Beauty From Ashes Videos


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February eNews: New Location, OutREACHes Expanded, DCF Presentation, Name Our Garden & More!

NEW LOCATION:  We absolutely love our new 750 square foot, centrally located, office/resource center on the campus of New Missions Systems International, directly across from Lee Memorial Hospital, inside the heart of an area that is the most concentrated in the county for sex for sale businesses and prostitution.  We are so thankful for everyone involved with helping us move, and we have received incredible and positive feedback from our clients!  They LOVE that all our groups are now held there and we have a children's & media area, in addition to a private counseling room aside from the main activities room.  For a tour of the Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries Resource/Therapy Center, call (239) 939-9218 or email

OUTREACHES EXPANDED:  Because of the location of our new office, we have been given the opportunity to expand our outREACHes to sexually abused, exploited, and trafficked women in Fort Myers, FL.  The team, made up of overcomers, are hitting the streets giving women walking the streets in the area information about BFA and inviting them back to our office for free coffee and donuts every Wednesday morning 8-9am.  As with all our outREACHes, we wish to build trusting relationships with these marginalized women and offer them and their families tangible support and encouragement.  If you'd like to sponsor a weekly outREACH by providing donuts and/or coffee, please contact us.  To cover the costs of one outREACH, approximately $15-20, give securely online HERE.

PRESENTATION TO DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN & FAMILIES:  On Monday, February 11th, in response to a request to educate, Program Manager, Christa Hicks, MA spoke to 58 Department of Children and Families (DCF) case workers and staff about domestic sex trafficking and the 30+ programs and services that Beauty From Ashes Ministries (BFA) provides.  Our multi-media presentations range from 30-90 minutes in length and have been presented to ages 8 through 80+.  Venues range from social service agencies, churches, universities, colleges, health departments, and nursing associations, to Girl Scouts and country clubs.  To see more of our upcoming events, CLICK HERE. To schedule an overcomer to speak at your event or invite BFA CLICK HERE.

THE GARDEN:  We are thrilled that our clients will be planting and maintaining a therapy garden at our new office location this week!  The garden will provide therapeutic benefits, in addition to organic food for our clients and their families.  Our clients are visiting ECHO for a tour from one of our Equine Specialists, Marie Snelli (full time intern at Echo) this week.  We look forward to the wellness and transformational benefits this garden will provide.  We are also seeking a name for it, tweet your ideas to@beautyfrmashes #garden or post on our facebook fan page.  If we choose your idea, we'll send you a copy of our BFA Child of God CD!

OVERCOMER-LED BIBLE STUDY:  We are very grateful for the progress many of the women we serve have made in their lives.  With a desire to empower overcomers, we are pleased that another overcomer has stepped up to lead a 10 week Breaking Free Bible study at our office last week.  To register, call (239) 939-9218. 

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH: We want to honor the incredible volunteer work Audra Hill has done for us by naming her volunteer of the month!  Audra has worked tirelessly, assisting in the move and setting up of our new office.  She volunteers 10-15 hours a week and organized our blessing area (donations for clients), in addition to leading our weekly bible study.  She is a beauty that is MORE than an overcomer!  Thank you Audra, we love, appreciate, and are proud of you!

STRIP CLUB OUTREACH REPORT:  On Saturday, February 9th, we celebrated Valentine's Day early in our "adopted strip club" in Fort Myers, FL.  A Master's-level counselor, a mental health counseling graduate student, a registered nurse, and a mentor served a home-cooked meal inside the locker room.  It's worth noting that the main course of the meal was prepared by a former dancer of this particular club who wants the other ladies to know there is a way out!   In addition to the meal, the team also gave each woman a gift bag which included beauty supplies, toiletries and information about the services Beauty From Ashes™ provides.  The team ministered one on one with numerous employees with fellowship, prayer, and counseling.  We have done monthly outREACHes to this particular club since 2008, assisting both men and women we've met by helping them build new lives and lifestyles.  For photos (and a glimpse inside our new resource/therapy center!), CLICK HERE.

