Welcome Jaime Blair as our New CEO!
We are beyond excited to welcome Jaime Blair as our new CEO!
When the Board began its search for RAHAB’s new CEO, Jaime’s name was on the top of the list. As part of our RAHAB family already familiar with both the youth and adults we serve, she has experience serving in the community, and is knowledgeable about trauma-informed care. We knew she was uniquely suited to lead the RAHAB team!
In case you don’t know Jaime, check out these highlights of her involvement in the community and with RAHAB over the years:
- Jaime’s vision was the catalyst for our Minor Mentoring Program. In 2014, she had a conversation with Becky Moreland and Greg Colbeck which led to RAHAB providing mentors for youth on the Summit County Restore Court Docket — a specialized docket for youth survivors and those at risk of human trafficking.
- Served as a RAHAB Board member for two years, from 2016-2018.
- Served as the Magistrate over Restore Court, a community partner of our Minor Programming.
Served as an Outreach volunteer for five years.
- Won the 2022 Love Akron Change Maker Award — an award presented to individuals and organizations making a difference in the Greater Akron area.
- Sat on multiple committees and commissions dedicated to combating human trafficking and providing services to survivors.
Jaime says her two hopes for RAHAB are (1) unity among staff, mission, and focus, and (2) the staff, volunteers, and partners of RAHAB to look for — and engage with — the joy of this work as we fight to end human trafficking.
We are looking forward to this new season at RAHAB and seeing Jaime’s vision come to life!
Join us in welcoming Jaime Blair to the RAHAB team!
20th Anniversary Celebration Through Art
Our 20th Anniversary celebration was a blessing to us last month as we invited staff, volunteers, donors, community members, and new friends to come together to enjoy an art show!
The theme of the event was Redemptive Love: Transformational Joy — with each piece speaking to that theme. Art included poetry, paintings, photography, sculptures, murals, skits, and dance, all created by RAHAB staff, volunteers, and survivors!
This mural is a collaborative piece titled “Freedom Flight,” created by Emily F. Miller, Nichole Terrett, and members of RAHAB programs. Each butterfly is a Joy Jar Moment — folded by someone in programming — into an origami butterfly to represent every moment that brings us one step closer to freedom and healing.
One program participant who found out about the project said, “I was listening to a sermon over the weekend, and the speaker made several connections to the symbolism of the butterfly — and now here you are talking about butterflies too! It means God is listening and speaking to me.”
This next piece is called “Give Yourself Time,” created by Stacie Brandt and Bethy Yoerger. The wings consist of Minor Mentoring Joy Jar Moments, and the cocoon incorporates the negative words we and others often used to describe ourselves. This piece represents how moments of joy allow us to break free from negativity.
This final piece took center stage: a sculpture created by Nichole Terrett entitled “Transforming Joy.” We live in a broken world full of hurt, heartache, and even abuse. For victims of sex trafficking, the abuses often start young, in their childhood homes. Massive amounts of trauma leaves survivors with deep wounds — cracks so deep they fear their hurt defines them and their worth.
Yet we know there is hope! When a survivor begins to engage in safe relationships, physical and emotional safety, and the opportunity to begin healing, those cracks begin to close. They become scars — memories of what was. The scars don’t disappear … they are reminders through life of the past, but they are filled with gold, creating something beautiful from brokenness.
We are ecstatic we got to celebrate with so many familiar faces — and even some new ones! RAHAB has been blessed to serve our communities for the past 20 years, and we look forward to many more decades bringing hope to survivors in Northeast Ohio and beyond.
Thank you for partnering with us. You are vital to the work of this ministry, and we couldn’t do it without the supportive community around us.
A Time to Be Thankful
It’s the time of year to intentionally reflect on thankfulness — and here at RAHAB, we have so much to be grateful for!
Highlighted below are just a few of the many things we’re praising God for this Thanksgiving season:
Donors Who Provided Thanksgiving Meals
Friends have been generously providing food for Thanksgiving meals at each of our programming locations. We are looking forward to gathering with the women and children we serve to share this special meal!
The financial burden of purchasing food for a full Thanksgiving meal is a huge barrier for many during the holidays. But thanks to community partners this year, we are also able to hand out dozens of totes with ingredients to prepare Thanksgiving meals at home. This way, our friends can prepare meals for and with their families in addition to celebrating with us!
We are excited to welcome Jaime Blair as the new CEO of RAHAB! Jaime has a long history with RAHAB, including being the catalyst for our Minor Mentoring Program, serving as a Board Member, mentorship with Becky Moreland, and volunteering with our Strip Club Outreach for five years.
We are also so grateful for the energy and heart Greg Colbeck has poured into RAHAB for the last eight years. We are excited to celebrate him as he moves into a new season of life!
20 Years of Serving Human Trafficking Survivors
We have been celebrating our 20th Anniversary all year, but it still warms our hearts to know decades of survivors have received loving care and support through RAHAB.
We are so grateful for everyone who has gotten us to this point and celebrated with us along the way. We look forward to providing essential care to those in need for decades to come.
