The Bridge Receiving Center in Washington state is changing kids’ lives. We got the honor of supporting their work this past year and there are so many stories of beauty from ashes with the kids they’ve served.
One of the ways they served two young boys entering foster care for the first time is outlined below. Enjoy the story of hope!
A Grandmother’s Love – Parent Partner Impact Story
Our Parent Partner program is making a real difference – literally keeping children safe in ways we never could have dreamed possible:
Over the holidays, two young brothers – 9 and 6 years old – were dropped off one night in a park in downtown Seattle with only one blanket and told to find somewhere to sleep and their mother would try to come back for them. These two half-brothers ended up in our care that evening…traumatized and without anywhere to go as there didn’t appear to be any family members willing to take them in. Because of the Parent Partner Program our donors funded, our Partner Advocate was able to reach out to the 9-year old’s grandmother in Texas to see if she could take the boys into her care – one of whom wasn’t even her biological grandson.
This grandmother was given all the resources and tools our Advocate Erica could put together. Erica walked with this grandmother through the decision-making process and helped her learn how to help both boys when they were triggered and experiencing a PTSD episode. She taught her de-escalation techniques and helped the grandmother know she had ongoing support from our Parent Partner that would be there when she felt overwhelmed.
On one of the calls Grandma found out how scared the boys were to fly and with our Parent Partner’s help, put together backpacks for them to take on the plane…symbols of grandma’s loving care for them…full of toys and treats and ways to help support them as they left Washington for a place they’d never been before.
The two boys left our care together (which wouldn’t have been possible without our Partner working with grandma to take in the 6-year-old)…they left feeling loved and wanted and prepared for what was coming next in their lives. And Grandma received them feeling ready to do so, with tools and support she never had before that made her feel like she could welcome them into her home and into her heart.
Thank you for giving not only these two boys but so many other children – now and in the future – safe nights, healing starts and better futures.
Advancing the Kingdom (ATK) International continues to educate children, serve widows, and bless their community in eastern Uganda. Although they have completed their school campus and facilities, they felt led this past year to build a medical clinic on their campus.
They wanted to be able to serve their students, but also the surrounding community with good medical care and the love of Jesus.
We were delighted to partner with ATK again in this venture and supported the medical clinic project.
Street Business School continues to innovate and expand their wonderful business training to be used by other NGOs around the world. This year they are working with organizations who serve refugees and other displaced populations.
We were honored to support that work (as Jesus calls us to care for “the stranger”) and hope getting business training will be a hand-up for those who are displaced whether they remain as refugees or get to go home someday.
The Strategic Alliance to Fight Exploitation (SAFE) is continuing to help meet the most critical needs in the anti-trafficking movement in Washington state. This year they are focused on prevention education for young people, advocacy and campaigns to fight legalization of the sex trade, housing for victims coming out of the life of sexual exploitation, and innovative programs that will equip survivors so they never have to go back to the life of prostitution. We are honored to link arms with SAFE and their partner organizations!
Ho’Ola Na Pua continues to lead the way in fighting human trafficking in Hawaii. We were delighted to support their work last year and again this year as they do prevention education on the Big Island and operate one of the best after-care homes for victims of exploitation in the United States!
Over the past five years, we have been supporting scholarships for single moms to get an education at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC).
One of the mom’s recently sent us a note to tell her what the scholarship meant to her:
“I want to thank the Jernigan Foundation with wholehearted sincerity for the awesome opportunity that is being extended to me on behalf of SPSCC. This scholarship is giving me the ability to continue my focus on my grades and not having to stress about whether my tuition is paid, or how I can afford to pay for my daughter’s school clothing and supplies.
I cannot express enough how thankful I am for simply being able to take the financial burden off my shoulders. I absolutely adore SPSCC, as it has been an extremely supportive environment since the beginning. The enthusiasm of all the staff members as they help you reach your goals has been wonderful. As I research more, I discover more and more possibilities for me in my college career. I look forward to exploring different subjects, and discovering my passions.
This is especially comforting for me, considering the past I have been through. I survived an abusive relationship with my youngest daughter’s father, which lead to a long, painfully drawn-out custody battle for my youngest daughter. I ended up with over $18,000 of debt in attorney fees alone; but it has not stopped me or slowed me down, and I have worked hard to pay off most of that debt through working multiple jobs. I am thankful to finally be in a position where I can stay home with my children and focus on my studies; all so that I can provide a more safe, stable, and happier future for them.
