The West Central group had a good second meeting this month with the group’s new leader, Katie Camper. Katie went over the new mission and vision statements and the group worked together to assemble some survivor rescue kits. They also discussed the date for their Human Chess fundraising game to take place sometime in late October.
The Murfreesboro group has been working very hard preparing for the Ride for Refuge fundraiser on October 4th. They spent most of the month collecting items for their silent auction basket that will be auctioned off at the Ride, and also have started fundraising for their team – the Murfreesboro Freedom Riders! They are excited to see if they can each raise their individual goal of $150. The group is working with the local store, Talbots, to host a special End Slavery night where all proceeds from clothing items purchased will go to ESTN. Date and time TBA!
Group member Alissa Shear did some more prevention presentations, including a presentation at the ESTN office to a group of Lipscomb freshmen. Group leader Dana Garett Montgomery has been asked to speak at the Rise Up and Change Your Community conference held on September 4th in Murfreesboro. Connor donated a smart phone for a survivor to have better communication with services, family, and ESTN. We also had a new person join us – Joy. She is excited to get involved and help end slavery right here in Tennessee!
The Franklin volunteer group enjoyed getting to know one another better with a fun team-building exercise this past month. Group leader Gwen Smith inspired the group with a selection from the book, In Our Own Backyard, encouraging volunteers with the message that everyone has different gifts and talents that can bring strength in the fight against slavery. Marge Middleton gave the group an update on legislation that was passed during the most recent Tennessee General Assembly, highlighting the increase in penalties for patronizing trafficked minors! She encouraged the group to write to Tennessee representatives and let them know they are appreciated for standing up to injustice and passing these important bills. Gwen also highlighted two important upcoming events: the Nashville premiere of the 8 Days Film on September 25th and the Ride for Refuge fundraiser on October 3rd.
Nashville had a large meeting last night with eight new people attending to learn more about End Slavery Tennessee and how they can get involved! After introductions, Scott Hardesty had the group watch the short video In Your Backyard to help illustrate our work and the reality of human trafficking right here in Tennessee. The group also discussed the new mission statement, received survivor updates, and talked about upcoming events including the Benefit Breakfast & Luncheon, 8 Days premiere, and Ride for Refuge. The group was very conversational and asked a lot of questions in order to better understand the issue and educate themselves to help bring awareness to others. Next meeting the group plans to assemble their silent auction basket for the Ride!