With a vision to “Return Dignity, Restore Lives, Rebuild Community” the non-profit City of Refuge was just the partner the Folsom High Hands4Hope Club was looking for this spring to help young women-at-risk succeed at working towards a brighter future.
To benefit the organization, Hands4Hope Club members hosted a bake sale/snack bar and raised more than $275 on March 1st at a community flag football tournament. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 closures hit the next week and prevented the group from completing their original idea to serve on site by hosting arts and crafts during an after school program or helping with a special project to make teens living in emergency housing feel comfortable. Not to be deterred, the club found out the immediate needs of the City of Refuge at the start of the crisis and voted virtually to fund much needed food during this crisis. “I really enjoyed being able to do good in the community and support the City of Refuge through these hard times,” said Elise Taylor, Vice President for the Folsom High School Hands4Hope Club.
The purpose of City of Refuge is to build healthy communities through empowering people’s ability for personal transformation. Youth clubs and sports programs, crisis housing for women and their children, workforce development and family community events are all used to bring about that change. One example of that empowerment is through the SHINE program that encourages girls to find the strength and courage within themselves to make healthy choices and live to their full potential.
A common mindset amongst young people is that “If I am not of much value, then life doesn’t have much purpose’. This inevitably creates a sense of ‘living for the moment’ with little regard for consequences or the future. The impact of this ‘meaninglessness of life’ and loss of hope is made apparent by the fact that the youth suicide rate continues to increase worldwide as well as the rise of prostitution and human trafficking of minors.” - City of Refuge
Since the Folsom High Hands4Hope Club members were concerned about the issue of human trafficking, they were passionate about the City of Refuge’s proactive approach to building thriving neighborhoods that provide a supportive and hopeful place for girls to grow up in. “It brings me happiness,” said Taylor, “to know that our club is aiding this organization in keeping marginalized communities safe and healthy during this crisis.”
We followed-up with City of Refuge to see how things are going during this crisis and they responded "Thank you so much! We are so grateful for your investment in our lives and ministry. It's such a blessed reminder that we are not alone! We have been able to feed over 400 families a week, as many children in our community look to schools as a safe and supportive place. We get to be the hands and feet of God in their lives. Thank you for being a part of making this happen!" -Rachelle Ditmore - Co-founder