Update: Project SEEN, September 2018


A few weeks ago, we promised an update on Project SEEN, a collaborative creative expression class presented by Shyne San Diego, where survivors are invited to share their talents and business ideas with the goal of changing the narrative surrounding sexual exploitation from broken to remarkable. We are proud to report that SEEN has completed two four-session courses and the women have unleashed some ambitious endeavors that prove to be potential business opportunities. As the number one issue that SEEN addresses is the need to earn income, especially because survivors often suffer from financial abuse, the course has inspired the women to start their own businesses and take other steps towards becoming self sufficient.

Cynthia Luvlee, CEO of Shyne San Diego who’s brainchild is Project SEEN, has a unique vision for survivor collaboration and rehabilitation. As the host of the project and head of the business portion of the class, Luvlee has witnessed first-hand how the class has affected its participants. “The way that I’ve seen it affect them is connection to possibility,” she states. “They have really grown, come out of their shell, being more expressive, creative. Part of what we do is we foster a group that is safe.” Not only does SEEN inspire survivors to set goals and achieve them, it also assists Alabaster Jar Project with fostering a close-knit group of survivors who support each other where their voices can be heard and understood.

As we reported before, SEEN is a four-part class where they are mentored in their creative endeavors by Bethany Kelly, a professional publisher and author,  Michelle Zousmer, a humanitarian photographer, and Luvlee herself, who specializes in business. The course is freeform and allows for the women to take the class in the direction they choose in order to work towards their goals.

The women who have participated in Project SEEN are on the path to achieve a variety of goals, including photography and photo editing, jewelry making, biography composition, spoken word, and a number of other business ventures. This is a great opportunity for women in our program and other survivors to gain professional expertise in order to pursue their dreams and take important steps towards independence.  “When we look at survivor issues, we address at the core that they can be independent successful business women,” Luvlee declared. “That’s the greatest barrier on freedom.”

Project SEEN will have a public showcase at the end of the year where the women’s work, unique business services, and talent endeavors will be available for exhibition and sale. We can’t wait to update you again soon on the progress of Project Seen participants, their event, and their projects.

Source: https://alabasterjarprojectblog.wordpress....

Giving Tuesday 2018


September is here, and now the holidays are just around the corner. After Thanksgiving in November, we are all accustomed to big blowout sales on Black Friday, where we stand in line in the wee hours of the morning to catch great deals at department stores before they open, and Cyber Monday, when online sales are at their peak. For those who have a humanitarian heart and see this season as an opportunity to give to our underserved neighborhood communities, we invite you to honor our organization by participating in Giving Tuesday, taking place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, when we are eligible to receive donations through partnering networking services. This is a way to bring the focus for this season back to the spirit of giving and helping those in your own backyard, including the survivors of human trafficking whom we serve.

Though we welcome donations year round, Giving Tuesday is significant because as an official movement, many organizations and businesses are aware of this campaign and will offer support to the organization of your choice with you, including the willingness to match your donations to our organization. Alabaster Jar Project is registered with Benevity and Network For Good, so your donations can also be matched through these groups on Giving Tuesday.

This is a great opportunity to have a direct impact on our community this holiday season, a time that can be difficult for our women as they are often separated from their families and facing symptoms of trauma, homelessness, and are struggling to have their medical, emotional, and spiritual needs met. We are so proud of how far they have all come in spite of the struggles they face. We have celebrated two graduations from our long-term residential program this year among many other accomplishments, including financial stability repair through our Financial Health 101 program with Wells Fargo, identification restoration, baptisms, continued participation in our residential program and through our weekly support group, and long-term independence for our graduates through full time employment. Your donation to us through Giving Tuesday will not go to waste; we are helping survivors every day to rebuild their lives.

For year round assistance to our women, you are always invited to make a recurring donation through our website: alabasterjarproject.org/donate. Even a small monthly donation of 50$ can impact the lives of the women we serve on a regular basis. As always, we thank you for your continued support of our mission to restore, rehabilitate, and empower the lives of survivors of human trafficking.

Source: https://alabasterjarprojectblog.wordpress....

Cut-a-thon Tomorrow!


Don’t miss out! This Sunday, Hairmony Hair Studios is hosting a Cut-A-Thon to benefit Alabaster Jar Project. It’s simple: receive a haircut by one of their awesome stylists and one hundred percent of the proceeds will go to AJP. Haircut prices are as follows:

$10 for a shaved head

$15 for children’s cuts

$20 for men’s cuts

$35 for women’s cuts

In addition to the price of your cut, twenty percent of the proceeds from product sales (hair and skin care products) will also benefit Alabaster Jar Project. What a great way to look and feel great and still make a difference in the lives of our survivors!

To book an appointment for August 26th, call (858) 353-2350. Walk in appointments are also welcome. Hairmony Hair Studio is located at 11650 Iberia Place, Suite 120, San Diego, 92128. We’ll see you there. Have fun!

Equine Therapy for Survivors


This summer, the Grace House residents took a roadtrip to the Medicine Horse Ranch where they camped together and were introduced to equine therapy. It was a healing experience for them to interact with gentle giants and support each other in their own personal journey. Our team is committed to offering a variety of support services to our survivor sisters in order to equip them with well-rounded healing. We were honored to have the ranch share this experience with them.

Equine therapy, or the caring of, tending to, and interacting with horses for the purpose of personal healing, is known to be an extremely effective form of therapy for those suffering from many of the trauma symptoms that survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation endure during recovery. Since horses are animals of prey, they rely on their keen senses for their survival, reflecting the way survivors may have survived abuse and life-threatening situations. They are known to mirror human reactions, meeting positive emotions with their own positive reactions, and give the participants their own version of unsaid feedback.

Often in equine therapy, horses may not be ridden or tethered to a barrier and are allowed to roam freely within the arena. Because of the significant difference in size from humans to horses, participants must act calmly and use nonverbal communication to safely and effectively tend to the horse. Activities start very small and simply, with first learning only how to approach the horse, and can escalate into walking the horse, grooming the horse, or even riding the horse.

Equine therapy has been proven to improve confidence and the overall mental health of its participants. Even if a participant is initially fearful of horses, they are guided on how to safely interact with them until they are doing so all by themselves.  Hopelessness that one can experience after trauma can turn into a certainty that they are, in fact, a very capable human being, simply by caring for the horse. The energy that used to be focused on ruminating depression or aggression towards the unfamiliar is instead focused toward caring, nurturing activities with their new animal friend.

We are so grateful that the women we serve were able to participate in this innovative and healing therapy for a whole weekend. We are passionate about many forms of healing, so we hope this unique step in their journey will have a lasting impact on their mental health and wellbeing.