#WELOVEFREEDOM WEDNESDAY. Our partnership with Bags of Hope Ministries.

As we finish up a week that started on July 4th, with many of us having a DAY OFF, because of freedom, I wanted to talk about freedom, in a very different, yet similar way.

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We have a beautiful partnership with a ministry out of Massachusetts called Bags Of Hope Ministries. Founded and Run by Sex Trafficking Survivor Jasmine Marino, who is also an Activist, Speaker, Writer & Advocate ; Bringing hope & speaking for those who are currently enslaved in sex trafficking situations.

Learn MORE about Jasmine and her organization HERE:  https://jasminegrace.org/

“Jasmine founded BOHM as a way to reach out in a practical way to women living on the streets or in programs throughout the Boston area. In collaboration with programs serving women affected by trafficking, prostitution, addiction and homelessness, Bags of Hope Ministries is driven by the community. Many different groups of people are donating the items, filling the bags and handing them out! By doing this we let the women know there is a better way, they are treasured, and we are here to help. Our goal is to bring awareness as well as provide basic needs to these women. What many do not know is that homeless women are not just victims of poor decisions but often times are victims of unforeseen circumstances. Many have been traumatized, victimized and suffer from untreated mental illness and substance abuse. There are resource cards in every Bag to let them know, there is another way. And that they can have Hope because, if Jasmine can make it off the streets and find a New Life – So can they. As the saying goes.. “Many hands make light work.” This is true because of the generosity within the community, schools, churches and other groups – As they have donated and filled over 1,300 bags! We are #hopedealers. Let’s keep it going!”

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**In the past few weeks alone, and THANKS to the New Orleans and New England Chapters of WOYH,  I have sent over 75 cards to Jasmine and her ministry. Jasmine inserts our letters and encouraging cards into the BAGS OF HOPE that she distributes with help from her team and community partners, to women on the streets, women in safe-houses after freedom from modern day slavery, women in recovery houses for addiction and any and all women she can reach beyond that.

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bohm cards

We have been working together for over a year and a half now, and it has been a productive, world-changing and evolving partnership.

BOH and WOYH

Far Left ; Jasmine Marino (Founder of BOHM), Melanie (Board member and official blogger for WOYH, Calyssa (Board member WOYH), and Lauren Lisembee (Founder of WOYH).

melandjasminemarino^Melanie and Jasmine, Summer 2015, Soulfest Music Festival^

~ Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. Together, we’re a force that can shake the whole world.

Until Next time,

~Melanie S ♥

Wayback Wednesday! LIFE Church Manchester, NH July 17th, 2015 :)

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lifechurchlaurensbag

Events like these are small, and intimate, but just as powerful. All you need is a space, a few people, card making supplies, kind and willing hearts, kind uplifting, inspiring words, and Written on your Heart, our mission and our part in the human trafficking movement comes to life!

lifechurchdonations

^ Toiletry & Pajama Collection Drive for

Bakhita House  http://bakhitainitiative.com/shelters-2/

Bags of Hope Ministries https://jasminegrace.org/bags-of-hope/

Card-making & letter writing for survivors.lifechurchparticipants

Attendees: 20
Speaker: Lauren Lisembee, Founder.

Awareness without Action, IS WORTHLESS.

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WE are so incredibly thankful to our partners who continue to connect with us and allow us to continue fighting the good fight.

Until next time, thanks for standing beside us!

~Melanie S ♥

What kind of difference does a simple card make?

You gave me meaning and purpose, also reminded me of loving me, just ’cause I’m me…. what a gift.

*As an organization that primarily writes and sends cards to survivors of human trafficking, we are often asked “What kind of difference will writing and sending a card make?, and we sometimes hear things like “I am not creative, I don’t have any good quotes or anything inspirational to write”.

BUT we are here to tell you, ALL IT TAKES IS a few simple words, or quotes, or pictures, nothing out of reach for every single person to be capable of.

 The quote above, from a woman who received our cards is a prime example of WHY we do what we do. And, pictured below is the card WOYH recieved from DAWN’s PLACE, one of our partners in Pennsylvania.

Link to Dawn’s Place website

dawnshouse note 5 dawnshouse note 7 dawnshouse note 6 dawnshouse note 4 dawnshouse note 3 dawnshouse note 2Don’t EVER underestimate YOUR ability to make a difference.

never doubt writingheart1 the-seeds-of-kindness1

Stay tuned for MORE

~Melanie S ♥

Throwback Thursday #tbt Number 1: Antioch University – Keene, NH.

When : Spring 2015.

Event info: http://www.antiochne.edu/event/unspoken-crimes-movie-screening-and-discussion/

Click here for photos from the University on this event.

