Members of the community and distinguished guests attended a sold-out Latisha's House "Winter Wonderland" Gala at the Two River's Country Club. Powerful survivor stories were shared, while 5 star dining, a live and silent auction, music by the Hullabaloos and dance was enjoyed by guests.
"We not only met our goal, but we shattered our previous fundraising record nearly cracking our $100,000 ceiling," said in a Latisha's House email update. "Together, with you and our community, this made our 5 star event a success."
Funds were raised and will be used in two primary areas: education where a scholarship fund for residents at Latisha's House will continue; and emergency medical, dental & counseling services for survivors of sex trafficking."
"Every woman who is trafficked suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the same condition seen in our military who have experienced the acute trauma of combat. Our residents arrive at Latisha's house in a heightened state of anxiety and suffering from flashbacks….nightmares….and cold, hard fear, much like our soldiers," said Ameling during the Winter Wonderland Gala.
According to Ameling, the organization spends thousands of dollars a month on psychiatrist's visits and medications alone with the recurrent need for acute and emergency care. The organization also spends out of state tuition for residents as trafficking victims are often stateless, though locally from the area.
"The greatest miracles are seeing a young woman get a sparkle in her eye when she attends a William and Mary Football game and says, 'Miss Liz, someday I am going to college'…or seeing the teenager who was hiding behind the hoodie get her chef's coat when she graduates from culinary school….or watching a resident testify in court against her pimp and he is sent to prison for a long time. These young women have
gone from victim to strength….They are now overcomers", said Ameling in her remarks.
For more information on Latisha's House please visit www.latishashouse.com
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