INNER-CITY OUTREACH REPORT:  Every Wednesday night at Grace Church in downtown Ft. Myers (only a few blocks from our new office!), BFA sends an outREACH team to attend their worship service and free dinner, served to 150-200 people weekly. Each week our "Grace" outREACH team makes connections with women in the area and see many of the clients we serve.  We truly believe that by meeting potential clients where they are, we strategically place ourselves in a position to offer them tangible support, in addition the life saving news of the Gospel. 

LIFE SKILLS & SUPPORT GROUP:  Thursday nights from 7-8:30pm, at our new office, we provide a support/life skills group for women who have been s*xually abused, trafficked and/or exploited, including women who currently work in or desire to exit from the s*x-for-sale industry.  This 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

TUTORING 4 TOMORROW:  On Thursday nights, BFA continues to offer educational tutoring for any of the clients' children who need assistance with school work.  Tutoring meets on Thursdays from 5-6:30pm weekly before and during the "Breaking Free" Life Skills & Support Group.

RUN 4 WELLNESS:  Our weekly Monday afternoon walk/run program continues to be a combination of fitness and fun, and it's a night many of the women we serve and their children look forward to!  Led by Christa Hicks, MA, also a fitness expert, Run 4 Wellness gives women the chance to be physically active while also enjoying building healthy friendships with each other.  

EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING & HORSEMANSHIP MENTORING:  Our newest horse, a 9 month old Appaloosa colt, Morning Star Spirit, was diagnosed with Wobbler Syndrome this past month.  Your prayers for his full recovery are appreciated.  He's doing good and working hard everyday to become strong.  We are hopeful that he too will be MORE than an overcomer!  To follow his progress, "like" his facebook fan page.  Our founder, Julie Shematz, is getting certified as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning this weekend by the Professional Association of Therapuetic Horsemanship International.  This is in addition to the 4 month Florida Gulf Coast University mental health counseling internship at the Eye of a Horse Equine Education Center with Dr. Sandra Wise, one of the leading psychologists in the world doing equine psychotherapy and equine therapy.  To schedule an individual or group session, call (239) 939-9218 or email  For more about our Equine Programs, CLICK HERE.

CURRENT NEEDS:  We serve over 40 clients on a regular basis and many others who are contemplating life change, and we need your help to continue being able to do so.  We are in need of an Administrative Assistant(s) with experience that can work 10 up to 20 hours a week.  We are seeking 2 new or gently used computers for our Media Center.  Additionally, we have need of 3-4 black bean bags for the therapy/resource center.   CLICK HERE for an entire list of our 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 strong 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.

SCOPE OF SERVICES:  BFA provides over 30 Programs and Services to the community free of charge.  Our services are not based on law enforcement "victim certification" and we respect our clients' autonomy and confidentially, allowing them to decide if they want to go through the often complex and political process of  "victim certification".  We provide professional, "victim-centered" services to domestic and international clients, and their families.  For a complete list of our Programs and Services, CLICK HERE.

FUNDRAISING & DONATIONS:  BFA is able to operate because of private donations.  Our mission is to prevent, reach, rescue, and restore victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.  Established as a non profit in 2005, we are Florida's 1st and only human trafficking, overcomer-led community service agency.  We need your help in providing for our operational costs, which are currently $6000 a month.  Whether it's a one time gift or becoming a Vision Partner, having a bake sale, jewelry sale, car wash, challenging others with a matching gift, or collecting $5 from everyone in your bible study or sphere of influence, all giving is used to promote our mission and is tax deductible. 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 56-623, Fort Myers, FL 33907.  

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

RECEIVE OUR eNEWS:  Sign up to receive our monthly eNewsletter by CLICKING 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.

As the impact of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries continues to expand, I am amazed at the day to day operations and success stories I hear that our clients are achieving.  These milestones in their lives could not be done without you, our faithful supporters.  On behalf of the staff, volunteers, interns, clients, and board, we thank you for partnering with us to reach, rescue, and restore victims of s*xual exploitation, abuse, trafficking. 

With sincere appreciation,

Julie Shematz
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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(239) 939-9218 | TOLL FREE HELP LINE:  877 4BFA SOS (877) 423-2767

PHYSICAL ADDRESS;  2701 Cleveland Ave. Ste 120
Fort Myers | FL | 33901 
MAILING ADRESS:  13300 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 56-623
Fort Myers | 33907