As a part of Antioch Univervisty New England’s (AUNE) 50th Anniversary, an event was put on to raise awareness of human trafficking.  The successful event included a strong collaboration between the Support Group for Ethnic and Racial Diversity (SERD) and Written On Your Heart (WOYH) at Antioch University New England in Keene, New Hampshire.  Heading up the planning for this event was Jennifer Moniz, a PsyD student (Doctoral in Psyhcology) at AUNE and Lauren Lisembee, a Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling student.

**This was a multi-faceted event:

Part 1: Encouraging Survivors Through Card-Making and Letter-Writing #makeacardchangealife #wemakecardsbecause #woyh

http://www.writtenonyourheart.org

Part 2: Documentary Screening of Sex + Money covering domestic sex trafficking in the United States

http://sexandmoneyfilm.com/

Part 3: Discussion Panel and Community Q&A

  • “Mark S. Zuckerman, Assistant U.S. Attorney
  • Erin J. Kelly, M.A., L.C.M.H.C. Program Director for Child and Family Services
  • Linda Douglas New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Erin Albright, Esq. Anti-Trafficking Regional Program Coordinator for the International Institute of New England
  • Dr. Rachel Croteau, family practitioner in Keene with concentration in sexual abuse counseling
  • Melanie Sachs, AVAP Member and Domestic Violence Advocate, Written On Your Heart Board Member.

mellaurenrachel antioch woyh

^ Left to Right: Melanie Sachs, Rachel Croteau and Lauren Lisembee

Moderating the panel: Lauren and Devin Lisembee from Written on Your Heart.

Join the discussion: What can be done to solve America’s human trafficking epidemic?”

Highlights: We had over 50 people in attendance over the course of the 4 hour event from 5-9PM and had a lively discussion with the panel members who all work directly with clients who have been trafficked in New England or those who are at a high risk for being trafficked.  We also made a ton of cards to send to WOYH’s safe house partners across the country and one of our community board members, Kelly Kingsbury, brought suit cases to donate to WOYH for smoother travel to future events!  SERD and WOYH provided the supplies for the card-making portion.  There was also a fabulous drawing for a gift basket at the end of the night!

Thanks for tuning in! Until next time,

~Melanie S ♥

mel antioch

 

NOLA Church Writes 44 Cards of Inspiration

#wemakecardsbecause

NOLA Church partnered with Free-NOLA and on March 5th hosted an awareness event for individuals who want to personally get involved in local rescue efforts. A human trafficking film, Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, was screened followed by the honored guest and speaker Diane Amos. Written on Your Heart hosted a card making table at the event and collected 44 cards from the guests. These cards will be sent to Eden House in New Orleans and two other safe houses in Ohio and Colorado. Continue reading

When What’s Written on Your Heart, Becomes your Voice (OneVOICE).

A perspective from WOYH founder, Lauren Lisembee

nbb newspaper cleanNBB NEWSPAPER

On April 9th, 2014, During Sexual Assault Awareness Month, OneVOICE Enterprises/OneVoice4Freedom, Nicole Braddock Bromley, Melanie Sachs, Rachel and Greg Croteau, Praxis Church (Monadnock Vineyard Church), Keene State College (+affiliates), and Written On Your Heart Ministries, collaborated together to offer college students the opportunity to listen and speak about sexual abuse and trafficking.

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Nicole Braddock Bromley,

FOUNDER and Director of OneVOICE Enterprises

http://iamonevoice.org/aboutus

and OneVoice4Freedom

http://onevoice4freedom.org/the-story

Author of ….

“HUSH”: Moving from Silence to Healing After Childhood Sexual Abuse.

“BREATHE”: Finding Freedom to Thrive in Relationships after Childhood Sexual Abuse

and “SOAR”: A companion workbook for HUSH, for personal and group study.

To buy books, click here: http://onevoice.bigcartel.com/

Nicole flew to NH from her home state of Ohio, to eloquently speak to students at Keene State College about childhood sexual abuse and also, how it is linked to human trafficking around the world. And, to being a message of hope and healing to those who’ve survived, and may be accepting/sharing their stories for the first time. She bravely shared her personal story of survivorship and triumph over childhood sexual abuse. She then,  through a gut-wrenching documentary of her time with an undercover film crew, she captured the devastation of Child Sex Trafficking internationally, displaying her previous and current work with victims, as well as survivors of human trafficking in Southeast Asia!

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IF NO-ONE SHEDS LIGHT OF WHAT’S BEING DONE IN THE DARKNESS, IT WILL NEVER STOP. ~Nicole

I BELIEVE THAT THE FIRST STEP TO HEALING IS SHARING YOUR SECRET, MAY THE SILENCE BE BROKEN. ~Nicole

Students were encouraged to write cards and letters of encouragement to survivors of human trafficking after the speaking engagement through the local New England Chapter of Written On Your Heart.  Then a follow-up event, put on by Praxis Church and Written On Your Heart, for students and the community to take further action on campus was announced on this night.

