I am honored to serve as Chairman of the Board for this inspiring organization. This year, while ramping up our services, we have been establishing our ambitious goals. We are staying laser focused on serving young women ages 18-24 who are aging out of the foster care system and have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and associated childhood trauma.
I am driven to support this mission because I must...
When I was first introduced to this crisis by Lea Benson, I could not turn away and I had to be a part of making a difference. I pray every day that I am able to use my background and skills to help as many young women as possible so they can have the courage and resources to move forward and live happy and productive lives in our society.
With respect to last year’s activities, I would like to recognize Jennifer Nielson and her team at Let It GLOW for a series of successful fundraising events that brought many new connections and resources to CeCe’s Hope Center. Together, with contributions from the community, we were able to hire two part time staff members and most recently, we contracted with a dedicated Fundraiser and Communications Director. Also, with help from Aaron Suzuki of Co-manity, we are excited to announce that we now have office space! Our vision for changing lives and setting a new standard of success for the individuals we serve is coming into focus!
A 2020 milestone for CeCe’s Hope Center we hope to achieve is to provide needed, high quality housing, coupled with case management and wrap-around services so the participants in our program can take steps in healing and rebuilding their lives in a safe and stable environment. I hope you enjoy learning more about our work and will help me spread the word by sharing our mission and dedication to help young women who are ready to take flight towards a bright and promising future. You can help by 1) making a tax deductible donation that may be eligible for the charitable tax credit to CeCe’s Hope Center (www.CeCesCenter.org/donate), 2) asking friends and family to subscribe to our newsletter, and 3) educating yourself about the horrific realities of the sexual abuse and exploitation of children, and the continued trauma that affect them in life as they exit the foster care system.
Yours in service,
Want to get engaged and help build awareness about CeCe’s Hope Center? Our friends at Bolts and More in Gilbert have been hosting monthly gatherings where individuals can volunteer their sewing skills to build Quillows.
A Quillow is a hygiene kit contained in a blanket, folded into a pillow!
We coordinate with first responders who are on the streets and likely to encounter women in need of help. The Quillow is an ice breaker and helps the first responder approach the individual in a non-threatening way. They can offer the Quillow, which helps build trust and offer assistance. CeCe's Hope Center's Quillows help get the word out about our services and provide immediate relief at a time when a young woman might feel like she has nowhere to turn.
The next Quillow event at Bolts and More is October 25th and 26th from 10 am - 5 pm.
If sewing isn't your thing, volunteers also can help collect the hygiene items that go into each Quillow. You can find a list of items here as well as drop off locations. Have a hygiene item collection party, invite your friends, share CeCe's mission and have some fun. Thank you so much for your part in helping a young woman on her path towards independence.
We have had an exciting year of growth and mission execution. This summer we served ten young women between the ages of 18 to 24. While each has their own unique story of perseverance in the face adversity, every single woman shares something in common. She has come to understand her value and is working hard to stay on a path of positive independence. She believes in her value and strength because people like you stand behind her and support her journey.
If you have walked alongside a person in a season of personal growth you will recognize the daily steps required to stay on this path and also understand the magnitude of some of the milestones.
Some girls mostly need a friendly voice and an adult to believe in them – taking a weekly (or daily) phone call or a lunch with our case manager and a couple of other clients. Others need a complex series of supportive connections to resources that can include transportation, help with bills and rent, emergency food for themselves and a child or two, careful scheduling and follow up, education, clothing, furniture, training and a deep commitment and understanding that change doesn’t happen overnight.
The 10 women you helped serve this summer had previously experienced some combination of confirmed sexual exploitation as a child, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, and while nearly all had some brush with child protective services, six of our clients this summer are age 21 or younger and continue to receive support from Arizona’s Department of Child Safety’s Young Adult program. This means they are aging out of the system, will have fewer and fewer formal resources available, and will need CeCe's support the most.
Regardless of their circumstances when we first engaged with them, this summer was a whirlwind of change for ten women and for CeCe’s Hope Center. We invite you to celebrate these milestones with us!
AZ TAX CREDITS:
CECE'S HOPE CENTER IS AN ARIZONA QUALIFIED CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION (QCO), which means your donation of $800, if you file joint, or $400 if you file singe, can be credited towards your state taxes. In other words, you can REDUCE YOUR TAXES OWED, DOLLAR-FOR-DOLLAR.
Even better, you can support more than one organization at the full limit for each. For example, a couple filing joint can support a public school up to $400, a foster care organization up to $1,000, plus support a charitable organization like CeCe's (up to $800) and reduce their top line taxes owned by $2,200.