5th Annual Benefit Dinner

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Restore Innocence is pleased to announce our Fifth Annual Benefit Dinner, Her Story! This year we are hosting two dinners, one in Denver and the other in Colorado Springs. Both dinners are the same but with different dates and locations. However, seating is limited so be sure to purchase your tickets or tables early!

Attire for both dinners will be formal.

Denver Pricing: $90 per seat until March 26th, then the price goes up to $100 per seat.
Colorado Springs Pricing: $90 per seat until September 11th, then the price goes up to $100 per seat.

Get Tickets Now

Announcing the Wildflower Ranch

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We are thrilled to announce the Wildflower Ranch, the first Residential Child Care Facility in Colorado for minor, female victims of human trafficking

Open House

Want the inside scoop? Come to our open house on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014, any time between 4-8pm. At:
Community Bible Study
790 Stout Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80921

There will be a virtual tour of the facility, information about the program, question and answer time, and more information about how you can get involved.

Give A Home Warming Gift

We’re registered as “Restore Innocence” at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, as well as Target. Gift cards are also most welcome. For more information, you can call us at (719) 425-9405, or email us at info@restoreinnocence.org.

A Long Time Coming

When we started Restore Innocence, we knew two things for a fact. One, this is God’s ministry; everything we do is for Him. Two, this ministry was about bringing people together. “The greatest commandment is this: Love God and Love Each other.” That’s what we’re about. There is a peace that has come through this, knowing Restore Innocence is so much greater than us takes the pressure off. It’s not about how great we perform, the people we know or the resources we have. It all comes down to God – He will perform the miracles, He will bring the people and He will provide the resources. And He has!

Wildflower Ranch is a retreat type home where young girls who have been victims of human trafficking can find rest, healing, joy and beauty as well as counseling, therapy, education and so much more.

Wildflower Ranch, the dream and vision God gave us four years ago is finally coming true! Wildflower Ranch is a retreat type home where young girls who have been victims of human trafficking can find rest, healing, joy and beauty as well as counseling, therapy, education and so much more.

The Meaning Behind Wildflower Ranch

After one of our first prayer meetings for Restore Innocence ended, a friend looked up at me and said God gave him a vision. I personally had never had someone share a vision with me before that was about me so I was a little excited and a little skeptical. The vision made me cry. He said, I saw you in the middle of a dry and dusty field, yoked with two buckets of water. You were taking one scoop of water at a time and watering the field. You were exhausted but joyful. There was a gate and as you looked up, people started walking through and they started helping you water the field. At that time, when the vision was shared, it was a relief. For so long Jason and I felt so alone and felt the burden on our shoulders of getting this ministry going. This vision was God’s way of telling me that we weren’t alone and God was sending people to help. And He did! Well four years later in my heart I see that field and it is no longer dry and barren but it is full of wildflowers, growing and thriving.

Our hearts are overflowing with joy at the opportunity we have to launch this program beginning of 2015. Our hearts are also heavy with the reality that we need a home like this, that there are girls (and boys) being abused in unspeakable ways, every day, every hour, but we are thankful we can do something about it. We hope you will join with us as we continue to move ahead and blaze the trail set before us!

2014 Christmas Stocking Drive

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4th Annual Christmas Stocking drive to benefit victims of Human Trafficking
across the United States.

The purpose of the Christmas Stockings is to bring hope and healing to
victims of human trafficking all across the country.

Many victims are rescued by law enforcement during the Christmas
season and in addition to our Restoration Bags, we like to provide law
enforcement with a gift they can share with those they rescue. Your partnership with Restore Innocence makes an incredible difference!

Here’s what one FBI Victim’s Specialist says:

Happy Holidays Indeed!
I just received the box of stockings and am just delighted! They are beautiful and have
just thoughtful items. They came with perfect timing too because I have a new case with
two teenage victims and will be going to meet with them. What marvelous work you have
done! Thank you for sharing your resources and kindness.
Best wishes for a warm and wonderful holiday!
-F.B.I. Victim’s Specialist, Utah

What goes in a stocking?

The purpose of the items below is to bring comfort as well as healing and to aide in the restoration process. Please choose at least one item from each category for the stocking.