What this foundation is doing for single mothers like me, is an absolute godsend. You are allowing us to better ourselves, so that we can create a better future for our children. I will do something that I can be proud of and lead by example for my little girls. This scholarship gives me renewed confidence in my ability to continue trekking forward, focusing on my good grades and happy home life. Thank you for your consideration, compassion, and kindness, it truly is a blessing.”
It is an honor to invest in women who are seeking to better themselves through education, so both they and their children have brighter futures!
She is Safe continues to do amazing work in many parts of India as they equip young women through transformation groups. These groups are intended to PREVENT human trafficking, because the young women are equipped with job skills, business education, savings opportunities, and other things they need to avoid the poverty that traffickers like to prey on. We are honored to support this important upstream work!
Hands on Houses builds homes for in several countries across the world for widows who have undergone hardship. This year we will are delighted to help them build two homes for Irula widows in India. See more information about them in our grantee spotlight!
Youth for Christ Uganda continues to make a difference in the lives of pregnant, discarded teenagers as well as young mothers who need a skill to provide for themselves and their babies. We are delighted to support their life-changing work.
African Hospitality Institute is making a difference in the lives of so many in central Uganda. They train students who have very little formal education in “the sacred art of hospitality” and those students are getting jobs in great businesses BEFORE they even finish AHI’s program!
In addition, AHI blesses the communities around their school by providing clean water bore holes, food to villagers who have had crop failure, schooling for some of the children, etc. We can’t believe all they can do on such a small budget and we’re delighted to be part of their important work!
Northwest Family Life – Penny’s Place used our grant to provide housing for women and children who were victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.
The hope and healing victims receive at Penny’s Place changes their lives forever, and they become survivors who are ready to embrace new chapters in their lives. We are grateful to support this hope-filled work for those who have suffered abuse at no fault of their own.
SAFE (Strategic Alliance to Fight Exploitation) used our grant to educate at-risk youth and folks in the foster care system about the high number of foster youth who end up being commercially sexually exploited.
Through their partners, SAFE was able to educate 588 youth in the Tri-cities and 445 youth in Kitsap County, plus 66 foster care staff and parents with our grant funds.
These trainings help youth know what to watch out for so they don’t end up being exploited, and help adults in the systems know how to better care for foster youth so they can live healthy, exploitation-free lives.
We are grateful to partner with SAFE to support this important work for vulnerable youth in Washington state.
We are delighted to have found an organization in Hawaii that is well-established and doing good work to fight human trafficking. Ho ‘ola Na Pua is working on all parts of the trafficking plight – prevention, intervention and restoration, and we know they will make a difference with our grant funds.
We are excited to be supporting Bridge Receiving Center as they do their important work to help children. Bridge is committed to providing a healing start for children entering into foster care for the first time.
A child’s first encounter with the foster care system is too often traumatic and confusing. Bridge is stepping in to change that by establishing a welcoming place where kids can feel safe and have access to the services they need.
Youth for Christ Uganda used our grant to provide counseling and care for girls who are faced with crisis pregnancy and have been rejected from school and home. The girls often arrive at at YFC angry at the baby they are carrying because of all the upheaval it has caused in their lives.
The YFC staff counsel them to love their babies, love themselves – regardless of mistakes they’ve made or bad things that have happened to them – and to carry their babies to term.
The staff train the girls on how to be good parents, how to take care of a baby/child, and give them practical life skills they can use after delivering their baby. They also help the girls reconcile with their families, so they can return home after delivering their baby.
YFC also has a vocational training program to help the young mothers learn a trade/skill and better their lives. They trained 15 young women in a tailoring course this year and 10 graduated and get to leave with their sewing machine and new skills so they can provide for themselves and their children.
We are honored to support the redemptive, restorative, and equipping work happening at YFC Uganda!
African Hospitality Institute (AHI) used our grant to take their students on a field trip to a hotel/restaurant in Kampala – the capital city of Uganda.
Many of the students had never been out of “the bush” let alone been to a metropolitan city hotel with elevators, commercial kitchens, elegant dining rooms, and huge washing machines for all of the linens they have to process!
The students’ eyes were opened and they were able to SEE the kind of place they could work – and make a living wage to provide for their families – after they complete their course of study/practicum at AHI.
We are honored to support the great work happening at AHI as they create dreams and hope for the future for their hard-working students!
