How many times have we heard some version of this on the news? A trafficker is arrested and a woman is ‘rescued’. We turn the tv off with a sense that at least one more thing in this messed up world has been turned around for the good.
Here’s a reality check.
The reality is that, while a woman may walk away from the source of her trauma, her trauma will continue to walk with her. Healing will come in many waves, with the breaking down of the trauma barriers.
Part of that healing comes from a job. To hear for the first time in your life, ‘You’re hired!’, to receive your first paycheck, pay your own bills, and go on your first paid holiday is a defining moment for many of our staff. Economic empowerment is a significant portion of the healing journey. Meaningful work creates this foundation.
I’ve seen our staff make their first pair of earrings, leather journal, or grace scarf. It is a holy moment to witness. These accomplishments often start the slow and steady return of faith in self. The joy of seeing projects through to completion, knowing that we can do hard things and come out better on the other side is a great boost to confidence.
Work gives a defined purpose, sense of accomplishment, community, and sense of belonging. If this has not been present elsewhere in a person’s life, can you imagine what it means to have this opportunity for the first time, or maybe the first time in a very long time.
Our adult lives are full of many, many milestones. Some we celebrate with little to no thought, and some are pretty big reasons to celebrate. Often, in the life of a survivor, these are firsts after a time marked by incarceration, recovery in sober living, working through probation, drug court, or social services. These firsts are epic.
The empowerment of a day’s work well done, and a paycheck earned in meaningful employment should not be undervalued. If you take this for granted, stop for a moment and give thanks. If you support Rethreaded, stop for a moment and give thanks. You make it possible for all of us to get up each morning and make a meaningful difference in the lives of our staff as they inspire us moment by moment with hope, healing, and amazing determination.
Every time a member of the community chooses to volunteer with us in de-constructing leather, you give our staff the raw materials to keep moving forward with this healing that takes them one step closer to self-sufficiency. We can all be part of the solution. Thank you for your partnership with us to give healing choices and a path to a new future.