Spiritual Items

  • Bible
  • Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
  • Becoming Myself by Staci Eldridge

Physical Healing

  • Almonds, walnuts or pecans
  • Chocolate covered raisins, nuts or fair trade chocolate bar
  • Peppermint, Chamomile or Green Tea

Mental Healing

  • Shape by Shape puzzle game
  • Crossword and Word Search
  • Soduku
  • Dot to Dot puzzle pictures

Comfort Items

  • Stuffed animal
  • Fun slippers or socks
  • Soft plush blanket

Creative Healing

  • Play dough
  • Coloring book and markers or colored pencils
  • Journal and pen

Other (please include both of these)

  • Gift card to McDonalds, Starbucks, or any national fast food chain.
  • Christmas card or personal note. No personal contact info please! For obvious reasons we cannot accept sealed envelopes.

When you have completed a stocking, or if you have some items to donate toward a stocking, please contact us. You can send the stocking via mail to:
Restore Innocence
P.O. Box 50495
Colorado Springs, CO 80949

For questions, call us at 719-425-9405, or send an email to info@restoreinnocence.org

Please deliver stockings by November 1st! This helps ensure victims will receive the stockings in time for the holidays.

Restoring the Beauty of Community

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                                Every great event begins with a dream and a vision.                                  

In 2014 we saw three of our girl’s dreams come true.

Three girls, three stories of hope, healing and lives restored.

 Cinderella* is a girl with a vision, a girl so full of beauty and life, you smile every time you see her! She lights up the room with her presence. Two years ago she came to one of her first Restore Innocence events. We were having a fashion show fundraiser and she quietly sneaked in with her mentor and watched from the corner. She was still testing us out, still deciding if we were someone she could trust. About 9 months later she approached us and said, I want to have another fashion show but I want to plan it, organized and ask people to pay for it! I want it to benefit Restore but to be about community. Her enthusiasm was contagious and we said, okay! Let’s make it happen! This video shows a glimpse of her dream becoming a reality. The community came together as one and her vision was realized!

Harmony* is graceful, confident and focused. She knows what she wants in life and she makes it happen. She has overcome enormous obstacles and has found healing. Part of her healing came from an unlikely source, her boyfriend. It is easy in this dark world of trafficking to lump all men together in one unhealthy category. It is easy to sympathize with the girls and to blame the guys. But there are men out there who are awesome protectors, not just predators, and Harmony found just such a guy. He helped her move from broken to whole, protecting her, journeying with her and supporting her. And now they are getting married! At the fashion show, one of the vintage wedding dresses was restored into a beautiful wedding gown for Harmony. She wore it at the fashion show and in just a few weeks, she is going to wear it again at her wedding! Beauty is Restored!

Dignity*, our lovely, sweet and inspiring girl is blooming in her new life. She has been married for over 2 years, they are expecting their first child and she is going back to college. Her story is one of hope and healing. Listen to her words in the video and be inspired!

Remember that just because someone has been a victim of human trafficking doesn’t mean that is who they are. It doesn’t define them. They are more, they are survivors and they are beautiful.

 *All names have been changed but are changed to reflect who they are while keeping their identity concealed.

Taking A Stand

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grassroots-hands
The U.S. Department of State encourages individuals to lobby government officials to express their concern about human-trafficking prevention. Grassroots lobbying allows individuals or groups to contact legislators and government officials about a cause which is near and dear to them. Not only is this an avenue to bring awareness to a topic, but also to interact with an audience from a broader spectrum.

A common misconception about contacting your legislators or lobbying is that it takes a lot of time and dedication. Lobbying can be made easy! Already, many people have made their voices heard to Colorado legislators about human trafficking. Together, we can have a positive impact on the lives of survivors who have been involved in human trafficking. You don’t have to spend twenty hours a week at the state capitol to advocate for trafficking survivors!

Recently Colorado passed House Bill 14-1273; a bill which defines penalties for human traffickers. Had it not been for the countless lobbyists and advocates for human trafficking survivors, this bill might not have ever come into existence. Here are some highlights of this bill:

  • Human trafficking of an adult for involuntary servitude is a class three (3) felony
  • Human trafficking of a minor for involuntary servitude is a class two (2) felony
  • Human trafficking of an adult for sexual servitude is a class three (3) felony
  • Human trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude is a class two (2) felony

Take a stand and speak up! Let your voice be heard and add to your personal effort to prevent and penalize human trafficking. Get involved in demanding justice for human trafficking victims. Here are some easy ways to get involved:

  • Sign a petition to Governor Hickenlooper here: http://www.demandingjustice.org/states/colorado/
  • Use the hashtag #demandjustice on twitter, and tag @hickforco so Governor Hickenlooper will see it
  • Share a link to this website or other anti-human trafficking websites on Facebook. The more people who share with their friends about human trafficking, the more people will be motivated to speak out for survivors!