ATK International used our grant to build a dormitory for boys who come to their school, yet live too far away to go back and forth to home each day.
They were finding more and more students needing “boarding”, so we helped them build a dorm that will house nearly 60 boys! These boys will be cared for at the school, so they can focus on their studies during the day rather than spending so much time walking back and forth.
In addition to the dorm, our funds helped provide a latrine and bathing room which is essential if you have 60 boys living together!
latrine & shower rooms
We are grateful to come alongside this great ministry to help them bless the youth they are educating in more ways than one!
Rescue:Freedom used our grant to purchase property near a red-light district in West Bengal, India.
As women get sold day and night for sex, their children are vulnerable and also at high risk for exploitation and trafficking. Rescue:Freedom knew they needed a safe place to go as well as educational resources to keep moving forward in life, so they purchased a facility to provide these important services.
Many children came on the first day it opened, and now 140 children are regularly coming to get safety, educational resources, and recreational fun!
R:F told us: “The combination of education, nutrition, spiritual development and community create strong resiliency among those at risk to be able to resist the normalization of the exploitation around them and to gain the skills and hope that creates a thriving future.”
We are grateful to be helping children across the world avoid exploitation and have bright futures!
Boys & Girls Club of Thurston County used our $25,000 grant to help get their Yelm, WA Club up and running in 2020 – just before the pandemic hit!
The club opened just in time to serve families who were deemed essential workers, but had kids who needed to be doing school at home. Many of those children were able to come to the club for remote school each day, so their parents could keep serving the community.
The Yelm club adjusted quickly, sanitized everything every day, and is now serving at max capacity (according to health guidelines) to keep kids progressing in school and their community moving.
We were grateful to be part of this heroic effort by the Yelm Boys & Girls Club staff!
In the spring, we made a grant to Rescue:Freedom International to help them seize opportunities that were presented due to the pandemic shutting down red light districts and sex trafficking around the world.
RFI used our funds to start the “Freedom Line” in Cambodia – a 24/7 crisis/sex trafficking hotline. It is the first one of it’s kind in Cambodia and in the first three months, the hotline received thousands of calls from sex trafficking victims, people who were vulnerable to being trafficked, etc.
Local organizations were able to follow up on 2,000 of those calls and Rescue:Freedom provided emergency food and hygiene packages for 993 strategically identified individuals who were highly vulnerable and in need of emergency support. That support kept girls from being trafficked!
In addition, the Cambodian government has recognized the hotline and is in support of it – which is a huge step in a country where trafficking has run rampant for many years.
ATK International used our $10,000 grant to build a dormitory for girls who are attending their high school. Thirty girls are now able to stay in a safe environment while they attend school. These girls are getting more rest because they’re not walking so far to get to and from school, they have light to study by in the evenings, they have access to bathing and better hygiene, and they are doing better in school. We are honored to be able to support this incredible opportunity to help these 30 girls (and hundreds of girls to come!) have a safe, healthy environment that improves their education!
In the spring, we made a grant to United Way of Thurston County to help meet the needs across the community due to the COVID pandemic. UWTC did an incredible job leveraging funds from many sources to support community partners across the county. Families in need were able to get food, eviction assistance, utilities help, and other basic needs met. Thank you UWTC!
This photo is some of the food UWTC and their partners acquired to share with families in need.
Heart for Lebanon used our $10,000 grant to provide
schooling and biblical character development for 300
Syrian refugee children who are living in Lebanon.
This quarter we got to support some great organizations across the globe and in our own backyard. It is a privilege to stand beside these partners who are changing the world – one life at a time.
We are delighted to partner with Rescue:Freedom during the pandemic. They are taking advantage of this time when brothels and red light districts are shut down overseas due to COVID-19 to get women and girls out of the horrific life of commercial sexual exploitation.
This photo is an empty red light district in Thailand.
SAFE in Washington
Our $10,000 grant was used to help 74
human trafficking survivors get jobs and
another 154 survivors get coached and
trained on their way to employment.
These 11 employers are already hiring survivors!
Northwest Family Life – to provide care, housing, and assistance to women and children who are escaping and recovering from domestic violence and human trafficking.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington
Our $3,000 sponsorship was leveraged into
$342,000 raised at their auction!
Rescue:Freedom International – to purchase a facility to protect, care for and educate children whose mothers work in brothels in a red-light district in West Bengal, India.
South Puget Sound Community College
Scholarships for deserving students.