So, what’s next?

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Our focus for the last several months has been The OZ. Now that the center is open, what is next for ICT S.O.S.?

Our next event is FREEDOM214: A Night of Worship at Mead’s Corner.

This is an event organized by Kevin Johnson and Aaron Lewis, 2 college students with a heart for this issue. The evening will include music, prayer, video and conversation about human trafficking in Wichita. They will also take up an offering to benefit The OZ. We are also encouraging attendees to bring an item or two off the Target Wishlist for the center.

This will be a great opportunity to meet others in our community who are interested in fighting the exploitation of children in our city.

Our next ICT S.O.S. meeting will be held February 21st at 6pm at The OZ (1157 N.Emporia)

We are turning our focus now to legislative and policy changes, more local awareness and projects to reach potential victims. We have some exciting events on our radar for 2012 and would love all the input we can get from our members.

We are also continuing to work through the process to become an official non-profit. Our Articles of Incorporation have been approved by the Kansas Secretary of State. We’ll be drafting bylaws and selecting a Board of Directors soon.

An easy way to help is to order the necklace designed by The Rusted Chain for us. $10 from the purchase of each one goes directly to ICT S.O.S. to help fund our projects. You can order one here: http://therustedchain.bigcartel.com/product/be-free-charity-necklace

Another great way to help is by encouraging a survivor to “Be Free” by donating a necklace for her to wear as a daily reminder. You can do so by ordering from the above link and having the necklace shipped to Veronica’s Voice in Kansas City. They are a safe haven for survivors and often serve women from the Wichita area as well as KC. To have a necklace shipped there use this address:

Veronica’s Voice
Attn: Kiersten
PO BOX 172472
Kansas City, KS 66117-1472

 Jennifer will speaking about ICT S.O.S. at Gracepoint Church for their Gracepoint Summit on Saturday Jan. 21st.

https://www.facebook.com/ictsos#!/events/281384388586498/

And at City Life Church Sunday morning Jan. 22nd. at 10:30am

 

The OZ (Opportunity Zone) is finished!

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Wow! What an amazing day yesterday was! More than 150 volunteers spent Martin Luther King Day volunteering their time, energy and talents to get the center ready to open for business.

Here are some pictures from the day:

 

 

You can also view these photos and tag yourself in them on the ICT S.O.S. Facebook Page!

The local media was wonderful to embrace this project and to help spread awareness of the problems homeless teenagers face. We’re very blessed to have a community that is stepping up to say this must STOP!

The center opens this Wednesday January 18, 2012 from 3-6pm. They will also hold their first weekly group meeting there Thursday evening. This will be the first time many of the kids will see the center that they have named “The OZ” or Opportunity Zone. Risa summed it up best by explaining that it is, “Where some travelers find their brains, some their courage, others their hearts and they all find a way home.”

I could not be more proud of the work we have done. So many people came together to make this happen for our kids. Contractors, laborers, donors, volunteers and people willing to spread the word or say a prayer. All were equally important!

Thank you!

 

Freedom214: A Night of Worship to benefit ICT S.O.S.

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Monday Jan 30th, 2012 Mead’s Corner will host a special night of music, prayer and conversation about human trafficking.

https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/events/171410072966181/

A special offering will be taken at the event to benefit the Youth Resource Center staffed by the Wichita Children’s Home. Donations will help to purchase items still needed for the center.

If you’d like to purchase an item to bring, you can choose from the Target Wishlist:

http://www.target.com/ot/list/u6n_NB5d5DYIVbrSVigy2Q

Hope to see you there!

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day 2012

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Today is a national day of awareness. We’re very excited about the progress being made in Kansas. The Attorney General’s office made an announcement today of an expanded task force and plans to toughen laws in Kansas. Read more about it here:

http://blogs.kansas.com/courts/2012/01/11/schmidt-expands-taks-force-to-push-for-stronger-human-trafficking-laws/

The Wichita Eagle has compiled a collection of their coverage of the issue in Wichita as well as the efforts of ICT S.O.S. over the last 10 months. You can view it here: http://www.kansas.com/trafficking/

Another great way to raise awareness is by sporting this awesome necklace:

Image of Be Free (charity) necklace

It’s a great conversation starter and $10 from the sale of each necklace goes to ICT S.O.S. to support our efforts locally.

If you would like to purchase a necklace, visit The Rusted Chain and Beki will hook you up! http://therustedchain.bigcartel.com/product/be-free-charity-necklace

And- if you would like to order one to be sent to a survivor of trafficking right here in Kansas, you can do so by having the order shipped to:

Veronica’s Voice

PO Box 172472

Kansas City, KS 66117

Attn: Kiersten

They have about 25 ladies in their program and I would love to provide each one with this beautiful reminder to “Be Free” of the chains of slavery. I ordered one for myself and one to be sent to Veronica’s Voice. Please consider doing this if you are able!

 

Big week for us!

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We have our monthly meeting on Tuesday evening 1/10/12 at 6pm. We’ll meet at the new youth resource center at 1157 N. Emporia. There are still some items needed for the opening of the resource center and we’ll discuss that. We’ll also hear from the CASA program about how we can help as court appointed special advocates.

If you would like to pick up a few items off the wishlist and bring them to the meeting, that would be awesome!

http://www.target.com/ot/list/u6n_NB5d5DYIVbrSVigy2Q

Then…The BIG Move In Day!!

Be sure to register at Volunteer Kansas: http://www.volunteerkansas.org/Opportunities/Opportunity/337:Extreme_Makeover_Day_for_Youth_Resource_Center

We’ll move in the furniture, clean, set up the rooms, and anything and everything else to get the center ready for opening day. Come see all the beautiful work that has been done and help make this an AMAZING place for Wichita’s kids! We’ll also reveal the name the kids have chosen for the center!

It’s been months in the making and I’m so excited to see the center open and serving our youth. THANK YOU to everyone who has had a part in it!