Contest for My Readers - Get Involved to End Sex Trafficking
I very rarely write on here about my job... or my faith and beliefs and especially politics... mostly because that's not what I created this blog to do. I also have never liked asking people for stuff, but I have an unique opportunity at work to earn some bonus vacation days for taking a little time to share about what I do and ask for others to support the non-profit where I work.
But if I'm going to earn something, it's only fair I offer you something, too. Hang with me folks, but I'm heading to tell you how you could win a $50 gift card to any store/restaurant of your choice (that I'm able to buy either in person or online and mail to you)...
Did you know that the U.S. now ranks 5th in the world for sex trafficking with more than 350,000 cases reported last year and thousands more going unreported? It's not just a third world country issue. I know that I always thought that before. The truth is that it's happening here in Nashville and in every other part of the country. More than likely, it's happening in YOUR city, too.
I am on staff at Mercy Ministries, a non-profit here in Nashville. Since 1983, Mercy Ministries’ free-of-charge, voluntary Christian residential program has served a diverse population of young women from various socio-economic backgrounds, ages 13-28, who face a combination of life-controlling issues such as eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addictions, depression and unplanned pregnancy. Mercy also serves young women who have been physically and sexually abused, including victims of sex trafficking.
Mercy Ministries is on the cutting edge of helping those girls who are most desperate for transformation. For several years now, Mercy Ministries has helped victims of sex trafficking in our residential homes. Over the last couple of years, we have seen an increase in calls from girls who are coming out of sex trafficking and thus felt a tug in our hearts to get more involved with fighting this horrific issue.
Mercy wants to be a voice that brings light to the disturbing fact that sex trafficking is happening in the U.S. – right in our own backyard. Studies show that rescue falls short without a comprehensive residential program where victims can be cared for in a safe environment. This puts Mercy Ministries in the unique position of being one of the few programs of its kind.
At Mercy, we provide a six-month residential counseling program to young women who want to change – completely free of charge. Our program is voluntary and includes biblically-based counseling, life skills classes, and a structured environment in which these young women can experience God's unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power.
I love going to work every day knowing I'm a part of changing the lives of these young ladies in a positive way. I want to give you an opportunity to join me in making a difference, help me earn some vacation time and possibly win a cool prize for yourself!
I would like to ask you to consider supporting Mercy on a monthly basis. Because the Christian message is central to our program, Mercy never takes government funding, and because the majority of the girls who come to us cannot pay, we take them in free of charge. We want them to know that we genuinely care and that they can trust us because we are not making money off of their problems. Therefore, we have to raise all the support for our programs through private funding.
In addition to successful program results, Mercy Ministries was recently certified by the Evangelical Center for Financial Accountability (ECFA). In 2010, Charity Navigator, America's premier charity evaluator, awarded Mercy Ministries a 4-star rating for the third year in a row, the highest rating you can earn.
We currently have four homes operational with 130 beds available. However, there are over 500 young women in the process of applying to the program. We have an urgent situation at hand, and this is a time when Mercy needs more people to come alongside and support the work that we do.
I need to get $1,000 in monthly gifts by February 28 in order to earn 3 bonus vacation days at work. It can be that 10 people commit to $100 a month, 20 people commit to $50 a month or any combination of people giving any amount that totals $1000. You should know that while you'll be signing up to give monthly, you can cancel the recurring gift at any time should you feel unable to give at any time in the future.
Everyone who signs up will be entered to win a $50 gift card to anywhere of your choice that I'm able to get a gift card from either in person or online. I figure if there's something in it for me, there should be something in it for you, too (aside from knowing you're saving lives). It doesn't matter if you sign up to give $5 a month or $1,000 a month - if you sign up and comment to me or email me or call me at work and let me know that you signed up, then you'll go into the drawing. Full disclosure - I will have to check at work to make sure you really did sign up.
You MUST make sure that I know (by email or comment or phone call) that you signed up in order to be counted.
I might throw in something extra for anyone who signs up to give $100 or more a month.
And if anyone gives $1,000, then we'll talk and I'll send you something even more awesome than a $50 gift card as a thank you.
Every dollar that you give will be put to work immediately to help the young women we serve at Mercy. We really want to focus on doing all we can to aid the victims of sex trafficking since it is becoming more of a known problem here in the US.
I hope you will partner with me in my work that is truly changing lives!