Every year we plan our Annual Bring a Item – Fill a Bag event for people in the community to come together and “do good” for vulnerable women by bringing basic toiletries and to stuff bags filled with HOPE!
We have smaller events throughout the year when groups invite us to come speak and fill 10-50 bags at a time. This helps sustain us through the seasons. Our goal this year was to stuff 300 bags, we did 270, but the best part was – so many new people came out to join us! We didn’t know most of them, so we made new friends! We needed to get more tables and chairs a couple of times because people just kept coming in 🙂
We are beyond GRATEFUL for the support and love people showed us! Also, to Trinity Evangelical Church in North Reading for hosting us.
Here are some of the highlights!
#1. Was when our two newest team members, Jenn and Chelsey, shared their testimonies of surviving the commercial sex trade and how they themselves received a Bag of Hope as they trudged through early drug recovery. You could feel the presence of God in the room, tears were flowing and we were all so blessed by these brave women for sharing what they have been through and how far they have come in recovery. This is what makes my heart so full… To know that God has called me to speak for so many women, year after year, as I have shared my own story in so many places. Now I get to watch other survivors rise up, mature in their faith, share their stories, and find their voices. As Chelsey beautifully states, “Bags of Hope gave me the voice I didn’t know I had”.
#2. Shout out to our amazing coordinator, administrator, recovery coach extraoenaire… Anita for her organization of the event and brilliant idea of giving people at the event an opportunity to sign up and deliver the bags they made to one of the 30 programs we serve! So many people signed up that by the end of the night we had only ONE BAG left!! While this is fantastic, we are in need of smaller bag filling events and donation drives, so please spread the word! Pray that this ONE Bag will multiply into 100 MORE!
#3. When I speak at events, I usually have a table for my book, The Diary of Jasmine Grace. Trafficked. Recovered. Redeemed. I always offer people a chance to buy a book for themselves and then donate one to a woman in need. Because of people’s generosity, they have donated over 200 books and we have given out over 150 in the past year and a half since it’s been released. Well, one of the drug recovery programs we serve brought their women clients to the event and I was able to give 15 books to them. There had been only one book at the house and the ladies were fighting over it 🙂
I could go on about God’s faithfulness, goodness, love and mercy, but it’s too much to fit into a blog post!
With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, it is my hope that you will take a minute to think of all you have to be grateful for. And to remember the women, men, girls and boys that are out there, still caught in the trap of sexual exploitation, addiction and homelessness.
With that said, I am THANKFUL to Him for this season of bountiful harvest, to those for their support of the ministry, and to you for reading this!
“Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4
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