Sak Saum

The End it Movement has declared today, February 27, Shine Light on Slavery Day. Love the concept and love that they are raising awareness and money for some incredible organizations to end slavery. But they make a great point that “awareness must lead to action”. Ending human trafficking needs more than drawing a red X on your hand one day out of the year.

“This is how the battle against human trafficking will be won – one person, one family, one community at a time.” (Sak Saum, About)

Sak Saum, located in Cambodia, restores the physical, emotional, spiritual, social needs of those rescued from human trafficking. They are “dedicated to the rescue, restoration, transformation and rehabilitation of vulnerable and exploited women and men.” Daily life includes housing, medical attention, vocational training, counseling, studying, worship, community, friendship. In addition, they run a vocational training center that employs, trains and then sell their bags and handmade goods worldwide to support their ministry.  Shop their beautiful products!

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Leap Tote (it’s even on sale!)

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Freedom Wrap Watch

Sak Saum anna cotton

Anna Wallet

I am in awe of the women God called to Sak Saum to love and restore the exploited.

Freedom

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I entered 2013 with the blind excitement that God wanted me to use my gifts. To let my light shine. I didn’t know how, but I knew I had to trust Him.

I have a need to create, to design. It is deep within me and had been stifled for many years as my life was in survival mode caring for three babies, then toddlers. I started the year by praying that He show me His plan. And while I waited for an answer, I started creating.

And His plans were much greater than I could ever imagine. He surprised and encouraged me at a Rend Collective (my fave) concert at our church last spring. When the girl sitting behind me tapped my shoulder, complimented my bag (which I had made hours before the show), and asked that I make one for her. My first sale. Quickly thereafter, a friend ordered 9 bags. The orders continued and Ginger Lane was born.

This fall, my small group of amazing, God-loving sisters started the Breaking Free study. Life changing is an understatement – and we’re not even finished! So my prayer and focus of 2014 is freedom. Freedom the enemy’s lies that I’ve let keep me captive. Freedom from false fears that have held me back. Freedom from short-term comforts and idols that ultimately betray. My eyes and heart are focused on the Truth. The Truth that I am a beloved child of God, that He sees me as perfect (not with all these self-imposed flaws), and that my unconditional love, value and worth comes from Him.

A few days ago I was filling out Lara Casey’s Powersheets, when she asked what my greatest fears were and why. Out of habit, I wrote that I was afraid of failure and rejection but then was able to write LIE in the columns next to why. I can’t honestly say that I’m afraid of failure and rejection because it means I’m not worthy or talented or loved or anything. That’s a lie! Even if I “fail” by worldly standards or am rejected, who cares? My worth does not come from the world. My only goal is to glorify God by being the person He created me to be. Freedom.

With freedom, I am fearless.

Daily Advent Gift: Day 13

And just like that, the busy-ness of the Christmas season (hi, shopping & building gingerbread houses) and a sick child turn this “daily gift” into a “mostly daily gift”.

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IJM seeks to make public justice systems work for victims of abuse and oppression who urgently need the protection of the law.

International Justice Mission is the real deal. I’ve had the opportunity to hear the founder, Gary Haugen, speak on a few occasions. The work they are doing is real and so needed: There are currently between 21-30 MILLION slaves. Even if you don’t donate a penny, take a moment to read just one of their many rescue stories: IJM Helps Rescue 35 Girls Enslaved in a Thread Making Factory.

They’re focus is to provide: Victim Relief (immediate relief for the victim), Perpetrator Accountability (through local jurisdiction systems), Survivor Aftercare (help victims rebuild their lives) & Structural Transformation (working with local judicial system to protect future abuse.

International Justice Mission Donation Page

Daily Advent Gift: Day 10

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There is a great organization in the Boston area to help survivors of domestic violence. Each year, a group of moms in my town gather to serve these survivors a Holiday meal. The least I could do was provide a few items for the meal.

The Second Step fosters the ongoing safety, stability, and well-being of survivors of domestic violence. Our comprehensive residential and community-based programs build on the strengths, needs, and values of the individuals and families we serve. Through partnership with survivors and collaboration with the community, we lay a foundation for a future free from abuse and full of possibility.

The Second Step

Donations can be made online to help families get back on their feet. Giving can be made online or donations of goods (household items, clothing, toiletries, etc) can be dropped off.

Daily Advent Gift: Day 9

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Today the boys and I have started filling a cup. The contents of which we are going to donate to World Food Program. Had I planned ahead, I would have ordered a World Food Program Red Cup for the occasion. But I’m sticking with “it’s the thought that counts”, to make up for my lack of planning.

Since 2004, Coins 4 Kids has helped the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) provide over 72,000 school meals to children in nearly 100 schools throughout the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Coins 4 Kids supporters around the country collect bills and change in a red collection cup, modeled after the red cups that WFP fills with nutritious food for these children each day in school.

Every 25 cents you collect in your Coins 4 Kids cup, will feed one hungry child in school for a day. It’s that simple – one quarter, one cup of nutritious food.

World Food Program Coins 4 Kids

Daily Advent Gift: Day 8

Today, one of my boys’ went to a birthday party where they requested we didn’t bring any gifts for the child. Instead, they requested we bring an unwrapped gift for a child through Toys for Tots. What a great way to teach kids to give. Love that!

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The Toys for Tots Mission is…

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

Consider buying a toy for a child and dropping it in a Toys for Tots bin. Find locations here.

Daily Advent Gift: Day 7

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The Wounded Warrior Project’s mission is simple, yet so powerful:

To honor and empower Wounded Warriors.

The Wounded Warrior Project…

  • Helps injured service members aid and assist each other.
  • Provides unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.
  • Raises awareness and enlists the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members.

Want to give time & love? Ways to Give back with the Wounded Warrior Project

Want to give money? Wounded Warrior Secure Donation Page