Help Trafficked Minor Girls in CA

$1,812 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 29 people in 1 month
Help us provide specialty therapies for trafficked minor girls at The Refuge, an operation of Children of the Immaculate Heart (CIH), a 501(c)(3) operating in San Diego, CA! Therapeutic services are a crucial piece of rehabilitation for trafficked minors, and we will be providing that in a residential setting for girls between the ages of 12 and 17.

Children of the Immaculate Heart was founded in 2013 to serve survivors of sex trafficking under the motto, "Restore All Things in Christ." Since then, our program has grown to what it is today - serving 9 adult women and their 19 children. We are now expanding to open a Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program for trafficked minor girls and need your help to be able to provide top-notch trauma-informed therapies from day one! Our program is called The Refuge and, as you can see in the video, it is a beautiful and peaceful home that we hope will provide a place for safety and growth for many girls for years to come.

It is difficult to place an exact number on how many minors are in slavery in the United States, but estimates run between 200,000 and 300,000. In the past decade, the FBI alone has rescued more than 2,700 girls from trafficking and convicted 1,300 traffickers. A 2016 study done by Point Loma Nazarene University's Dr. Jamie Gates and the University of San Diego's Amy Carpenter showed there to be between 4,000-8,000 victims of sex trafficking in San Diego with 16 being the average age of entry (see  http://www.abolishhumantrafficking.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Executive-Summary.Final-Technical-Report.NIJ2016-1.pdf).

The Refuge will provide a place for rescued girls to stay for anywhere from six months to two years so they can have the best possible opportunity for healing and healthy integration into society. Schooling, job training, recreation, exercise, and various types of therapy in a healthy family-style atmosphere are all a part of the center’s program.

We need your help today so that we can integrate music, the arts, and pet therapy into our program! A county contract will allow us to provide individual, group, and family therapy, but specialty therapies can be costly. Research shows how effective equine therapy, music, and arts can be and we are asking for your help today to provide these services for girls who have suffered so much.

The $7,000 we are seeking to raise on this campaign will cover our first six months of specialty therapies. Any funds raised over and above that amount will be used for individual and group therapy for our program for formerly trafficked women and  their children.

For more information, visit us at:
Or call 619-431-5537
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Dear Friends and Benefactors,

We hope that you found last week’s update on equine therapy informative and inspiring! This week we would like to share about music therapy, which we also plan to implement at the Refuge. According to The American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” As we share it’s history and elaborate on its definition, we hope to inspire you to help these young girls heal from their trauma through specialty therapies.

Music therapy has a long history. The first reference to it was in 1789 in an article entitled, “Music Physically Considered” published by The Columbian magazine. The 1800’s saw the first systematic experiments and applications in institutions. After World Wars I and II, musicians who played for the many veterans in hospitals, saw the great physical and emotional benefits of music. Demand for a college curriculum to train hospital musicians soon grew and music therapy as a profession formally began around this time. Today, music therapy is a discipline well founded in research. The Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives, and other sources explore the benefits of music as therapy.

As a clinical profession, music therapy is used for a wide range of purposes in healthcare and education. It combines science and music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs. The website of the American Music Therapy Association states, “After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients' abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings”.

We know that the girls at the Refuge will benefit from this opportunity to develop and discover themselves and their abilities, as well as express themselves and their emotions. Please prayerfully consider contributing to this campaign to help provide specialty therapies for trafficked minor girls in California! May God reward you!
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Dear Friends and Supporters,

Happy feast of St. Maria Goretti! She is one of our patron saints here at Children of the Immaculate Heart and we were very blessed to be able to attend Mass together in her honor this morning. Thank you again for donating to this campaign; as a valued part of our team, we thought you might like to learn a little more about what your donation will provide for our clients.

Equine therapy is one of the primary specialty therapies that we plan to implement as part of our treatment program at the Refuge. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association began to see the benefits of riding for the physically handicapped. Soon, the benefits of horses in other areas became apparent and organizations combining psychotherapy and client/horse partnering appeared. Professional respect grew. Today it is generally recognized as helpful for treating a wide range of needs and problems including behavioral issues, eating disorders, and communication needs.

Equine therapy is conducted by a licensed professional therapist and a horse professional. The client participates in activities such as feeding and grooming. When the client interacts with the horse, the therapist observes their reactions to the horse’s behavior and how they interpret it. This helps the therapist and the client gain greater understanding of the emotional and psychological issues the patient is dealing with. Horses are particularly appropriate for pet therapy because they are highly intuitive creatures and totally non-judgemental. Engaging in a relationship with no fear of rejection prepares the client for healthy human relationships. Horses also give quick feedback. They get anxious and even dangerous when people around them are anxious and so the client must focus on the present moment and what is necessary to keep the horse happy and under control. This takes them out of themselves and their trauma.

Here at CIH, we believe that this form of therapy will greatly benefit our girls. Please help us provide our future clients with an opportunity to grow into healthy, functioning adults by donating to this cause. May God reward you!

Yours in Christ,

Grace Williams, Sarah Beveridge, and the staff of CIH

P.S. Here is a photo of CIH's first class relic of St. Maria Goretti as well! She was on the altar at Mass this morning! Deo gratias!
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Dear Friends and Supporters,

Praised be Jesus Christ! I am happy to announce that we received a letter today from Community Care Licensing (pictured on my desk here) saying that our application to open The Refuge, our home for trafficked minor girls, has been accepted! We are very proud to say that it was accepted on it's first round! The next thing they asked for were our background checks for our staff - something we had already done! Christina is delivering them to the CCL office even as we speak. We are so grateful to God that this process is moving quickly now! Please continue to keep this project in your prayers, as well as the girls that will first be placed with us.

God reward you!

Grace Williams
President, Children of the Immaculate Heart
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Dear Friends, Followers, and Benefactors,

Praised be Jesus Christ! Some of you may have already heard, but Children of the Immaculate Heart is the first organization to apply to open a new residential treatment program in San Diego since 2015! This means we are the first organization to go through the licensing process under the new regulations that came into force in January of 2017. We are so proud to have made this major step towards opening The Refuge - a Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program for trafficked minor girls ages 12 to 17!

Please keep our licensing process in your prayers at it is now in the hands of Sacramento. May St. Junipero Serra, patron and founder of California, intercede for us and these girls that we are so close to being ready to serve! Also, keep our 9 adult clients and their children in your prayers too! We are growing as fast as we can keep up with! Also, please share this campaign with your friends and help us launch The Refuge!

Yours in the Sacred Heart,

Grace Williams
CIH President
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$1,812 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 29 people in 1 month
Funds raised will benefit:
Children of the Immaculate Heart
  Certified Charity
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San Diego, CA
EIN: 463954106
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