We are blessed with staff members who are devoted to meeting people where they are, loving them well, and fighting to end sex trafficking! Our staff works tirelessly to embody our core values of Christ-centered relationship, relentless pursuit, and excellence toward those we serve and one another.
All of these wonderful blessings would be incomplete without your partnership, so for YOU we are also truly grateful!
This essential work would not be possible without your dedication to combatting human trafficking right alongside us! THANK YOU!
We hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving and make time to reflect on what you’re grateful for as well.
Outreach Program Sees Woman Baptized
God consistently astounds us with His ability to rescue — especially when He dives into the darkest, messiest places to save one of His kids.
One of our outreach workers witnessed this “saving grace” firsthand a few weeks ago when she brought a woman from a correctional facility to church to be baptized.
It has been difficult for RAHAB to reach women in correctional facilities since the height of the pandemic. Facilities were locked down, and we couldn’t go in for visits or Bible studies until recently. But the doors were recently opened to us again, and we were able to see our friends once more!
A RAHAB volunteer knew of a local church having a Baptism Sunday that weekend, so she told the ladies in the correctional facility about it. A few expressed interest, but a woman we’ll call “Mary” was the only person up and ready to go on Sunday morning when the volunteer arrived to pick the women up.
Mary expressed how she had come to a point in her life where “enough is enough.” She was done with the system, done with the streets, and decided it was time to surrender her life to God. She was ready for a new path toward bettering herself.
The volunteer explained how the church leadership had all the people stand up at the front of the room and state together their desire for a relationship with Christ — professing Him as their Lord and Savior. She said, “Mary’s voice was the loudest! She wasn’t ashamed or fearful … she stood up and knew.”
Mary has high hopes for her future and has a mentor who will continue to take her to church. Please join us in praying God’s absolute best over Mary in her journey of healing and spiritual growth!
Without our outreach program, RAHAB would not have the opportunity to reach women like Mary …
In fact, outreach is where RAHAB got its start: A boots-on-the-ground mission into the streets, prisons, strip clubs, and other messy places where the enemy loves to ensnare trafficked women and children.
From this humble position, we can begin to tell survivors they are seen, there is a God who loves them, and there is hope available to them. From the darkest places, we get to invite women and youth into our Drop-In Homes, Minor Mentoring, and — if needed — our Safe House.
We are so grateful for dedicated volunteers who give their time and energy to provide opportunities like this for the women we serve — regardless of where they are on their journey.
And it is only through your prayers and partnership, and the help of our great Rescuer, that programs like these can be successful in reaching trafficked women and youth.
Thank you for the important role you play in this Kingdom work!
Give Hope this #GivingTuesday
Every year the RAHAB family makes “giving back” a priority before the Christmas season gets fully underway, and this year is no different.
#GivingTuesday is your opportunity to do something extra special that will mean the world to survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation!
With Christmas right around the corner, RAHAB is committed to making sure the women and children we serve get to celebrate Christ’s birth in a big and beautiful way.
Our goal is to help these precious survivors feel, deep down, like someone loves and cares for them and wants them to genuinely feel safe and valued without wanting anything in return.
Christmas is the perfect time of year to put the love and grace of Jesus on full display for them and to help them experience the awe and wonder of the season.
So please give generously on #GivingTuesday to give them the Christmas celebration they so desperately want … and desperately deserve … and keep RAHAB’s outreaches going strong into the New Year.
Your #GivingTuesday gift will help RAHAB cover the cost of the gifts, the food, the entire celebration this Christmas season for over 200 women and children we’re ministering to right now … and more.
Please help us reach our goal of $10,000 by making your donation immediately.
That’s just $45 for a woman or child to feel seen, cared for, and loved like she’s meant to be.
Volunteers Make All the Difference
Did you know we have four times more RAHAB volunteers than we do staff? Our ministry relies in large part on the dedication of our volunteers!
Before RAHAB became an official non-profit, it was simply a group of volunteers walking the streets to provide relationship and bring hope to those tangled in the web of sex trafficking.
The same is true now as it was then: We couldn’t do the work we do without our volunteers!
Our 200+ volunteers have devoted more than 4,000 hours — in this year alone! — providing those we serve with high-quality services and care. This is 4,000 hours spent walking the streets, visiting friends in jail, making the Drop-In a safe and warm environment, completing administrative tasks, making gifts for those we serve, and so much more
But what these statistics can’t measure is the experience of the women and children who feel loved, safe, and begin to heal while spending time with our volunteers. These interactions are precious and immeasurable.
We love our volunteers — which is why we are so thankful we got to hold a Volunteer Appreciation Night recently, where we invited all active volunteers to enjoy an evening of fellowship and celebration!
Visit our website to learn more about how to become a volunteer — a vital and valued part of the work we do here at RAHAB!
Thank you again for partnering with RAHAB Ministries.
Your caring, compassionate support makes a tangible and eternal difference in the lives we’re privileged to serve!