At times, the struggles we face and the tragedies we see playing out in the real world can be overwhelming. While it is difficult to deal with our own issues, we often feel totally helpless when considering the plights of those less fortunate than ourselves. However, this November, we can choose to help children in need on the other side of the world by simply taking a walk: the ZOE Rescue Walk.
ZOE Children’s Homes is a Santa Clarita, CA based non-profit organization that cares for orphans and rescues children from human trafficking. Currently, ZOE’s work is focused in Thailand, a region where these crimes are prevalent. Once ZOE rescues children, ZOE remains responsible for them through adulthood by providing a safe and loving home, an education, nutritious meals and healthcare. The funds raised during the ZOE Rescue Walk will help ZOE as they continue on this mission.
Interested parties can sign up online for the event, which will take place Nov. 10, 2012, from 9 a.m. until noon in Newhall Park located in Newhall, CA. Thus far, 45 teams have registered. New walkers can either join an existing team or register as a team captain and invite their families and friends to help them reach a fundraising goal by donating funds or becoming team walkers. Registration is $20 for adults and $15 for children. Additionally, those who do not wish to register can still take part by donating funds.
This morning event promises to provide something fun for everyone. There will be a silent auction featuring valuable items such as artwork, gift certificates to Southern California business, and sports, music and Disney memorabilia. The event will also include a kids’ walk led by ZOE’s own Hero the Frog and an awards ceremony. Chick-fil-A will be offering boxed lunches to attendees for $7 each. In addition, Spare Time, a smooth jazz project, will be providing musical entertainment throughout the event.
Visit www.zoerescuewalk.com to sign up or donate to this event, which whole families can enjoy together, while simultaneously helping children in need.
Summer’s arrival in Southern California recharges and unites communities. Towns hold festivals, farmers’ markets fill with crowds and the celebration of our nation’s independence spreads Americana through the air. This sense of community has been especially beneficial to ZOE Children’s Homes, as three local organizations have recently teamed with ZOE to help children in need.
ZOE Children’s Homes is non-profit organization that cares for orphans and rescues children from human trafficking. Part of ZOE’s work is focused in Thailand, a region where these crimes are prevalent. Once ZOE rescues children, ZOE remains responsible for them through adulthood by providing a safe and loving home, an education, nutritious meals and healthcare.
Additionally, ZOE runs a Los Angeles division that focuses on helping to eradicate human trafficking in the United States. ZOE is currently developing an awareness campaign that helps inform communities and potential victims about the cycle of human trafficking, wherein traffickers prey on vulnerable children, such as runaways and foster children.
Two groups that focus on improving the lives of women and girls have recently contributed generously to ZOE’s efforts. One group, Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley, donated $5000, $4000 of which will be used for ZOE’s international work, with the remaining $1000 going to the local program. Another group, Soroptimist International of Santa Clarita Valley, also donated $5000, all of which will be used for the local awareness program. ZOE is using these local funds to create informative brochures, that list a national hotline to assist those wanting to escape captivity, create public service announcements and provide informative presentations at schools and other community gatherings to spread the word about human trafficking.
A third organization, Whole Foods Market Valencia, has also teamed with ZOE. They designated ZOE as the beneficiary for a recent community support day, during which, Whole Foods donated 5 percent of their total sales to ZOE. The $3,170.60 donation will help fund the upcoming ZOE Rescue Walk in November.
The past couple of the months has been a very busy season for the ZOE USA office. We have had the privilege of being an exhibitor at several amazing conferences throughout California. During these conferences, we are always so blessed to meet so many wonderful and caring people who have the heart to combat human trafficking as well as organizations doing great things around the world. It is a very refreshing and uplifting time to see so many coming together to make a difference in our world!
Catalyst West Coast 2012 : Be Present!
The Catalyst West Conference brings together over 3,000 church leaders to hear from a group of dynamic speakers and learn how to impact the next generation of leaders.
Two of our ZOE staff members had the opportunity to share about ZOE at a booth among other organizations that were very inspiring. We spoke with many pastors and other church leaders who were exploring ways their church could address God’s heart for justice through human trafficking. Several of the people we talked with were already familiar with the problem of human trafficking and some shared that they suspected trafficking in their hometowns.
Mike and Carol Hart, the founders of ZOE, attended the conference and were completely blessed by their time there. The two of them could not stay away from the ZOE booth and enjoyed talking with other attendees and seeing old friends.
