Imagine your life in black and white, stripped bare of the joyful colors that surround you. In this bleak world, there is no room for the brilliance of hope, understanding or grace. This world is all too familiar for the women and girls entering Wellspring Living every day from horrific, unimaginable experiences.
Wellspring Living is an Atlanta-based organization devoted to safeguarding and empowering domestic sex trafficking victims and those at-risk to exploitation through life-giving residential and community-based programs.
Johns Creek Women’s Club is an organization committed to brightening the lives of survivors, like Jessica*. As a group, they learn about the issue, advocate in their networks, and give monthly. The compassionate spirits of the women encourage each other to do more, like attend fundraisers, host drives and teach a life skills class. Because of organizations like the Johns Creek Women’s Club, survivors are having their lives transformed. At Wellspring Living, survivors are equipped with vibrant opportunities to color their once colorless lives. Through restorative care, survivors begin to shine in a kaleidoscope of ever-changing colors.
Jessica is a graduate of the Girls’ Residential Program. Her childhood was strung through different towns, cities, and states, never giving Jessica a real place to call home. Jessica’s mother did what she could to bring in money. Sometimes she brought a man home for the night. Some nights she didn’t come home at all.
When Jessica was 10, her mother left her with a 19-year-old babysitter, who molested her then threatened to hurt her if she ever told anyone. Confused and scared, Jessica kept quiet. The abuse continued for two years.
Jessica’s drug-addicted mother left her when she was 12. Jessica didn’t know what to do. Desperate and knowing she needed money to survive, she agreed to sleep with the babysitter’s “friend.” That babysitter became Jessica’s controlling pimp. It was a terrifying life, but Jessica saw no options. She had no one to help her.
In 2010, when Jessica was fifteen, a “client” that her pimp arranged for her was an undercover policeman. She was arrested and put in a juvenile detention facility—all for a crime she never wanted to commit. The judge gave her two choices: jail or a program called Wellspring Living. Jessica chose Wellspring Living.
After weeks of standoffish behavior, Jessica had a breakthrough. Jessica told the staff that she now realized that her life could be changed for the better.
“God knows me,” she said. “He hears me, and He knows what I want and what I need. He sees my heart. I’m determined that my life is going to be different. The end is not going to be like the beginning!”
Because of the beautiful experiences Jessica had at Wellspring Living, she was able to heal and grow. Jessica transformed her vision for her life beyond the pain of her past, giving her hope for the future. She graduated and now lives a happy, healthy and vibrant life.
There are many ways to get involved with Wellspring Living through volunteer opportunities and events. They could not provide excellence in care without a community of people who serve survivors with such passion and dedication. Volunteers can sign up to work directly or indirectly with participants. To learn more, visit WellspringLiving.org/volunteer. Attending annual events is another great way to support the mission and impact lives of survivors. Their annual gala is Sunday, September 24, and will be a hope-filled and exciting evening.
WellspringLiving.org/gala. Join us in coloring the lives of survivors!
*Jessica’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.