Proud to support this great cause!
August 16, 2017
Leeann Brzozowski wrote -
In 2015, you helped me raise $3755 for GEMS which surpassed my goal of $3500, making my first marathon count every step of the way. Your generous donations have supported critical services for girls and young women, ages 12-24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and domestic trafficking helping them to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential. GEMS provides an array of services including counseling, crisis care, housing, educational support, youth development, and employment and youth leadership training.
In 2016, 83% of our GEMS members increased their safety by becoming or staying free from CSE. 143 girls and young women continued to persevere in advancing their education through GEMS' Educational Initiative. Your donations have supported members through this process by allowing GEMS to continue to provide stipends, scholarships, tutoring, GED preparation, professional clothing and etiquette groups, and vocational/educational training. Of the members enrolled, 26 were enrolled in high school or junior high school, 52 in GED/high school equivalency programs, 9 in vocational training programs, and 56 in college.
I have chosen to run the 2017 NYC Marathon in honor of GEMS this time raising money for their newly developing wellness program. The funds I raise will be used towards their gym membership fund ($24/year/person), workout attire, healthier food options for their pantry and for the "Empowering Self-Care" classes orchestrated through my partnership with Walnut Health, LLC. "Empowering Self-Care" is a weekly class offered by wellness professionals from Walnut Health, LLC, an integrative fitness consulting firm in Manhattan, to the young women and girls at GEMS. The girls will learn valuable skills that will not only help them improve their long-term health, but their relationships with themselves and others. This class takes a holistic approach to facilitating health education, framing ideas about exercise and nutrition in a context that emphasizes the importance of mental health and achieving work, life, and spiritual balance.