The following letter was written by Deb Ellinger, founder and director of Elli’s House, a 501(c)3 nonprofit serving homeless and runaway women involved in human trafficking in the city of Detroit. Their mission is to abolish sex trafficking in the city of Detroit through building relationships, offering safe shelter, and providing education. Elli’s House is one of the Innovative Missional Ministries supported by the Here We Stand campaign.
February was an amazing month for us! In case you missed the news, Elli’s House was chosen as the charity for Troy Athens Charity week. During the week of February of 10, the student body and staff of Troy Athens High School raised over $180,000 for Elli’s House. Check out the news video here.
That was a week to remember. The students created events, such as Mr. Athens, Parent Cook-Off, Student vs. Staff Talent Show and so much more. These events, along with parent support and Costello Elementary Charity week, raised over $180,000 in just one week! We could all learn from the hard work, dedication, commitment and passion these students displayed during the week. Keep in mind that all events were planned by students who still maintained their weekly academic and athletic schedules.
In addition to raising money, the students packed over 1,000 hygiene kits and made cards for street outreach. The amount of awareness that was created that week was beyond comprehension. These students thought outside of the box and decided to be the first high school to go the distance to educate themselves on human trafficking and forced prostitution, along with raising money and serving. Parents of Athens students should be so proud of the kids they have raised. I know I am proud to be an Athens parent!
We also had the amazing opportunity to have Andrea Isom from Channel 7 News join us on outreach this month. Andrea is such a sweet, passionate and energetic woman who we loved spending time with; we loved her camera man too! She was moved to tears as many girls wanted to share their story with her. Since then, she has been providing hygiene and food, each week, for our outreach teams. In case you missed the story, click here.
Thank you to everyone who has believed in us and continues to support our cause. We are just beginning and I can’t wait to see all that God will do. All of these wonderful experiences have come from God’s grace to us, not because of what we have done, but actually in spite of what we do.
Photo by Jeff Heisner/Michigan District, LCMS