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January 2016 Newsletter

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Important Announcement
Hello Bridget's Dream Supporters,
 
2015 was an incredible year! Thank you for being one of our supporters. In 2015, we received $35,096 in donations. With the generous contribution of our donors, here’s what we were able to accomplish in 2015: 

Together we supported 62 survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. That included:
  • Answering 49 Crisis Calls and providing each caller with the resources needed
  • Providing case management and ongoing support to 10 survivors and their families
  • Supporting two clients who are incarcerated along with their families
  • Placing four clients in residential treatment programs
  • Supporting two girls to testify against their traffickers (including multiple meetings with the DA and investigators)
  • Helping to celebrate two births by throwing baby showers for the expecting Mommies
  • Mentoring one client as she embarked on a journey to becoming a human trafficking advocate
  • Helping the children of 6 survivors by having birthday and Christmas celebrations and giving gifts
  • Helping a client create her first resume and receive a paid internship
  • Developing Sacramento’s 1st court system designed for survivors of human trafficking at Juvenile Hall in partnership with Judge Boulware Eurie
We also reached 4 million American viewers through our awareness efforts via a special appearance on the syndicated TV show Being Mary Jane! We participated in an awareness billboard launch in collaboration with the City of Sacramento, Clear Channel, Rosario Dowling, and Abolitionist Mom. Lastly, we held our 2nd Silent Protest on Watt Ave. It ignited large community discussions with the Sacramento Police Department on how to better address DEMAND! :)
2015 was phenomenal!!
 
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 5 years since we first embarked on this journey. In 2011 when, we first sat down to develop the business plan for Bridget’s Dream, we never dreamt that we would accomplish so many amazing things for our City, State and Nation. When Bridget’s Dream was founded, the mission was to see other girls like Leah find hope, love, and opportunities to discover their dreams.
 
The road ahead included the launching of a crisis care program where girls and families in need of support could start the long hard journey of rehabilitation from commercial sexual exploitation. The first call we received was from a Grandmother who tearfully told the story of her missing grandbaby. One call after another poured in and we responded!
 
Together, since 2011, we’ve provided crisis care, case management, and family support to 196 girls and women who were being commercially sexually exploited. We also helped launch Sacramento’s first girls court designed to provide trauma-informed support to victims identified in juvenile hall and acted as consultants to several local organizations as they developed their own strategies for helping victims.
 
Together we realized that girls being trafficked on the streets needed to be made aware of our services so we launched a street outreach program and watched as many community members volunteered to go into dangerous parts of town to share a message of love and hope. We reached over 300 girls and women with resources during that time!

Together we supported Prop 35 to raise penalties against traffickers and mandate law enforcement training statewide. It passed with 81.3% of California voter support and made state history! We also supported Senate Bill 1165 which ensured that California’s 3 million middle and high school students would receive sex-trafficking prevention education. Lastly, we supported Senate Bill 855 which allocated $14 million annually to the Department of Child and Family Services to ensure that social workers in our state were trained and equipped to provide care to trafficked youth.
 
Together we brought awareness and education to over 4 million Americans through multiple media appearances and radio interviews. We participated in 45 awareness events and educated an additional 20,000 community members on how to fight human trafficking. We participated in a SuperBowl PSA in 2014 in partnership with the New Jersey Attorney General and led two Silent Protests on the streets of Sacramento. We also provided formal training to social workers, school district staff, and law enforcement.
 
We’ve accomplished a lot together!
 
So as we share these incredible accomplishments, we have a very important announcement to make to you as someone who has helped sustain our mission through your generosity.
 
When Bridget’s Dream was started, the Dream Team was determined to carry on the mission for years to come. We just didn’t know how. We thought that Bridget’s Dream would be the mechanism for carrying on the much needed work of supporting victims and their families in Sacramento and beyond. And we were right…but only for a season. Our role was to serve the girls we were blessed to serve, make a powerful impact, and be a conduit of education, hope, and inspiration to others who will carry on this work far beyond the place we were called to.

In June of 2015, I  (Leah Albright-Byrd), announced my resignation from my role as Executive Director. After serving as a volunteer Executive Director of Bridget's Dream and the last 5 years of amazing contributions to the national Human Trafficking movement, I am ready to start a new chapter and focus on some much needed self-care. The Bridget's Dream board was determined to carry on the mission and supported me in my decision. They set a goal to fund-raise and hire a replacement to continue to build the organization, but, were not able to meet the goal. Which means that Bridget’s Dream unfortunately does not have the financial resources needed to continue serving the community and as a result we are ceasing operations effective immediately. Though we are saddened by this we celebrate our accomplishments and we are confident that this important work will continue in our region and beyond!
 
And that is why we want to introduce you to an amazing organization that is actively serving the same population with the same heart and devotion we have had! City of Refuge Sacramento has a mission to cultivate a community that transforms and empowers broken lives through the truth of God’s love seen in acts of justice, mercy, and humility. They too provide case management and crisis services to sex-trafficking victims but they have a crucial service that we did not: HOUSING! We’ve had the privilege of having some of our clients placed at their housing facility and we’ve been so blessed by the care they have shown to these precious girls and women. We encourage you to stay engaged in the fight against human trafficking by supporting City of Refuge. We hope that you check out their website at www.cityofrefugesac.com.
 
We thank you for sharing this journey with us! We couldn't have done it without your support. Rest assured that the girls that we are currently serving will be supported as they transition to receiving services through other trusted sources. We could not have done these things without you and we will forever be thankful for the opportunities we had to truly make a difference!
 
 
Your Friends In the Fight For Freedom,
 
 
The Bridget’s Dream Board of Directors & Leah Albright-Byrd (Founder)
 
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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Bridget's Dream has ceased operations.

If you need immediate help, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888.  


please read the newsletter below for the formal announcement of the closure of bridget's dream.