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The Keene State College Counseling Center was also present and available to offer additional support to students if needed.


This night was particuarly powerful, inspiring, meaningful and life changing for me, your blogger, Melanie.

WHY?  I waited 7 years to make it happen. (Thank you to Nicole, her Sister-In-Law Rachel, and her husband Greg for making this dream happen for me)

Keene Equinox Newspaper Article that featured us  http://kscequinox.com/2014/04/healing-starts-with-speaking/

You see, Nicole Braddock Bromley was so much more to me than just a random speaker we flew in to raise awareness about something crucial to be concerned about in our communities and around the world. Nicole and I had become email “penpals”, or I guess you would call it “typepals”, 7 years prior. I was 12/13 years old. Through the years, she’s inspired me, challenged me, changed me and has believed and encouraged me numerous times on my own survivor healing journey throughout the years. So, as you can imagine, getting to plan this event, see it come to life and to introduce Nicole on Stage, it was an absolute honor, an absolute dream come true.

HERE ARE SOME PICTURES THAT I’D LIKE TO SHARE TO ENCOMPASS THE MEANING OF THE EVENT TO ME and some Wisdom I’ve learned/encouragement I’ve received from Nicole Over the Years….

“I am so proud of you — so blessed to know you and be a part of something so much bigger than the past and the pain — you are amazing and I admire your work and your hope and your journey. Share this with the world!”.

“Love that chooses to walk with us,no matter what the cost – We have to Allow it, Believe in it , and Hold onto it”

“Many people suffer & become victims; its heart-breaking. But what I find heart-inspiring are the ones willing to suffer for a cause & become victors.”

“Pain draws us into hiding, purpose calls us out.”

“You have so much to live for and so much ahead of you that the past pales in comparison.”

NBB AND MEL NBB NICOLE AND RACHEL FB POSTNBB KEENE NBB MELS FB POST NBB ME AND RACHELNBB FB POST MEL AND KEENE

To this day, and I’m sure I can speak for myself and Written On Your Heart As A Whole, Nicole and her mission, inspires the work WOYH does every single day/ time we host an event to raise awareness and to empower survivors of human trafficking, those who love them and the community who cares about them.

Check out Nicole’s Latest FB POST on one of her pages. This was posted on  Human Trafficking Awareness day (January 11th, 2016)

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“Like” US and Check Us All Out on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/writtenonyourheart/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/NicoleBraddockBromley/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/OneVOICE4freedom/?fref=ts

Until next time,

What’s Written on My Heart, HAS become my VOICE.

~Melanie S ♥

1 YEAR and 24 days ago. A collaboration with Southern NH University.

As a newly incorporated organization in the State of NH, at this time last year we felt it was important to do something tangible during the month of designated awareness on the issue of Human Trafficking in the U.S, which is obviously near and dear to our hearts. (Since this event over a year ago, we have gained official NON PROFIT status, and are a recognized 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization in the states of Texas AND now New Hampshire, thanks to the determination and support of our board and community members).

For those of you that may be reading this who don’t know,

JANUARY IS NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED AS HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS MONTH.

We were overwhelmed with the support of the student leaders that brought us to the SNHU campus. We spent months planning this event and the outcome was really great to see…. here’s a snapshot in words of what it looked like, and some pictures below of planning behind the scenes and the actual event.

January 29th, 2015

Southern New Hampshire University, Walker Auditorium.

  • -45-50 attendees
  • -Sex + Money Documentary viewed.
  • -Cards to survivors made.
  • *Panel Discussion with Q&A Featuring:
  • ^ Lauren Lisembee  (Founder, Survivor, Future Dance Movement Therapist),
  • ^ Melanie  (Survivor, DV/SA Advocate)
  • ^Calyssa (Human Trafficking, Survivor perspective)
  • ^Kitty (Survivor, RN).
  • -SNHU student reps: Lauren MacDonald & Elizabeth Tibbitts
    -M/C: Devin Lisembee
    -SNHU Counselor present at event.

woyh mel work for snhuscreening flyer

Event Preparation at a Local Coffee Shop ^

(Melanie.S Pictured)

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Lauren and Melanie Earlier in the week promoting the event in the Student Center.

DEVIN SNHU

Honorary Emcee – Devin Lisembee. Always challenging the men in the room to make double the cards as the women do. He’s great.

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The Panel & Student Leaders. From many different backgrounds, and many different live paths, but now good friends with ONE goal. To break the silence, and take a stand, each in their own way, in the fight against human trafficking.

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(Left) Card made by a student that was sent to a survivor through our partnerships. (Right) View of stage and the Clothesline Project brought by panelist (Melanie S.) Bearing witness to Domestic and Sexual Violence through survivors and those who love them, visual art displayed on t-shirts. Survivors stories.

woyh snhu article

^Article Featured in Southern New Hampshire Universities Newspaper titled : The Penmen Press.

