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Although the end of a year-long global pandemic is in sight as more Americans are vaccinated against the Coronavirus, Convergence Resource Center (CRC) plans to hold its annual fundraising event online on the evening of Friday, April 23. The goal is to raise at least $50,000 to expand programs to help women rebuild their lives after incarceration and female survivors of human trafficking.
CRC provides support services for adult women rebuilding their lives after trauma. Each “Work of ART” (CRC sees each woman it is working with as a Work of ART) identifies their trauma. These may include but are not limited to human trafficking, incarceration, or substance abuse. ART refers to CRC’s Avoid Recidivism Track that provides counseling and training to help women avoid repeating negative behaviors.
“The pandemic has actually increased the need for our trauma-informed programs,” said Debbie Lassiter, D. Div., the nonprofit’s CEO and co-founder. “COVID-19 didn’t stop human trafficking – it actually intensified. Our Works of ART struggled with isolation, physical and mental abuse, fear, and more during the pandemic. We need people’s help now more than ever.”
The event begins at 6 p.m. on April 23 and can be viewed on Zoom. There is no admission fee. Attendees can register on CRC’s website (https://www.convergenceresource.org). An access code will be sent by email a few days before the event. People can donate before, during, or after the event by clicking a button on CRC’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/conresctr), its website, or by texting “CRCGIVE” to 44-321. Lassiter said the 18-year-old faith-based organization is seeking corporate sponsors to invest in the lives being changed.
Lassiter says the online event will be fast-paced with several interactive segments similar to previous fundraising banquets. It will feature presentations on how the nonprofit has continued to serve women during the pandemic, the services it provides, plans for expanded services, how CRC helped save women from human trafficking during the Super Bowl, and hear from survivors how CRC has helped them in their most vulnerable time.
CRC conducted a five-day virtual telethon on Facebook last August. Each half-hour live segment was recorded for later viewing and they remain on CRC’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/conresctr) and on its website.
“In past years, tickets for our banquet cost $50 each and we were limited by the number of people who could attend or afford that cost. Despite millions of Americans being vaccinated already, many people are not ready to attend an in-person event because they don’t want to catch or spread the Coronavirus,” said Carla McKiver, CRC’s co-founder and Chief Financial Officer.
“By taking our program online last year, more people learned about what we do and the lives we’re changing. That’s why we are sticking with a virtual event this year. With a virtual format, hundreds – even thousands of people – can still join us and donate through our Facebook page or our website,” said McKiver.
“We have become a leading service provider for human trafficking survivors and justice-involved women, and our HEMAD campaign has transitioned into a movement which addresses the demand side of human trafficking. We are prepared to launch several new services that are poised to address gaps in services for human trafficking survivors and we need support from the community,” added Lassiter.
About Convergence Resource Center
Convergence Resource Center (CRC) is a faith-based nonprofit community service organization providing support for men and women rebuilding their lives after trauma with an emphasis on justice involved women and female survivors of human trafficking. It collaborates with more than 50 community service organizations locally and nationally through partnerships and membership in several human trafficking task forces. To learn more, call (414) 979-0591 or visit www.convergenceresource.org.