passion to educate, prevent, and understands the complex dynamics involved with providing  victim/survivor centered programs.  We look forward to this new partnership for 2013.  Welcome Dr. Jani!

NEW OFFICE LOCATION:  In order to better serve the marginalized population to which we are called, we are very excited about the expansion of our offices on the campus of New Mission Systems International.  Beginning February 1st, our new office location will be 2701 Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33901.  We need assistance moving; if you can help, please call (239) 939-9218. 

NEW HORSE ADDED TO EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING & HORSEMANSHIP MENTORING PROGRAMS: Morning Star Spirit, an eight-month-old, white Appaloosa colt, is the newest member of the horse therapy team used for BFA's Equine Programs.  Joining Candy Man, Handsome and Murphy, "Spirit" has already begun training with his owner, Julie Shematz, who is also the founder and Executive Director of BFA!  He traveled over 500 miles with Julie to arrive in North Ft. Myers, and has been adjusting well to his new home.  To follow Spirit's journey, "like" his fan page on facebook.

WELCOME MARIE SHELLI TO THE EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING & HORSEMANSHIP MENTORING PROGRAMS:  We are extremely grateful the Lord is allowing the programs to continue even as our founder, Mrs. Shematz, will be participating in a four-month, mental health counseling, internship at the Eye of a Horse Equine Education Center in St. Cloud, FL.  Marie Shelli comes to us with 18+ years of horsemanship, certification from EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning) in Equine Therapy, and over four years experience as an Equine Specialist at a girls' residential program in Wyoming.  Find out more about our equine prevention and restoration programs and view pictures by CLICKING HERE.  To register individuals or a group, call (239) 939-9218 or email

SCOPE OF SERVICES:  Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries, Florida's 1st and only human trafficking, overcomer-led community service agency,  provides over 30 services and programs, free of charge.  Our services include mental health counseling, social services, spiritual counseling, career, crisis, and addiction counseling, case management, mentoring, medical services, relocation, short-term and long-term residential program placement, consulting and referral for governmental and non-governmental agencies, a support system to loved ones of s*x workers, OutREACH & AfterCARE trainings, outREACHes, and more.  For full list of programs & services, CLICK HERE.

TUTORING & RUN 4 WELLNESS:  Monday afternoons have become a favorite for many of the women we serve, as they, along with their children, either walk or run a bridge in Ft. Myers.  Led by Christa Hicks, our Program Director and also a fitness expert, Run 4 Wellness is a weekly event where women have the chance to be physically active while also continuing to build healthy friendships with each other.  On Thursday nights, BFA continues to offer educational tutoring for any of the women's children who need assistance with school work, meeting weekly before and during the "Breaking Free" Life Skills & Support Group.

NEW BIBLE STUDY:  Led by an overcomer who recently completed the one year, residential program, Faith Farm, we will begin a 10 week Bible study at our new office on Monday, February 4th 10am to 12:30pm.  Using the Beth Moore Breaking Free curriculum, this Bible study is open to survivors of sexual exploitation, abuse and/or trafficking,  Registration required.  Call (239) 939-9218 to register.  

STRIP CLUB OUTREACH REPORT:  On Saturday, January 12th, our strip club outREACH team served up a home cooked meal and distributed gift bags that included beauty supplies, information on human trafficking and the services BFA provides to a Fort Myer's area strip club.  Every month we go into this strip club with the objective of establishing relationships with the employees in hopes that when they are ready for a lifestyle change, they will contact us. Since 2003, we've served numerous clients, met in this club, in the transition out of the sex for sale industry.

INNER CITY OUTREACH REPORT:  Grace Church in downtown Fort Myers has a wonderful heart to serve the community, evidenced by the free dinner given to 150-200 people every Wednesday night after the worship service.  The church is located in the heart of an area that is known locally as one of the most concentrated for prostitution and drugs.  One of our outREACH teams attends the service every week, allowing us the opportunity to support women we currently serve, in addition to reaching out to anyone who wants more information on the programs and services offered by BFA.  It is often a wonderful night of connecting with each other and connecting with the Lord, and we love the opportunity to continue developing relationships with women from the community.

VOLUNTEERS OF THE MONTH:  This month we want to publicly thank the staff of Cre8 Salon & Spa in Cape Coral, FL for treating 15 of our beauties & their children to a night of princess makeovers and delicious food!  For more about this exceptional salon,  the official Fox 4 News Team salon, by visiting their website.  

LIFE SKILLS & SUPPORT GROUP:  Beginning Thursday, February 7th from 7-8:30pm our Life Skills & Support group will be meeting in new office location. This closed group is 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.  The group is led by a Master's-level mental health clinician and overcomer.  Free child care is provided.  For more information and to register, call (239) 939-9218 or email

URGENT NEEDS: We are in need of individuals to transport clients and a van in which to transport them.  CLICK HERE for our current needs if you're looking for a way you can partner with Florida's 1st and only human trafficking, overcomer-led, community, service agency.

EVENT COORDINATOR NEEDED:  We are in search of an Event Coordinator whose  responsibilities will include handling all communication regarding events:  appearance contracts, riders, needs, travel, hotel accommodations, as well as updating calendars, social media communication. and public relations.  This is a volunteer position with the possibility of being paid in the future.  Approximately 3-5 hours a week is required.  Residing locally is not necessary.  Please email resume and letter of interest to  No phone calls please.

EVENTS:  In 2012, we participated in over 80 events, reaching nearly 4000 people.  Our multi-media presentations range from 30-90 minutes and have been presented to ages 8 through 80+.  Venues include social service agencies, churches, universities, health departments and nursing associations, Girl Scouts and country clubs.  To see our upcoming events, CLICK HERE.  To schedule an overcomer to speak at your event or to invite BFA, CLICK HERE. 

FUND RAISING:  It is through the public's support that we are able to continue our work within Florida and beyond.  We can't begin to thank our financial partners enough, and are extremely grateful for every dollar given to BFA.  If you would like to partner with us, there are many ways to raise support for BFA!  Some examples of previous fundraising efforts include organizing car washes and bake sales, donating a percentage of your business sales or offering a matching gift/grant. Your fundraising 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 with your ideas and 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.  Thank you!

MONTHLY PRAYER ALERT:  For details of how to pray for us during the month of January , CLICK HERE.

PRAYER REQUESTS:  We are honored to pray for you and your families! Please send your prayer requests to

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.

TWITTER & FACEBOOK:  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.

RECEIVE MONTHLY eNEWS:  Sign up to receive our monthly eNewsletter by CLICKING HERE

Thank you for partnering with us in making 2012 the best year ever for BFA.  If it weren't for you, we could not do what we do.  

Thank you in advance for your partnership with us in 2013.  The BEST is yet to come!  

With sincere appreciation,

Julie Shematz
Founder & Executive Director
Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries  
Where Victims Become Over-Comers

"Survivors must be leaders in the development of services, shelter, and response protocols to s*x trafficking.” 
- National Report on Domestic Minor S*x Trafficking


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