It’s been a little while since we’ve had an office update so I guess it’s about time for a recap:
- This month, as you know from all our social media, is National Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month. We partnered across the state with Second Life of Chattanooga and Restore Corps to UNITE under the common fight against human trafficking. We are also encouraging the donation of gift cards this month as these are truly helpful in providing immediate care to new referrals and support to our survivors.
- Our office has gone GREEN – and I don’t mean the environmentally friendly term…it’s literally green! Hannah Kersey is remodeling our front office and lobby area as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project. We are excited to see the end result!
- This month we have two interns, Sarah Stell and Ellie Davidson, who are helping keep ESTN up and running while also getting a taste of the work our direct services staff does each and every day. Sarah is a senior social work major at Belmont and will be with us all semester. Ellie is a senior at Harpeth Hall doing a two week mini-internship.
- We also recently hired two new team members and have contracted a third: Angela Shofner is our new part-time Volunteer Manager who will be freeing up our Director of Education, Karen Karpinski, to focus on trainings. Jennifer Settle will be our new Survivor Services Coordinator and working directly with our other direct services team and our survivors, of course. Finally, Allison Gibson is our new contracted part-time therapist from The Next Door who will be conducting in-house therapy sessions for some of our survivors.We are very excited to have all these wonderful ladies joining us and can’t wait to see how each will help strengthen End Slavery Tennessee and those we work with!
- We would also like to thank Sandra and Ken McDonald for their wonderful work to remodel one of our office rooms into a brand new therapy room. It’s cozy, inviting, and we hope it will be a room where wounds can be healed and restorative steps can be made.
Our staff has been very busy working to make End Slavery Tennessee more efficient, effective and a true model for restoration for human trafficking survivors:
- Derri has been meeting with organizations, individuals and community leaders to develop or expand partnerships and local resources. She is also preparing for her upcoming debut as a Tedx Talk speaker at TPAC on March 21rst, so look for more details in the future!
- Karen has been busy training both new volunteers and community leaders and organizations to bring awareness to those who have not opened their eyes to the reality of trafficking victims found right here in our communities. She recently trained DCS managers who will in turn be able to carry out mandated training for all their case workers.
- Shelia and Lizedny are working hard to provide healing resources to all our survivors. These girls, women, and men are true survivors in that they work very hard to find restoration. And Shelia and Lizedny are doing an amazing job in keeping them all focused and encouraged to keep up the fight no matter what happens.
One big upcoming event we would ask everyone who is able to participate in is the first human trafficking case charging a John with trafficking coming up January 29th. It is critical to have as many supporters at the courthouse that day to show that we as a community will not stand for the purchasing of a young girl for sex. Look for more details to come in the next few weeks!
The new year of 2015 is full of hopes and promises both for us as an organization as well as for our survivors. We hope you all will join with us this year to open the eyes of those who still do not see and bring understanding to those who still do not understand.
Let’s make 2015 a year to be remembered in the movement to end slavery in Tennessee!