Fostering “hope and healing” among human trafficking and sexual exploitation survivors, Sunrise Ministries is continuing to join forces with LOCKS Salon in Cartersville. On Saturday, the nonprofit will sell jewelry from its Sunrise Shop outside the salon from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We have a variety of unique, one-of-a-kind products designed and handmade by survivors of sexual exploitation and human trafficking while working alongside local artisans,” said Kelley Anderson, director of Sunrise Ministries’ The Shop and Design. “The Shop is a safe, loving environment where our team teaches new skills and befriends the girls.
“Often, working at The Shop is the first time girls experience self-worth and the feeling of being capable of earning money on their own. Financial coaching accompanies the paycheck to help build strong financial and decision-making skills. One hundred percent of the profits from sales at The Shop go directly to helping rescue the next girl off the street and paying for a private rehabilitation program. Girls often find opportunities to share their stories with one another and invest in each other as they are each on a path of hope and healing.”
For LOCKS salon co-owner Fite Casey IV, the opportunity to assist Sunrise Ministries with its outreach efforts has been a rewarding endeavor. According to Anderson, Sunrise Ministries displays its jewelry items at the Cartersville venue the second Saturday of each month.
“We first learned of the ministry when our [salon’s] owner, [my wife,] Tina Chung-Casey, started doing Kelley Anderson’s hair in 2012,” he said. “When Kelley offered us the opportunity to help through model photo shoots with the ladies and cosponsoring sales of the jewelry, we were ecstatic to help. Sunrise is a fantastic charity that we feel is deserving of much more help from the community than they have been given.
“The event will be held in front of LOCKS salon and boutique at 19 S. Public Square, and we will also be donating 20 percent of all clothing sales at the boutique Saturday to Sunrise. Customers can also find offerings from the jewelry line in the boutique open seven days a week.”
Based in Acworth, the nonprofit was formed last year by Kimberly McDevitt.
“Sunrise Ministries was established as a nonprofit in January of 2016 with the vision of building Sunrise [Cafes] as a place to specifically employ those coming out of prison, the homeless and the exploited,” Anderson said. “Since inception, we have opened the House of Hope, our safe house, in January of 2017 for those coming out of the life of sexual exploitation or human trafficking. We have teams going into local jails as well as street teams who target at-risk areas to find those in need of help. We offer online prayer support groups for families of boys and girls lost in the world of addiction and trafficking who need to know they are not alone.
“When someone enters our program, they receive a mentor who begins the journey of change alongside them. Mentors become the one constant throughout the hard road of change and healing. These mentors are critical and function as lay counselors that provide accountability, love and support.”
While the nonprofit provides numerous services to those in need, finding transitional housing currently is a primary concern.
“Our vision is to stand in the gap for individuals wanting to come off the street, escape sexual exploitation or those coming out of prison,” Anderson said. “We have identified the need for not only providing employment but to teach missing life skills, financial understanding and reframe self-identity. For example, things we take for granted are often foreign to someone on the street. How to turn on a stove can be a simple function for most, yet a daunting task for a mother who only knows a dark, small room. Conflict resolution looks different in the workplace than it does on the street. Sunrise Cafe is needed to change the lives of people and our community.
“Our greatest need right now is, however, transitional housing for individuals needing a safe place to stay. For mothers with children wanting to escape from their abuse and trafficker, there a very few options for them. Most of the time, no one has room to take them in, leaving them no recourse but to go back into being sold and abused. After individuals graduate from rehab, they need to begin a new life. Without the help of life-skills training and a move towards independent living, the unfortunate result is a relapse and return to their previous life. It is our desire to create a blueprint that can be taken across the country and implemented.”
For more information about Sunrise Ministries, visit www.sunriseministriesga.com or www.facebook.com/sunriseministriesga.