We can not wait until our Restoring Hope Gala because we have an amazing lineup of speakers. Click the photos below to read about each of our special guests. Get your tickets at restoringhopegala.com so you can join in on the fun!
We are restoring survivors. That is our mission. That is what we do as an organization. Since our founding in 2015, we have committed ourselves to advocacy, outreach, and educating our communities on the realities of child sex trafficking.
We stay in front of our communities because survivors need to know that we see them, that we understand them, that we are the hands and feet of Jesus, and that they have a home with us. Our staff and volunteers made great efforts to participate in community events this year, connecting us with more champions than any other year in our mission.
Our efforts in the community have spread in 2021 as well. While our most active participation is still in the Birmingham metro area, we have made great strides to reach deeper into Shelby County. And we have received warm welcomes from everyone we connect with! This includes more than just individuals. We are building bridges with victim service providers, state agencies, and spearheading the efforts to bring valuable human trafficking training to the 2022 World Games volunteer team. Our champions deserve honor and praise for all their efforts in keeping our mission front and center in Jefferson and Shelby County! We cannot do this mission alone.
While providing essential services has always been a part of our mission behind the scenes, 2021 marks the year we made our most significant stride towards achieving this mission. Over the summer, we bought 73 acres in Shelby County. While we fully intended to pay off this property by the end of the year, never could we imagine the plans God had in store. Before we officially hit the fall season, our Lord brought us one generous donor who completely paid off our property loan of $200,000! All praise to God.
This means that our mission is now on track to round out its available programs, aligning what we do day-to-day with our mission: to provide essential services, compassionate care, and a loving Christian witness to child survivors of sex trafficking. Our plans for 2022 include breaking ground on a 10,000 square foot, nine-bed therapeutic restoration home for girls ages 12-17 and (God willing!) 1 on-site foster care home!
We are working with architects. We are partnering with professionals to staff this home. Our plans are in the works. And this home is coming.
Our mission only works if we do this together. I encourage every one of you to join us in the way God has moved you to. Whether by praying over our mission, sharing our story, learning more about survivors, or giving your time and resources. We need all of us to come together, trusting in a Sovereign God, to see Alabama’s first home for child sex trafficking survivors come into being!
Since joining Blanket Fort Hope in February, my sole mission has been to develop the infrastructure and relationships that will see our mission succeed. I am excited to say we have built new and meaningful relationships, created internal processes to prepare us for the future, and kept our mission front and center in the community.
The first step in this process was figuring out a way to communicate our vision and the in-depth details surrounding the foster care initiative, our training, the home, and what we had been doing for seven years.
We reassessed our strategic mission statement and communications plan during the first half of this year. We did not change our mission; we simply looked at what we were already doing and simplified it to the basics. We see that Blanket Fort Hope is committed to three key ideas that people can wrap their heads around: providing essential services, training people to respond with compassion, and being a loving Christian witness to survivors and communities alike. Once we had this plan in place, we could take off into our cities and plant fertile seeds for development.
After that, we launched the brand new BlanketFortHope.org and implemented a new donor management system to help us maintain relationships.
Our website is our doorstep. It is how people engage with our mission when they find us online. After an assessment period, we determined to redesign and revamp the website to focus more on Champion acquisition and community education. As a result, we have given our community easier access to the tools they need to get educated, get engaged, and ultimately pour back into our mission in the ways that are meaningful for them. All while having the backend infrastructure necessary to ensure we stay in touch with the people who sacrifice their time and resources for us.
To complement these efforts, we hosted and attended various community events, shaking hands, making friends, bringing more Champions on board than any other year in our mission. As an organization, we hosted luncheons, held survivor testimony experiences online, invited more than 40 volunteers to participate in our Hold the Fort Races, and launched a new committee to plan our 1st annual Restoring Hope gala in February of 2022.
In addition, we have joined up with the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce to build meaningful relationships within the business community. In the five months since we have joined, we have joined with multiple municipalities and secured partners for our groundbreaking ceremony in 2022 – this is saying nothing about the tremendous amount of potential in-kind partnerships waiting for us down the road!
People are starting to take notice. Progress is happening, and this home will be here before you know it!
