2021: Who’s Next?

As 2020 comes to a close, it’s natural to want to ask ‘What’s Next?’ It’s been a rough year, by all measurements. But, instead, what if we ask ‘Who’s Next?’

It’s been a brutal year, one that many of us can’t wait to put in the rearview mirror. Yet, for us at the Justice Coalition, it wasn’t ONLY bad news. Several unexpected donations helped us keep everyone employed through the spring and summer. We were able to qualify for the PPP program as part of the CARES Act, which helped give us certainty during the grimmest parts of the shutdown that we could keep operating on new, hybrid-work-schedules. 

Still, it’s been a year of transition, as new realities for homeschooling and natural life change ultimately meant that we lost staff hours and now need to find a new team member in 2021. Through it all, our supporters have come through for our crucial human trafficking prevention work. Our Freedom Fund was our biggest fundraising effort to date, a triumph only made possible by the generosity of ordinary people during a very extraordinary global pandemic.

Throughout all of this upheaval, bad news has continued to pour in about vulnerable young people being exploited by traffickers and predators. This Fresno Bee article details the horrifying story of a young girl whose online grooming/abuse led to an attempted abduction that was thankfully foiled by local authorities. As the year concludes it’s time to ask not just what is next but who will be targeted next?

As of today, December 31, we have reached 95% of our budgeted income for the year. That budgeted number, $241,450, might be smaller than many people realize as we operate a very lean and volunteer-dependent organization. Expenses were unexpectedly less as we had to pause some big plans and pivot to new ways of prevention education to stop trafficking before it starts.We believe that we will resume full operations in 2021. Beyond that, we have added services, like case management for pre-victims of human trafficking, that have become more necessary during this year and will continue to be needed as we go forward.One of the great joys of this year has been the NEW and UNEXPECTED partners that have emerged during the times when we needed it most. A friend of mine once said, as we speculated together on the timing of a particular promised donation, “God will bring it when you need it most.”

At this point, we also ask the question who will be the next unexpected blessing?Can you help us make up that last 5%? Will you be one of the answers to the question “Who’s Next?’ I know this is a long email. TL;DR – We’re still here, still growing and we need your help to make 2021 our most impactful one yet!

– Ryan Townsend, executive director

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