The new West Nashville volunteer community group is grateful for the energy and enthusiasm evident from the first two monthly meetings. In September, the group hosted Margie Quin from TBI who gave a comprehensive talk on the local issues of human trafficking in TN. Volunteers were encouraged to hear that our state is leading the nation in prosecuting traffickers as well as rescuing and restoring victims. In October, the dynamic duo of ESTN's own Shelia McClain and Derri Smith attended to give a powerful and authentic discussion on survivor relationships. The group's next meets will have special speaker Nicholas Sensley, former chief of police in LA and government consultant on international and domestic justice issues.
As the end of the year comes into view, the Murfreesboro group is hard a work revisiting projects completed over this year and setting some new and really good goals for this upcoming year:
1. We want to win the January gift card drive for the volunteer groups!
2. We want to provide survivor Easter baskets again this year!
3. We will be supporting the Rutherford County Hannah Project.
4. We will continue to meet needs posted for survivors.
5. We will do at least three community education events.
6. We want to ask to take a leadership role in the silent auction done at Ride for refuge - with a lofty goal of $2,000 raised!
7. We want to have at least two family fun events to help renew our spirit and team building.
8. We want to offer cooking on a budget classes to our survivors.
9. We want to host a craft fair as a fundraiser.
10. We will Have a team for Ride for Refuge.
The group is starting off on the right foot and just completed their first family fun event with Pastor Joy Warren leading in a fun technique for prayer time called Praying in Color!
The Brentwood group this month was full of information and ways to get more deeply involved with upcoming presentations and projects including Adopt a Survivor for Christmas and a strategic planning session for the ESTN youth initiative program, Be The Jam. The group also had special guest Andrew Yontz who shared his volunteer experience with the John School recently. Upcoming December meeting will host special ESTN partners, Branded Collective!
With several new volunteers at the Franklin group meeting this month, “seasoned” volunteers were asked to share some of their favorite books and documentaries pertaining to the issue of human trafficking. Among those listed were Renting Lacy, Girls Like Us, Refuse to Do Nothing and Nefarious. Volunteers also shared about different opportunities each has had to educate those around them in their daily lives. Volunteer Marissa also talked about when to call authorities and who to call if suspicious activity is suspected. After discussion about the group's community event for January, the group watched the short documentary, Taylor’s Story, about one of ESTN's inspirational survivors and also packed some needs kits for new referrals.
The Nashville group enjoyed watching the inspirational video of Taylor, one of ESTN's own survivors. Afterwards, the group shared other survivor updates. Group leader Scott also discussed ideas and highlights from a recent group leaders meeting and the group planned a Nashville Group Social - a potluck dinner a volunteer Rebcca's house - as their next meeting. The group also committed to sponsor several gifts for the annual Adopt a Survivor for Christmas campaign.