Be Inspired

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We are now entering into our fourth year of ministry and I am feeling compelled to revisit what inspired me to begin, to take this step of faith into a world of darkness where there is a huge need  for hope. What compels someone to say “Here I am Lord, use me”? What place in life, in your faith journey do you need to be at, spiritually, emotionally and physically to say “wherever you want me to go Lord, whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it”? I want to focus my life again with complete and unrelenting trust in God and continually pray those prayers. But to get to that point in life, I was pretty broken and had been shaken to the core with some tough challenges in my life but had found healing through Christ, and only through Him.

I am humbly sharing this because God took me through some really hard times in my life to get me to a place of total reliance and trust in Him. I don’t know if I would have prayed those prayers had I not gone through many fiery trials and learned through it all that my only hope was Jesus.

But even now, four years later, I am asking myself, would I still lay down my life, so completely, for God to use in whatever fashion He desires? Here’s the truth of the matter: I am broken, poor and needy and I am nothing without Christ. Nothing I do is apart from Him and all I do is for Him. And this is a glorious thing! Entirely opposite of what the world may say. Complete dependence, humble reliance and unrelenting trust in God to lead me, to take care of me, because I don’t want to do this on my own. I do not want to rely on my own strength because, frankly, it just doesn’t work. I am too weak. But Jesus said “my power is made perfect in your weakness” and that is what I have experienced, time and time again.

Be Inspired

So this year I want to be inspired again. Not inspiration that comes from seeing a need and trying to fill it, but inspiration from looking at God and His glorious creation and wanting to be a part of what He is doing. My desire is to have a closer relationship with Him. Jesus reminds me that his, “yoke is easy and [His] burden is light.” I take that to heart because this ministry is challenging and the enemy attacks all of us. But if our focus is on God, it will be a wonderful journey and the enemy will flee! I think we should all ask ourselves often what inspires us and then pursue that inspiration. Not because we have all the answers but because we have The Answer, Jesus, and we can do all things through Him, no matter what that might be. I had no clue how to start a non-profit, how to connect with victims of human trafficking or how to run a ministry. But God does and I see Him changing lives every day, and not just the girl’s lives but everyone who is a part of Restore Innocence.The bigger picture is that He longs to restore all of us back to Him. 

Be encouraged. Be challenged. Be Inspired!

Let’s Inspire one another to action, to truth and to love!

With Love, Michelle Korth

Freedom

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Freedom comes at a cost, whether you’re fighting for someone’s freedom or your own. It is a constant battle, one that we can never give up on. As the 40th President of the United States once said:

Ronald Reagan quote

Not only do we fight for freedom for victims of human trafficking in America but we fight for the bigger picture, of what freedom means and what it means to our country, to our belief system, to us as Christians. It’s about doing what is right, even when it’s hard; even when there seems to be no end in sight. We press on and persevere; we fight the good fight because if we don’t, who will?

If we don’t, the enemy wins.

If we don’t, there is not hope.

We have to stand united, together, as one, no matter how impossible the challenge before us is. We’re not only fighting for freedom, but we’re fighting for hope, in a world where darkness is trying to saturate our country in every conceivable way.

Take a stand. Take a step of faith. And remember that Freedom is about sacrifice and choice.

4th Annual Benefit Dinner

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4th Annual Benefit Dinner

Put on your best black and white attire for this evening and come be inspired at Restore Innocence’s 4th Annual Benefit Dinner as we look at our past accomplishments, current programs and future plans! God has continued to grow and bless this ministry and we are excited to share with you about the girls who have lived at the Cinderella House, the girls who have been blessed by the Mentor Program and the ever expanding borders of the Restoration Bag Initiative. Together, we have made tremendous progress in the past four years and we are looking forward to the next many years ahead! We hope you are inspired this year as you see God’s hand at work in changing, transforming and redeeming lives!

Tickets are limited, so get yours today!

