ANNUAL REPORT 2020

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From Our Co-Founders

Dear Selah Freedom Supporter, 
 

It has been an incredible journey to watch our vision for Selah Freedom unfold over the past ten years! Many years ago, what began as a "God-dream" has become one of the leading anti-sex trafficking organizations in the country and a model for success in this industry. We owe this to our invaluable collaborative partnerships, selfless volunteers, generous champion donors, brilliant board  and dedicated staff. I could not be more grateful to witness lives transform before my very eyes every single day! 

 

2020 came with unique challenges no one could have predicted, but Selah Freedom continued to bring light into the darkness of sex trafficking despite all of the unprecedented changes we faced. We continued operating all four of our programs working in innovative ways to reach those in need of our life-saving resources. Mothers were reunited with their children. Survivors received their GED's, even pursued college online and new careers. Volunteers connected in new ways by leading activities online, and young lives experienced breakthroughs each day in our programs. 

 

Thank you for continuing to believe in our vital mission at Selah Freedom. I am excited to share the amazing things that took place over the past year with you!


Sincerely,
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Laurie Swink
Co-Founder
Dear Selah Freedom Supporter,
 

Selah Freedom is a beacon of hope in a world where the darkness of sex trafficking has flourished for centuries. I am immensely grateful and proud of the life-saving work done in each of our programs, especially all that took place in 2020. While many human trafficking operations went underground and countless children were forced to stay at home with their abusers, our team was relentless in providing life-saving services to the precious young lives in need. 

Our Prevention team saw the need to reach youth and parents virtually and offered all of our training for free online. Our Outreach and Residential team worked creatively and collaboratively to relocate survivors to safety. During the world shut down, sex trafficking survivors still desperately needed our help and Selah Freedom eagerly met the need.

Many of you may know me in my former role as CEO of Selah Freedom. I am thrilled to share that although I still work as a Strategic Advisor within the organization, my primary focus has shifted to what was a part of our vision from the very beginning. I am leading The Selah Way Foundation, bringing together best practices and renowned leaders domestically and internationally to combat this crime on a global scale. It is inspiring to witness my cofounders’ vision, and I have had for over ten years, come to life. This umbrella for the anti-sex trafficking movement would not be possible without our years of hands-on experience, measurable and audited financials at Selah Freedom. 

As we fight to eradicate this injustice, I know that Selah Freedom will continue to be a strong leader in the movement. We will not stop until we end Sex Trafficking and every child is safe and free!

In Gratitude,

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Elizabeth Fisher Good
Co-Founder

Boards

Board of Directors

Advisory Board

Ralph Hoehne

Chairman of the Board

Lead Pastor, Business Owner

Frank Trulaske

Director, Treasurer

CEO, TRUE FITNESS

Lynne Cumming

Director
Leaves for the Nations, Inc.

 

Joanne Hoehne

Director
Lead Pastor, Business Owner

Laurie Swink

Executive Director 

Ex-Officio Member

Elizabeth Fisher Good

Ex-Officio Member

CoFounder

Ambassadors

Barbara Tye

Mary Lou Johnson

Robyn Schmidtt

Junior Advisory Board

Kylie Davidson

JAB Executive Board Member Co-Chair 

Amanda Davidson

Co-Chair

Riley Jones

Treasurer

Julia Ramsey

Communications Chair

Grace Ramsey

Secretary

Grace Mangel

Special Events Chair

Camille Frient

Social Media Chair

 

 Ashley Cotter 

Membership Chair

Finance/Audit Committee

Frank Trulaske - Chair

 

Art Wood

Past President Northern Trust 

Past Chairman 

 

Jackie Tilton

Laurie Swink

Executive Director

___________

Rhushabh Mehta

Sr. Director of Software Engineering, Audible, Inc.

Tony Richardson

NFL Legends

Jiill Mursewick 

RN/BSN

Bambi Foristall

Legislative and Development Expert

Quin R. Frazer

Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP

Roland Jacobs

CEO, AspireUp​

Jessica Badgley

Networking/Connections Expert

Jen Davidson

Strategy and Concepts

Molly Archibald

Team Empower Change

Sarah McCarron

Vice President, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

Kathleen Sleigh

Northshore Events/Connections

​Kristina Bonesteel

Newman, Grubb, Knight, Frank

April Oury

President, Body Gears Physical Therapy

Lauren Harper

Lauren Harper Jewelry Designs

Rita L. Smith

UMW

​Judge Virginia Kendall

US District Court/Northern District, IL

Barry L. Swenson

President/CEO, DLC, LLC

Sara Kearney

Former General Manager, Hyatt Hotels

Paula Meyer Besler, JD

Managing Attorney, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation

Elaine Lewis

The Wade Street Group

at Morgan Stanley 

Senior Vice President -Wealth Management, Financial Planning Specialist 

William Russell

President/CEO Sarasota Housing Authority

Toni Thompson

Subject Matter Expert

Tammy Karp

Philanthropist

Pat Robinson

Deputy Chief, Sarasota Police Department

Mark Pentecost

It Works Global

Debra Pitell-Hauge

Realtor/Michael Saunders

Donna Koffman

Philanthropist

 

