A Little Goes a Long Way!

It’s hard to believe that this is the fourth year we have had the opportunity to raise money for our Freedom Fund! Back in 2014, we were just getting started! We had no idea how much we would grow. We began with two part-time staff, lots of awesome volunteers, and the opportunity to raise up to $5,000 that would generously be matched by our partners at True Organic Products.

This time we are aiming to raise $20,000 from Nov. 1 to 20 which will then be matched by True Organic for a total of $40,000!

In the past four years, we have grown in so many ways!  We have solidified our area of focus as a coalition, which I continue to believe is a desperate and urgent need in our community: Prevention. We must PREVENT trafficking from happening by educating everyone we can and surrounding those who are most vulnerable with resources and trusted advocates.

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We have grown from a staff of two part-time employees to employing a full-time Executive Director and three part-time paid staff. We have 10 people trained on our prevention team and numerous other interns and volunteers working on other projects. We are truly growing into a community coalition!

We’re excited this year to launch our Freedom Fund because we know that every dollar given literally changes lives. Every dollar given is part of a movement. We are making the statement that FREEDOM REIGNS. We are backing up that statement with tangible results through sharing our progress towards #JusticeGoals.

We invite you to be part of it this year, whether for the first time or again for the fourth time because every single one of us is needed if we are going to prevent people from being exploited as slaves!

Thank you for catching the vision and running with us! We are deeply grateful to each of you who have given to our Freedom Fund.  And we especially thank True Organic Products, for the fourth year in a row, for leading the way and helping us extend to others the opportunity to invest in freedom for all.

– Jessica Pittman, October 2017

One of my favorite scenes from a movie this year comes from Logan, the darkly dystopian X-Men road movie. Regarding a family in need of help on the side of the road, Logan (played by Hugh Jackman) says to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, “Someone will come along.”

“Someone has come along,” replies Xavier.

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I’ve thought about this scene often during the last month. Our organization is currently experiencing the growing pains that come from the transition from friendraising to fundraising. When I left Northpark Church to take over at Central Valley Justice Coalition, I relied on the support of people I’d known for a long time to help make the transition and raise the support necessary. Jessica, Kelly and Melissa had done the same before I got here.

At this point, we are now in need of people who will come along, basically out of nowhere. People who see the dire situation of human trafficking and don’t turn away. People who will step up for the cause and take a leap of faith on the people who are running point for the battle.

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I’ve had a number of people tell me that they would rather not know about the realities of human trafficking in our valley. Ignorance of the situation allowed them to have a naive comfort in the midst of the struggle and pain of others. I don’t think this is because they don’t have a heart. I think it’s because they feel like nothing can be done in the face of such overwhelming evil and exploitation.

But it isn’t true. Something can be done! And someone has come along. You are here now, reading this blog entry. What’s next?

Join our team and partner with us to prevent human trafficking in the Central Valley. Sign up to pray. Get involved as a volunteer. Pray, Give, Act.

Ryan Townsend, executive director.

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Hello everyone and Happy New Year to you all!

On behalf of the Justice Coalition, I am writing to invite your church/faith community to participate in this year’s Freedom Sunday on February 26th. We are busy putting together special “Freedom Sunday in a box” packs that will make it simple for your church to host anywhere from a 5-minute window to an entire worship service.

Freedom Sunday 2017 is coming! from Central Valley Justice Coalition on Vimeo.

Freedom Sunday is an internationally recognized day for the church body to focus on worship, prayer, and action in response to human trafficking (and other forms of slavery), the fastest growing crime in the world.

We will have all of our resources, including a brand-new Freedom Story video, ready to be distributed by January 24th, when we will host a training and informational meeting at Northpark Community Church from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in Room 202. You, or a representative from your church, are invited to join us to learn how to simply engage your church in responding to human trafficking from a Christ-centered perspective.

For the first time, this year, we have the capacity to send as many as 15 different speakers to churches across the city. If you’d like to book one of our educators to come speak please reply to this email or call us at 227-8001.

Hope to see you all on January 24th!

Northpark Church is located at 2297 E. Shepherd Ave Fresno, CA 93720.

God bless,

Ryan

Great News from the California State Assembly: AB 1761 Affirmative Defense for Human Trafficking Victims passed out of the Assembly today with a 68-2 vote! On to the Senate!

More to be done:
We need one final push to make sure the legislature votes to support the $15 million budget request for specialized services to trafficking victims and sends this item to the Governor for signature.

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To help the legislature know how important this request is we would like to send one final letter with signatures to show the overwhelming support for this measure. To sign onto this letter please click here. We need your help then inviting friends and family to do the same!

Additionally, please send in your own letters of support.
Template letter here.

If you have any questions please reach out to Stephanie@castla.org.

CASTLA is a leader in pushing for reform at the state and federal level. Along with our partners Central Valley Against Human Trafficking we are supporting this specific piece of legislation!

“When I was in prostitution, it was glamorized. . . I was in it for the money. But it was wrong. I was selling myself, and that’s not what God intended it to be…

“The things I did in my life were done out of survival. I wish at that time there would have been an organization like the Central Valley Justice Coalition because it would have helped me a big deal.”

– excerpts from interviews with Connie, shared with permission.

Connie is a partner of our Coalition and shares a bit of her story in our latest video.  Take three minutes to watch it now!

We are thrilled to announce we are into the second week of our Freedom Fund 2015! True Organic Products, Inc has generously provided a matching grant for $10,000! We are excited to see how God uses this time to raise funds that lead to FREEDOM in the lives of people in our own community! Give today and spread the word on Facebook or Twitter.

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