Early bird pricing starts at $65 per seat, or $500 for a table of eight. Prices go up to $75 per seat starting September 1st.

To purchase tickets, follow this link to the event signup form:
https://www.eventbrite.com/o/restore-innocence-4201654129?s=26627971

Sponsorships Available!

The benefit dinner is a great opportunity for corporations and individuals to get positive recognition for a good cause. If you are interested in the sponsorship opportunities available, you can read our brochure or email Lisa at lisa@restoreinnocence.org

New Beginnings

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What would you do if someone took your world and flipped it on its axis? Would you quickly and seamlessly adapt to your new surroundings, or would it take a while to get your bearings?

For the girls we work with at the Cinderella House and in our Mentor Program, their world has just been shaken. Granted their world before was not a healthy one, one that we are all thankful for they are not a part of anymore, but however dysfunctional it was, it was still their world. A place where they knew their role and they knew the people around them.

JoyBut now they have been put in this new world and are starting over in a situation they are not familiar with and with people they don’t know if they can trust. For some of our girls, this is a welcomed change and they embrace us with open arms. For others, it is a hard transition, one that takes months, if not years, to accept.

The process of beginning anew is a slow and consistent one. It is something all of us at Restore Innocence are aware of and we meet each girl and her situation right where she is at, not forcing her to conform to our ways, not pushing her into a program because we know it’s what she needs, but instead gently coming along side her, holding her hand or keeping a comfortable distance, to say we’re here, we support you . To let her know we are here for you, not just for today, not just until you complete a program, but always, for the long term, no matter what.

Would you pray with us, for the girls we love and serve? We are building relationships as we enter into these new beginnings and it’s exciting but it takes a village, a community, to not only support Restore Innocence and our programs, but to support the girls in the long term, in the day to day of everyday life. Because although new beginnings are exciting and sometimes take a while to get going, it is in the long term, the everyday, where relationships flourish and healing continues.

Buying Fair Trade Products

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hope-logo

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of preparing quite a few Restoration Bags. As a woman, I find shopping fun, even (and maybe especially) when it’s for someone else! But the more I learn about human trafficking, the harder I work at making sure those Restoration Bags are filled with fair trade products. I want to be part of the solution and that requires making sure the actions I’m taking aren’t actually fueling the problem.

As we fill these Restoration Bags, we love the idea that we are one step in the process to helping a victim become restored. But there are other victims we may not be thinking about.

stuffed-animals

For example, many of the stuffed animals imported into the USA come from factories where the workers are not treated much better than slaves. And chocolate is in fact the biggest slave industry in the world. A quick Google search will reveal the horrors common in the chocolate industry. The workers are often purchased from their families, live on the cocoa farms for months and even years at a time, work long hours, are not paid and face extreme physical abuse. Their treatment is really no different from that of US slaves in the 18th and 19th century with one huge exception – most of these slaves are children.

As another example, in 2012, the average hourly wage for a Chinese factory worker was $1.36. And this number is hard to quantify since many factories pay their employees a lump sum each month then work their employees 6 days a week, often for longer than 11 hours a day.

If we are filling the Restoration Bags with products made in third world countries, we become part of the cycle of enslaving others in order to offer hope to these human trafficking victims. In many ways, this defeats the purpose. I know that it’s not cheap to fill a Restoration Bag. Looking for deals and trying to stay within our budget is important. If you find you’re not able to fill a restoration bag with products made in the USA or that are certified fair trade, you might see if you can involve others – maybe your church, Bible Study group, or just a group of friends could come together to fill a bag (or a few bags).

Another great idea is to buy in bulk when you see a deal. For example, if you find socks made in the USA, maybe buy all the socks in stock and donate them to Restore Innocence, so they can take “socks” off their request list for a while, freeing up others trying to fill restoration bags. You may even ask about getting a discount with a company for buying in bulk. Mention “human trafficking” and see if the company is willing to help!

If you are contemplating filling a Restoration Bag, that already means you want to be part of the solution. Congratulations! And thank you! Now you get the opportunity to help more than just one victim.

By buying products made in the USA and/or products that are certified fair trade, you are not only helping the victim receiving the bag, you are helping ensure that no worker was victimized while producing the products that filled the bag.

bag-drive-2014

Sincerely,
Amanda Vinton
Restore Innocence Board Member