& this Press Release (click below) about the event, prior to the event.

Press Release : Click Here.

From Our Hearts to yours,

snhu mel lauren lotusFounder of WOYH Lauren Lisembee (right) and Blogger Melanie S. (Me , Left) holding tight to Lotus necklaces from OneVOICE Enterprises to benefit missions  helping survivors and prevention of human trafficking in Cambodia.

“Growing from the mud, and blooming towards the sky, a LOTUS symbolizes purity, spiritual awakening, revival and fortune”

(http://iamonevoice.org/) SHOUT OUT, to our dear friend, and Freedom Fighter, Nicole Braddock Bromley (you’ll see an event featuring her in a future BLOG post)

Until next time….

STAY TUNED!

Mel♥

New Year, Same Goals. To raise awareness, encourage survivor-ship, and to create change in the world of Human Trafficking. Revisiting Past Events.

Hello Everyone. Mel here. We (meaning I), have been on a little hiatus in regards to this BLOG.

For many reasons… A lot of change in WOYH’s world, but also in my own.

BUT we (and I) are starting FRESH in this NEW year with some exciting BLOGS about past events, AND what’s happened the past 7 months in regards to WOYH, and in the world. It’s been a year of recreating , learning, growing, and trusting that everything will be taken care of in it’s time.

Amazing things have happened, amazing things are happening, and I am super excited to tell you about it.

“BE fearless in the PURSUIT of what SETS YOUR SOUL ON FIRE”

Get ready to go back in time,

WOYH style.

Until next time,

All our best,

<3 WOYH TEAM <3

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Where it began. A PLACE of FREEDOM.

Blurb by Lauren Lisembee ,  FOUNDER.

This beautiful box signifies our very first card delivery to establish our first safe house partnership with Freedom Place, under Arrow Ministries in Texas.

very first card to freedom place

About: Freedom Place

Freedom Place is a residential facility for minor survivors of human trafficking, primarily of sex trafficking.

Freedom Place Facebook Page

Since WOYH was co-founded inside of an anti-human trafficking coffee shop called A 2nd Cup.

About: A 2nd Cup

A 2nd Cup Facebook page

We were connected to a volunteer coffee barista who was also a direct service provider at Freedom Place.  We were able to hand deliver this box of cards to her & the cards were directly delivered to the girls who were living at Freedom Place at that time. The girls made is thank you cards and sent them back to us, thanking us for the cards we made for them.

The girls at FP were also inspired by the cards we made for them & made cards for survivors at a sister ministry safe-house in another country!
How we feel about how this started, and where it is going…..
“FIGHT SONG” by Rachel Platten
“This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
(Starting right now) I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me”.
STAY TUNED….We’ve got so much more to tell you about.
-Melanie

clothed

coffee-love

WE WELCOME YOU INTO OUR HEARTS.

Just a little bit about us….

Written On Your Heart exists to unite & engage the community to encourage & inspire survivorship.

We make homemade cards to encourage and inspire individuals on their healing journey who are human trafficking survivors.
WOYH started at “A Second Cup” Coffee Shop in Houston, Texas – by a college student (and a friend) with a huge heart, even bigger dreams, a low budget to work with, a pen and some paper.

Basic Information

1. We are a CBO (Community Based Organization) at the moment!
2. We started in September 2012
3. We partner with safe houses/organizations around the country who serve survivors of human trafficking.
**4. We are CURRENTLY in the process of becomming a 501c3 organization.**
Current Partnerships —> Shieldbearers Counseling Centers (Texas), Restore Innocence (Colorado) , Dawn’s Place (Pennsylvania) , Amirah Inc. (Boston), Bakhita House (Massachusetts), Bags of Hope Ministries (Saugus) , Freedom Place, Traffick911, Chrysalis Mentoring, Redeemed Ministries, and we have also delivered cards to an NGO in Azerbaijan (near Russia).
Pending Partnerships —> Home of Hope (Texas), Thrive (New England), Gracehaven House (Ohio), Lily Pad Haven (North Carolina).
What You Can Do Now?
1. Donate in-kind materials (card supplies):
scrap-booking paper, scissors, glue, pens, sharpies).
2. Get a group together to make cards and send them to us to deliver.
3. Let us know about other organizations that house survivors of trafficking (shelters or refuges).
*We want to use RECYCLED paper and products as much as possible to make our cards with!*

Check out our Facebook page and updates for updates and events as we plan them!

https://www.facebook.com/writtenonyourheart

http://writtenonyourheart.org/

and our pinterest, instagram and twitter just for fun!

https://www.pinterest.com/woyhm/

Twitter: @wonyourheart &&  Instagram : @writtenonyourheart_ministries

 mission
….with freedom & LOVE…
-Mel ♥