2022 holds a tremendous amount of promise! Our churches, businesses, and individual champions are the fuel that keeps Blanket Fort Hope moving forward. Only when we join on mission together with such great partners will we see child survivors restored.
The Next Phase: Building A Home
With the purchase of 73 acres we are now positioned to move forward with plans to build a one-of-a-kind minor Restoration Home.
Given that there are fewer than 700 beds nationwide, and fewer than 25 beds proposed for Alabama in the next 2 years, we are stepping up to serve 9 child survivors in our Home, with the ability to expand that number with the construction of additional Therapeutic Foster Care Cottages.
Once this home is built, every child that steps through our door will receive the same care, regardless of background:
As a child begins to be restored, they will be moved into ongoing Therapeutic Foster Care, with access to Transitional Living Services, while always being able to take advantage of Blanket Fort Hope’s resources.
Construction is set to begin 2022 and is projected to cost around $1.2 million to fund the facility and first year staffing. Restoration costs for each child is estimated to be around $4,000 per month. Blanket Fort Hope is prayerfully entering into a season of fundraising, trusting that God and our community will compassionately respond to this urgent need.
“Children are the most common victims of human trafficking. Crisis centers are needed to provide hands-on, face to face help to those who are the most vulnerable in our state. This underserved group of victims desperately needs this help in Alabama.”— Cam Ward (R), Alabama State Senator.
A Mission Moving Forward
Now is the time for our Champions to be extra diligent. While we are incredibly grateful for God and his providence for bringing us here, we realize that there is so much more we have to do.
- Construct The Home
- Write The State Request For Proposal (RFP)
- Raise $1.5 million For 1st Year Staffing And Construction. [link to spontaneous giving]
- Raise and secure restoration funding for each child ($3,800 per child, per month!)
- Secure Licensing To Receive Traumatized Children
- Secure Licensing To Place Children Into Independent Therapeutic Foster Care
- Grow Our Champions Circle Monthly Givers Program
- Build Advocacy Resources
- Equip Communities To Compassionately Respond to Survivors
We have spent the last 5 years building key relationships in the non-profit, private, and public sectors. With support of partners like The Church at Brook Hills, Grace Klein Communities, Shelby County DHR, Big Oak Ranch, Southeastern Construction, Mills Pharmacy, and Shelby Pediatric Dentistry, and so many more, we have guaranteed that our mission is sustained through sound wisdom, keen insight, and heartfelt compassion for children.
But we also need supporters like you. Individuals who God is calling to help move us forward.
We will see this home built and every child restored!
We have some wonderful news we’d like to share everyone! This week we set the groundwork for future construction on our potential property by roughing out an access road, installing a front gate, and moving into the final stages of the survey
We recognize these as small steps in the first of many over the next few months. We trust God with this mission and we invite you to continue praying for us!
To-date we have raised over 45% of the necessary capital to pay up front for the land. Our dream is to close on this property debt free this summer, after that, God-willing: land clearing and official ground breaking!
Be on the look out for future events where you’ll be able to visit and see what our plans look like in person!
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Champion with us by sharing this update!
After a tremendous year of financial growth in 2020, we realized that the time was right to grow our organization. We are so happy to announce our first full-time hire, Justin Adderholt. Justin will be filling our organization’s long-standing need for a Development Director. He brings 10 years of experience in marketing and advertising and an invaluable voice of consistency to Blanket Fort Hope. In this new role, he will be responsible for building relationships with donors, influencers, and vendors that will help build the presence and scope of our organization in Alabama.
In the beginning of last year, Justin came across our mission through our partnership with The Church at Brook Hills. He was so moved by our presentation, that he reached out immediately to set a meeting with Alexa. Within the next month, they had begun work on updating the brand and making plans for the new website. Since serving in a volunteer capacity for the last year, he has breathed life and consistency into our brand presence while also overseeing the launch of our brand-new website, integrating our brand standards, event promotion, and building relationships through volunteer coordination.
We are excited and confident in his abilities to help Blanket Fort Hope reach its next goal of building the restorative therapeutic center for child survivors. Please welcome Justin to our team!
Be sure to follow him on social media!