Since Selah Freedom was founded in 2011:

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6,282 SURVIVORS SERVED

 
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27,347 KIDS & ADULTS TRAINED

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171,345,700 EDUCATED

OVER 60 ORGANIZATIONS MENTORED

Organizations in the U.S. and internationally have been mentored in how to establish sustainable, successful programming based on Selah Freedom's best practices.
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OVER 50 CHILDREN
HAVE BEEN REUNITED WITH THEIR MOTHERS

Survivors are taking parenting classes and reconnecting with their children.

Thanks to these new experiences, survivors become the healthy and caring mothers they always dreamed of being.
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NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR SURVIVORS

We have partnered with ten new community partners to provide survivors with career opportunities.

After coming to Selah Freedom, survivors pursue their educational goals as well as their career goals. They are discovering their new gifts, in turn fueling their self-confidence and passions.

We have also formed a Survivor Advisory Board and focus groups with the University of South Florida.

Through these new avenues, graduates of our program have an opportunity to share their experiences and continue helping Selah Freedom best serve survivors.
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DURING A PANDEMIC...
WE CONTINUED TO
IMPACT LIVES!

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Nearly 200 guests, volunteers, friends, and family members gathered both in-person and virtually for Selah Freedom's 'Good News Celebration.' The special evening honored and celebrated the organization's largest graduating class of survivors from our program.

Thanks to Selah Freedom, our community of volunteers and partners in the law enforcement/judicial system, thirteen young women graduated from our program this year. Including survivors from our Midwest and Florida programs. Two survivor graduates shared about coming to Selah Freedom, feeling hopeless and unworthy of help. They explained their journey into freedom, going to school, and starting careers that they love and spoke words of encouragement to the women currently in the program. 

 

"Hang in there and show up for yourself and those who love you because life on the other side is so much more beautiful and meaningful than you could have ever imagined." There wasn't a dry eye in the room. Thankfully they were all happy tears.

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Residential Program
A Safe Place to Heal

42 SURVIVORS SERVED IN 2020

Survivors in our safe homes often share that it is the first time they have felt safe in years (if ever). When they come home to Selah Freedom, we welcome them into a new family, not a shelter. They receive trauma therapy, horse therapy, art therapy, puppy therapy, a personalized education plan, job placements, dental and medical aid, legal aid, life skills, mentorship, and so much more!
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87% of survivor graduates do not return to "the life."

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100% of the survivors in our program are pursuing their educational and career goals.

Handmade By Survivors
Be Inspired By Their Creativity

One therapeutic outlet which often ignites a new love for survivors is art. We offer drawing, painting, collage, chalk, and many other mediums.  It helps survivors to "practice the art of selah" (Hebrew for "pause, rest, reflect").

 

It is incredible to watch a survivor who, when she came in, believed she was worthless and had no artistic skills come alive during an art group. Suddenly, a child-like sense of wonder and self-discovery is rebirthed, and she begins to process through this unique medium. She is empowered, at peace, inspired, and has a new way of processing her experiences. Check out some of the stunning pieces created by survivors in our safe homes below.

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Outreach Program
Bringing Light Into The Darkest Places

408 SURVIVORS SERVED | 4,095 SERVICES PROVIDED |

471 OFFICERS & PROFESSIONALS TRAINED IN 2020

Selah Freedom could not have had such an incredible impact on our communities without our strong partnership with local law enforcement, State Attorney's Offices, judiciaries, Homeland Security, and the FBI. Our team unites with our partners through Sex Trafficking stings, in the jails, connecting with survivors on the streets, and through TYLA (Turn Your Life Around) Prostitution Diversion Court Program. We are the first point of contact for survivors during operations, and thanks to the training we provide, there has been a paradigm shift in how officers and women in "the life" communicate. A survivor in our program once said, "I used to run from the cops, but now I run to them because I know they will help me and not treat me like the criminal."
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Prostitution in Sarasota County has gone down 90% since local police partnered with Selah Freedom.

