Different Kind of Christmas 2017
 
Responding to Human Trafficking
Local – State – International
Three projects that are changing lives and helping people who have fallen victim to the world-wide crime of Human Trafficking.
 
Grace Haven located – Columbus, OH
Grace Haven was founded to care for the growing number of victims of domestic minor sex trafficking. More than 1,000 minors are sexually trafficked in Ohio annually. To effectively care for victims and prevent others from being enslaved in this life,
Gracehaven employs a comprehensive approach to combating domestic minor sex trafficking through Preventive Education, Community collaboration, Intervention Training, Survivor Care and Support. In August 2015, Grace Haven opened a licensed therapeutic residential facility solely for minors who are victims of sex trafficking.
 
HavenHope located – Kettering, OH
HavenHope is a comprehensive lifestyle program including housing, healthcare, counseling, spiritual guidance, and job preparedness training for women marginalized by human trafficking. HavenHope provides:
•housing
•access to health and dental care
•access to mental health and addiction counseling
•spiritual guidance
•job training and life skills
•monthly stipend for personal items
•a chance to work in HavenHope’s social enterprise
Women can live at HavenHope for two years, with no obligaton to pay for anything. HavenHope is modeled after Thistle Farms (Magdeline House) in Nashville, TN which has been helping women rebuild their lives for more than 20 years.
 
UMCOR Anti-Human Trafficking Project – Armenia
United Methodist ministries have been active in Armenia since 1994 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The antitrafficking project began in 2004. In addition to operating a hot-line, it airs public-service announcements in the media and trains police, judges and social workers how to identify and help victims. UMCOR’s shelter is the only one in Armenia where survivors of trafficking can find a safe and comfortable place to seek rehabilitation. The Anti-Human Trafficking Project provides medical assistance, legal assistance and job training. Victims of trafficking are reconnected with their families so they can more successfully reintegrate into society. Both men and women are trafficking victims. Men typically become victims of labor trafficking after applying for jobs outside Armenia, where the unemployment rate is 35 percent. “Oftentimes, women are promised a job abroad as a housekeeper or a teacher or a beautician, and they are trafficked into prostitution,” said Nicholas Jaeger, an UMCOR program manager in Armenia. “By the time they make it back to Armenia and connect with our shelter services, that’s usually what these largely young women have gone through.” No one knows for sure the total number of human trafficking victims, but global estimates soar into the millions – mostly women and children – who are currently in forced labor, bonded labor and forced prostitution.
 
The 2017 Different Kind of Christmas offering will be shared among these three ministries as our world-wide response to Human Trafficking.
 
Offerings to be received beginning on Christmas Eve. Just mark your special contribution: “Different Kind of Christmas”.
 
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