December is here! During this time of year, it’s easy to get lost in the smell of pine trees and cinnamon, old familiar carols, and the joy of bundling up to weather the cold. Our team holds the special season as a promise of hope and peace that will carry us and the women we serve through the new year. Though many of us feel blessed by the festivities that come with this season, this can be a very difficult time of year for some, and survivors of human trafficking are no exception.
The majority of women who have been sex trafficked are exploited through the entire holiday season without any days off. Even after these women gain the courage to restore their lives in our rehabilitation program, they often find themselves consequently separated from their family, loved ones, and children. They may still bear these emotional scars from their trauma and find it hard to join in the festivities going on around them.
While still honoring the courageous steps they are taking to fight through their trauma, we make it a priority to make their Christmastime with us special and memorable. We do this in many ways. We host a yearly tree-decorating party at Grace House and make both Grace House and our Drop-In Resource Center festive, lively, and warm with the proper holiday trimmings. One of the most important things we do is we hold an annual Christmas party for all of our San Diego survivor community, not only inviting Grace House residents but also graduates of our program and other survivors who seek our services. We sing Christmas carols, enjoy a holiday meal, share gifts, and honor the fellowship which we strive so hard to foster.
If you would like to be a part of our survivor sisters’ holiday, we encourage you to message us on FaceBook where we can direct you to holiday volunteer opportunities including but not limited to gift giving and shopping for our survivor sisters’ Christmas wishes and those of their young children. As always, you are welcome to visit our donate page where donations of any size can contribute to making this holiday and new year special for our sisters. Though the holidays can be a difficult time to the community of survivors in San Diego, this is a great opportunity for us (and for you!) to help change their narrative from broken to loved and empowered, providing them with a sense of belonging, community, and family that they may have never experienced.
Thank you for your continued prayers for our survivor sisters this holiday season. We hope to make this their best Christmas yet!
written by Amanda Moon Ellevis