Prevention Program
Protecting Our Children Amid A Pandemic

 

7,532 KIDS & ADULTS TRAINED IN 2020

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Our Prevention Program provides training for K-12th graders, parents, and adults working with youth. Through evidence-based, age-appropriate, cutting-edge training in the classroom and online, we can reach the most vulnerable population to being exploited and trafficked—our children. By empowering them to know the red flags to watch out for, know the power of their voice, and what to do if they are approached or abused, we create a shield of protection for the next generation.
Did you know?
  • 1 out of 9 children are being approached by a predator online

  • 2 million children are sold each year through sex trafficking

  • Child sex trafficking is being reported in all 50 states

  • 91% of childhood sexual abuse victims report knowing their abuser

  • 92% of sex trafficking survivors were sexually abused as children

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Our trainings are now all available on a virtual platform in English and Spanish.

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94% of trained youths know the body safety rules to keep themselves safe.

92% can name three safe adults they can talk to if they feel unsafe;

91% know the difference between a secret and a surprise.

Awareness Program

Empowering Communities to Understand The Issue

155,084,457 INDIVIDUALS EDUCATED IN 2020

We repeatedly hear that, for the first time, people who attend our training are learning of this issue. Others share that they have no idea how close to home this crime is. Although so much education has been spread about sex trafficking and exploitation, many are unfamiliar with how it impacts hundreds of thousands of American children. Our Awareness Program shines a light into the darkness through online training, in-person events, social media, print media, television, and radio. The more mainstream discussing this issue becomes, the larger our "army" grows to combat it.

"I had no idea that this was even happening right in our backyard... to kids just like mine. I am so glad I heard the message of Selah Freedom. I'm not in the dark anymore about sex trafficking."
-Debbie, Awareness Presentation Attendee

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SELAH FREEDOM VOLUNTEERS
BRING HOPE, HEALING AND JOY TO OUR PROGRAMS

 

OVER 3,000 VOLUNTEER HOURS SERVED IN 2020

Volunteers are the backbone of our programs and serve in a multitude of ways at Selah Freedom. From beautification days and celebrating holidays together to leading group activities and cooking meals as a "Selah family," each man and woman is deeply appreciated! When COVID-19 created unprecedented circumstances within our programs, volunteers continued to step up in incredible ways. Simply put, we could not, and would not want to, do this work without you! Every volunteer is beloved by the survivors in our program, and they get so excited when they get to build meaningful relationships with them. 

THANK YOU to the volunteers who transitioned to virtual activities with survivors, donated and dropped off much-needed items from groceries to Easter baskets, and discovered innovative ways to touch lives during this challenging year. We are forever grateful!

OUR YOUNGEST VOLUNTEERS TO BRING
LIGHT INTO THE DARKNESS OF SEX TRAFFICKING
SELAH FREEDOM'S JUNIOR ADVISORY BOARD

2020 Junior Advisory Board

Kylie Davidson

JAB Executive Board Member Co-Chair 

Amanda Davidson

Co-Chair

Riley Jones

Treasurer

Julia Ramsey

Communications Chair

Grace Ramsey

Secretary

Grace Mangel

Special Events Chair

Camille Frient

Social Media Chair

 

 Ashley Cotter 

Membership Chair

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Our Junior Advisory Board is comprised of students from multiple high schools throughout the North Shore of Chicago. These boys and girls are passionate about ending sex trafficking and educating their peers on this issue. They have been recognized as leaders in their community for their work with Selah Freedom. During the pandemic, they continued to be a voice for the voiceless! We are forever inspired when the next generation stands up for FREEDOM!

SELAH FREEDOM FINANCIAL SNAPSHOT

Selah Freedom is dedicated to fiscal responsibility and transparency. Champions can give with confidence, knowing that their support directly impacts programs for survivors of sex trafficking and at-risk youth.
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GRANTS:
$1,800,278; 41.67%
 PUBLIC:
$2,488,834; 57.60%
 FUNDRAISING:
$9,085; 00.21%
 OTHER:
$22,664; 00.52%
REVENUE
EXPENSES
TOTAL: $4,320,861
TOTAL: $3,690,839
 PROGRAMMING:
$3,389,636; 91.84%
ADMIN:
$301,203; 8.16%
 
 
Image by Aditya Saxena

THANK YOU FOR UNITING WITH US TO BRING LIGHT INTO THE DARKNESS