Crowdfunding a Dream

By Kim Berry Jones, 1990 PLNU Graduate

My awareness of the issue of human trafficking began when I watched the documentary Half the Sky. The Half the Sky MovemeScreen Shot 2014-07-27 at 7.19.24 PMnt is about igniting change to end the oppression of women and girls around the world. I knew then that something had shifted in me, but what could I do about it? Soon after, in a conversation with a friend, I learned that women and girls are trafficked right in my neighborhood. San Diego is now nationally recognized by law enforcement as a hot spot for the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. Right here in my back yard.

But what I also soon discovered was a movement. People from all over the world working to abolish human trafficking. And people working on this cause right here in my back yard.

It’s been my honor to be a part of the dreaming and planning around the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund – a fund at Point Loma Nazarene University that will provide financial support for both survivors of human trafficking to complete their education at PLNU and for other PLNU students who are called into the vocation to join the fight against modern day slavery.

As we began to plan towards the launch of the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund an idea emerged….what if we kicked off our efforts with a crowdfunding campaign? Crowdfunding is a widely popular method used to raise financial support online by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. From tiny projects to major movie productions, crowdfunding campaigns bring together a unique community of people who share an interest — and are willing to donate their own money to support that interest.

“So why not?”, we thought. At the PLNU Center for Justice and Reconciliation we keep hearing from women who have been rescued and are in the process of healing that they dream of an EDUCATION. They know that education is a part of their move from victim to survivor to thriver. But funding a college education is daunting for most of us. For a survivor who is putting the pieScreen Shot 2014-07-27 at 7.20.11 PMces of a new life together, finding the resources to attend college can seem totally out of reach.

But we don’t believe it should be out of reach. As an alum of PLNU and a volunteer at the Center for Justice and Reconciliation (CJR) I am committed to helping launch the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund. I’ve experienced the life-changing community at PLNU, and I know that the supportive environment of the University can be a place of hope, restoration and future for a survivor.

So, here we come! The team at the CJR is in the process of launching the Beauty for Ashes Crowdfunding Campaign. With the goal of raising the total cost of one year of education at PLNU for one survivor, we look forward to launching our campaign and we hope that YOU will want to get involved. In the upcoming weeks we will introduce the Beauty for Ashes Fund to the PLNU campus, the San Diego community and beyond. Successful crowdfunding campaigns take extensive planning and effort. This past month we have been selecting the best platform for our campaign and planning the steps to roll it out and meet our ambitious goal.

Behind every survivor of human trafficking is a story. A story of a woman or a man that for reasons we may not understand became the victim of violence and exploitation. But woven in with the tragedy is hope – hope for a future and for healing and restoration. And each one of us can be a part of this story. Won’t you join us?

Note: If you want to give to the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund, your tax deductible donation can be given here: Beauty for Ashes Fund.

Kim Berry Jones

Kim Berry Jones, a 1990 Point Loma Nazarene University graduate is the owner of Canopy Marketing, a San Diego marketing and web development firm. Kim volunteers with the PLNU Center for Justice & Reconciliation offering assistance with strategic planning, external relations and fundraising for the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund. Kim also volunteers at Generate Hope, a safe house for survivors of human trafficking. She is a member of the Human Trafficking Task Force of the Lawyers Club of San Diego, and participates in Journey Against Exploitation, a ministry of Journey Community Church in La Mesa, CA.

 

Comments

  1. Prayerfully we can get the word out & get support from many of the youth workers/community leaders at SDMT Summit on Slavery Oct. 11, 2014 @ PLNU.
    http://www.sandiegomissionteam.com

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