A LETTER FROM OUR FOUNDER
Dear Friends of Cherished,
Just a few weeks ago, I was feeling a little sad that summer was coming to an end. Then I went to Seattle for four days in September to begin my Counseling Certificate course at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. I saw the leaves changing and felt the crisp air. That did it! Bring on the pumpkin spice; I’m ready for fall. Like the coming of fall, seasons are changing here at Cherished, and we welcome that too!
We’ve been on the move this year with awareness events and helping other organizations in the fight for women and children. Most notably, a small team and I just returned from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I trained the staff of Casa Liberdade, a home opening soon for children rescued from sex trafficking. We shared our experience with aftercare, trauma, and art therapy. We also spoke to churches and groups to share my story and raise awareness about the huge need that exists in Brazil.
Thanks to our generous donors, we were able to donate $3000 to Casa Liberdade to help them rescue child victims of human trafficking in Brazil. We painted the children’s home inside and out. Our team installed solar electric. We also installed an aquaponics system for the children to grow a garden that will also supply fish.
Our hearts are knit together with Tim and Becky and the work of their ministry. The English language doesn’t have a word for how we feel toward our extended family in Brazil. I can only say it in Portuguese, “saudade.”
Back home, much is going on. It has been amazing to watch girls come to Cherished and see the transformation that takes place over time. I have to say it is with much hard work on their part! We are so proud of our first resident to pass the one-year mark on this two-year journey! (We celebrated her accomplishment with gifts and a trip to Zuma Beach.)
It is quite a feat to be able to commit to leave everything else behind! Sometimes our survivors must leave family, all past associations, social media and cell phones. They must completely surrender to start on an unknown journey. They put their life in our hands and yours hoping everything will come out okay. It is up to us to help them learn to trust again and to heal those broken wings so they can learn to soar. We don't take that lightly.
As of September, we have a FULL HOUSE!! Can you believe it? We have only been open one-year and five months and we are full!!!
God was serious when He said start this program! He wasn't and isn't playing around with it. They are His precious daughters, and He loves these girls more than we do! It is His plan for them to discover their value and find their purpose. And we commit to walking with them on this journey until they are in a stable enough place to begin a new life on their own. It is quite humbling and magnificent to see it all at the same time.
Two Cherished survivors are going back to school right now. They are working out their recovery and healing as they explore what their future could be. We celebrated when one of our students earned her first credit in Economics. We are so proud of them!
We have also begun a waiting list to open up a second home. Our ability to do so depends on timely financial support of our partners. At this point, approximately 45% of Cherished’s expenses are covered by the Cherished Studio social enterprise. It is our prayer and goal as we grow to become more self-sustaining with the sales of our products through stores and speaking engagements. We are working hard on our part to make this happen, but we need a little more help.
We need you to help us cover the remainder of our expenses through partnerships. Please consider becoming a monthly partner at $35, $50, or $100. Pastors and elders, please prayerfully consider whether your church can become a monthly partner.
We attended two amazing events recently to spread the word about our mission and to sell our products. In September, we attended Kid’s Charities Grace Fest. Later in the month, we traveled to Newport Dunes for the Freedom Ride Finish Line Event where Kate shared her story. Dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking, the Freedom Ride is a 15-day bike ride from Oregon to Newport Dunes. Thank you to Beth Gegner and her team for inviting us to attend!
As I said, seasons are changing, and so it is for us. We are happy to say that we have outgrown our current location! Just imagine the Cherished survivors, staff, and interns all in one 20 x 20 space, working and doing school every day. It is crowded. So we have moved! Thanks to the generous help of a partner who caught the Cherished vision, we just moved into a bigger office space!
We believe that nothing says value like knowing there are people in your corner cheering you on! So we want the workroom, therapy room, and school space for these girls to say, “You are worth it.” We’d love for you to partner with us in creating a beautiful space for them. We are in need of the following new or gently used items:
- A small desk for our offices
- Two laptop computers
- Microwave oven, toaster oven
- Kitchen supplies (dishes, glasses, flatware)
- Small chairs for our kitchen table
If you prefer, we can do the shopping ourselves. IKEA here we come. :) To donate items, please call us at 661-214-3020.
To our existing partners and volunteers, thank you so much for taking this journey with us. It has been challenging, but we will continue to show up!
If you haven’t partnered with us yet, please consider becoming a monthly partner with us today. Let’s see what else God can do when we say yes! You’re the piece that’s missing in our ministry! To partner with us please click on our donate tab on this website, or mail a check to 2010 West Ave. K #448, Lancaster, CA 93536.
In His Service,
P.S. Christmas is just around the corner! We welcome Christmas gifts for our survivors, and for our annual outreach to women in local clubs and massage parlors. Please feel free to contact our office for suggestions.