Those who stopped by the booth were given free giveaways including child trafficking awareness bracelets and other information about ZOE and human trafficking. What a blessing it was to share with others at Catalyst West!
Orphan Summit 2012 : A Beautiful Response
“Responsive Love: To act upon God’s call to care for orphans is not merely a matter of duty or reaction to need. It is first a response to Gospel: the loving Father who sought us, adopted us, and invites us to live as His sons and daughters (1 John 4:19; Ephesians 1:15; Galatians 4:6).”
Responsive Love, as defined above, is one of seven core principals of the Christian Alliance for Orphans. ZOE team members were privileged to see this principle lived out at the Alliance’s recent Orphan Summit conference in Lake Forrest, California. The gathering of over three-thousand people who actively reflect God’s heart toward orphans and other vulnerable children was a truly inspiring experience.
During the two-day conference, we were able to hear from subject matter experts including our own Carol Hart. We also spoke with many passionate individuals who visited the ZOE booth to learn more about ZOE’s ministry to orphans in danger and children rescued from human trafficking.
These caring men and women also shared with us about their own experiences. Many have welcomed orphans into their families and church communities. Some have spread awareness and advocated for children in need. All of the people we spoke with expressed the joy they experience as they extend God’s love to children who are truly precious in His sight.
Can you believe another month has passed us by? So far, to date, we have introduced two of our many stellar USA office volunteers. This month, we would like to highlight another one of our amazing volunteers. Our volunteers often assist us with various tasks and projects in the office as well as joining us at various events and conferences. They have such a servant’s heart and always come prepared and willing to help. Thank you to all those who have volunteered for ZOE! Our heart is that as you read this article, there will be a tug in your heart to have the desire to use the skills and talents that are within you, whether it be for our organization or for another wonderful organization. Those skills and talents were place inside of you for a purpose!
How did you find out about ZOE?
My friend, Sharon and I went to a Human Trafficking Awareness conference at Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA and we wanted to do something to help, to get involved. Sharon searched for someplace to get connected but could not find something local. Then she heard a spot about ZOE on KKLA. She told me about it and the rest is history, as they say!
What made you want to volunteer?
I wanted to volunteer because I had a heart that wanted to be obedient to God. This is an atrocity that breaks the heart of God and I believe He wanted me to respond
How long have you volunteered at ZOE?
13 months as of April 2012
What type of tasks do you do at ZOE?
Short Term Missions booklets-printing and preparing for binding, various mailings, brochure stuffing, Kids Helping Kids packets, inventory of paper/brochure items, filing and assisting at the ZOE booth at an event.
Tell us about your overall experience in the office?
It is a joy to be with the staff. Everyone is so kind and very appreciative. I am so impressed with the integrity of the organization as a whole. Everything is done with love and the utmost attention to detail. As volunteers, we are treated with respect and really as a family! It feel honored to be a part of the ZOE family.
Have you learned anything new while volunteering?
The atrocity of trafficking children and adults breaks the heart of Almighty God. His hand is with ZOE in provision and mighty power to address this abomination. I have learned that this is rampant and serious than I ever dared to think. I have learned that there is a handful of precious saints with a deep passion to help those who can’t help themselves. They are precious to God, as are the children they are helping.
THANK YOU VICKI FOR YOUR HEART TO HELP AND EVERYTHING YOU DO FOR US AT ZOE! WE APPRECIATE YOU!
145 million orphans on the earth today! True and undefined religion is this, to visit the widow and orphan in their distress. Hundreds will gather on May 2nd and 3rd at Saddleback Church for the annual Orphan summit put on by Chirsitian Alliance for Orphans. Attendees come from all over the world to share, learn and mobilize the church to answer the call to care for the orphan.
ZOE’s own Michael and Carol Hart will be sharing at one of the workshops at this years conference. Those who attend their workshop will learn how human trafficking and modern slavery are both cause and effect of the global orphan crisis, and what can be done about it. The Harts will join a panel of orphan care leaders engaged in working to protect and liberate orphans from trafficking.
An attendee from last year’s summit shared the following:
“Being with people whose hearts are lit up for Christ and the fatherless is amazing. They glow with warmth and light. So being with 1,500+ such people from 46 states and 7 countries in 1 place for 2+ intense days…well, it’s breathtaking.”
If you are interested in being a part of this gathering in Southern California, CLICK HERE to visit the Orphan Summit website.