Good day and be blessed!
This time of year and each and every day we give thanks to the Lord for the mission He has entrusted me/us with. I feel it is my duty and honor to serve our women within the community, as well as globally, because this is what the Lord has asked of me. It is a "heart-thing" as I say...once we say YES to the tug at our heart...God certainly takes over.
Now more than ever before, we are serving and caring for more women who are displaced, victimized by injustices, those who are fire victims, underserved and homeless. Each has a story and it truly matters! We are here to be a blessing to each and the blessings we receive in doing so are "amazing grace". We serve all women and are blessed to pass the blessing forward. As a survivor of domestic violence in my 20’s, I knew one day I was going to do something to help women. The seed was planted and when we found out 14 years ago that the opioid/heroin crisis and trauma had affected one of our very own, my husband and I propelled into action. Angels of Mercy is here to raise women up and help them realize the life purposed for them!
More and more we at Angels of Mercy realize the connection of the Opioid Crisis with Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence and abuse of all kinds. We ask you to stand with us regarding this CRISIS!
Please read below...
“The Road of Addiction and Trafficking”
Hi my name is Lacey Colligan. My mom, Mary Jo Colligan is the founder of Angels of Mercy. Angels of Mercy is a Safe Haven...A Safe Place.
More and more of these women are battling addiction of some kind. I have been in recovery since 7.8.06. The opioid crisis and drug crisis is just that…a CRISIS!
Drugs do not discriminate. Being on the street I saw drugs first hand being used to control others. Either it was the drug dealers controlling their corner boys
(on the look-out), the neighborhood addict to sell for them or the women to sweep the paraphernalia out with a broom.
There is also times when drugs are used as a tool in trafficking. There is a saying you can sell a person, unlike other things, over and over again. The drug you sell once. Drugs make it nearly impossible for the victim to fight back, but possible for the traffickers sales to go through.
There are many signs of drug use:
Change in friends
Change in weight
Change in behavior- mood and temper
Change in grades
Wearing long sleeve shirts and pants in warm temperatures
Problems with the law
Away from family
Traffickers come in all shapes and sizes.
Men, women and sometimes those are the same men and women who were trafficked themselves.
Drugs are an endless road of destruction. Many people start drugs to escape a life of abuse and pain. But no one starts drugs saying ‘I’m going to sell my body and lose everything and everyone I love’. The ugly truth is that it happens every day. Men and women sometimes prostitute themselves sometimes for $5. or $10. It is not unusual for women to be pregnant. Many of these addicts go into these situations thinking they will be given drugs. They are instead raped and left feeling more degraded than before. Their addiction is so bad.
When going back to the same place their hope is the dealers will keep the promise of selling drugs instead of the user being raped. The streets are very rough and most people on them stick together in a pack or with another. Drugs make people greedy and many times your friend or comforter, that you thought was a friend, ends up being your pimp. Once again the addict stays…not wanting to navigate the dangerous streets alone.
The first way to help in this crisis is to realize that not only is it happening…BUT…it is all around us. We must open our eyes. If you have not been addicted, maybe your family member or friend has.
We MUST fight the causes. Be kind to strangers because you never know what they are going through. Let’s be BETTER, let’s treat each other BETTER because… WE ARE BETTER!
By Lacey Colligan
Continued from Mary Jo:
As you can imagine from reading this, the need for programs that really focus on that intersection between trauma and substance use is huge.
Angels of Mercy’s “Home for Healing” is needed more than ever! Too many women and girls need a safe place to heal from the root of their problem. Our hearts ask you to support us in this effort!
How can you help?
Partner with Angels of Mercy and support us financially.
Be a prayer partner and commit to praying for our efforts and for those we serve.
Join our Team! Spread the word!
Host an Anti-Human Trafficking awareness event to address this issue and ensure everyone is fully educated to prevent exploitation from happening to someone you know. Our Team offers training/presentations to organizations, churches, schools and all community groups for adults and youth.
Instead of birthday, Christmas gifts, etc ask people to donate to Angels of Mercy to give a gift of FREEDOM.
Let's Make it Happen!
Blessings & Thank You,
Mary Jo Gugino Colligan, President