#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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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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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!

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^ 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 ♥

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.

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^ 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 ♥

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