Written by Kim Merrikin
on November 13, 2018
“I deserve to be loved. You deserve to be loved.” - Jacquelynn Loos, Survivor, REST Outreach Coordinator
We at REST wholeheartedly believe this about every survivor of sexual exploitation, every REST friend and supporter—and you.
On Saturday, November 10, we got to share and celebrate this belief with over 600 guests at our sixth annual A Night of REST auction and gala. We are absolutely blown away by the support of our sponsors, table captains, donors, volunteers, and guests. Through their combined efforts and generosity, over $514,000 was raised to provide pathways of freedom, safety, and hope to survivors of exploitation.
Throughout the evening, we told the story of what can happen in a person’s life when they go from feeling unloved to feeling loved.
As guests entered the cocktail and silent auction time, they encountered Reflections, an exhibit featuring eight large mirrors that shared stories, statistics, survivors’ words, and an invitation to reflect on their own journeys from unloved to loved.
Each of our speakers shared about the transformative power of love:
“At REST, we start here: Do you know that you deserve to be loved? We start here with our clients, with each other, and tonight, with our stakeholders. No matter how you’re different, no matter what you’ve done, you deserve it. Breathe that in a little bit tonight, and experience a little bit of REST.” - Brent Turner, Chairman of the Board of Directors
“To know REST is to know that we are more than just an organization that offers services. Don’t get me wrong. It’s essential that we have services that are uniquely designed to give victims and survivors of sex trafficking a pathway to freedom, safety, and hope. But it’s love that makes those services work.” - Amanda Hightower, Executive Director
“If you only remember one thing from what I’m sharing tonight remember this. REST means healing. And healing comes from a place of acceptance, belonging, and knowing you are worthy of love. I have not only been blessed to know this healing personally, I am even more blessed to carry it forward. I deserve to be loved. You deserve to be loved.” - Jacquelynn Loos, Survivor, REST Outreach Coordinator
Whether you joined us at A Night of REST 2018, or you just stumbled across this blog, we hope you hear this truth: You deserve to be loved.
If you were at a Night of REST and want to see photos from the evening, check out our Facebook page! Click here for photos from The SnapBar photo booth, and stay tuned for more event photos!
Photo credit: Meghan Klein Photography