Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August Update

"Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand." - Mother Theresa

Hi there,

A warm welcome to all who have joined our newsletter community in August!  You can expect these updates once/month, and we have other opportunities as well:  an active Facebook page, where we post updates, news articles, etc a few times a week; and a blog that provides informative and inspiring insights on both the anti-trafficking movement and Amirah.

Updates
August was a fantastic month for us, including:
 
A strong presence with great response at Soulfest, a large (13,000+ people) music festival in NH the first week of August. It was great to see our video up on the jumbotron, and see so many come to our table.  We interacted with hundreds from around New England who were either just learning about human trafficking and how they can get involved, or were already active and excited to get involved with us.  Some are considering starting safe houses in their areas.  The follow-up process has begun, so if you signed up at Soulfest with specific interests and haven't heard from us yet, you should soon.
 
Our new program director, Carmen Maianu, officially started on August 20th and has been a wonderful addition to the team.  She brings to the table a strong combination of professional expertise, experience in survivor aftercare, exposure to multiple international cultures, fluency in multiple languages, fearlessness in making things happen, and a warm and winsome energy.  
 
Renovations on the house have continued through a number of amazing volunteers.  Our first few work days focused on getting the yard under control and planting some new things.  It's really looking great!  On August 25, we had our first work day in the house, and had a great and productive time pulling up the old carpets and working on the walls and windows.    

Needs
Adding Carmen to the team was the first step of the final push to open Amirah.  Front and center in this last stage will be finishing renovations, hiring and training program and house staff, shoring up our partnerships and raising the rest of the money we need to make it all happen.  These are exciting times, and here are some of the ways you can help:
 
1.  In the near future, we will send out a final list of items we need for the house.  Thankfully, everyone's been so generous that the list won't be very long!  When you see it, please look it over and let us know you can donate anything on it.  Please email info@amirahboston.org to find out more.
 
2.  We're going to be coordinating a women's clothing drive as well, gathering slightly used clothing (all sizes, and for all seasons), shoes, bags, etc.  We will be setting up a clothing boutique that will provide for our residents' needs, especially in the early days of their time with us.  Emailinfo@amirahboston.org to find out more!
 
3.  For both of these, we will need drivers/people to help with pick up on coordinated pick up dates.  If you have a vehicle with space - pick up truck, cargo van, SUV, etc - that you could offer for the day, that would be really helpful, too. Please email info@amirahboston.org if you're able to help.
 
4.  Host a pizza night or a party of some sort, provide information about Amirah, and invite your guests to contribute to a gift card(s) donation - Home Depot, CVS, Target, or Staples.  We are using, and will continue to use these regularly!  Please email info@amirahboston.org if you are thinking about hosting a party!
 
5.  Become a monthly donor.  We've made great progress toward our goal of having the lease and utilities costs for the home fully funded by monthly donors, but we could still use about $1000 more per month.  Even $5/month makes a big difference for us!  Find out more...

Please email info@amirahboston.org if you're interested in helping out in any of those capacities.

Events
Freedom 2 Walk
Location: Boston Commons (at the bandstand)
Date: September 8, 9:00 am
Details: Come walk through the history of Abolition in Boston and learn how you can join the movement to end today's slavery! All ages are welcome who can walk a 2.5 mile loop. Come with your walking shoes, $5 donation, and gift cards (Charlie cards, CVS, Dunkin Donuts or Shaws) collected from friends and family for survivors in Boston! Gift cards will be going to Amirah, Kim's Project, My Life My Choice and the ACT House at Germain Lawrence.Register today!

Thank you for your partnership!

Blessings,
The Amirah Team

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