We're proud to partner up with Restore One, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping male victims of human trafficking. Our hope, at M.L. Gardner Books, is to help raise awareness of these horrific crimes AND assist with a donation of our own. We plan to donate 100% of 5 full days of book sale proceeds to Restore One and their cause beginning today through Saturday.
How can you help? Buy M.L. Gardner's books, share our campaign with your family and friends, or make a donation of your own to Restore One here.
What are the names and titles of the team members that make up Restore One?
We are really excited to just have brought 2 interns onto our team. Staff members include: Leslie Davies - Administrative Assistant, Lizzie Menge - Director of Restorative, Justice Persida Montanez - Director of Public Relations, Zach Pomeroy - Communication Intern, Genny Parshley - Communication Intern, Chris Smith - President & Co-founder, Anna Smith - Executive Director & Co-founder, Justine Williams - Director of Engagement & Co-founder.
Describe Restore One to our readers.
Restore One is a ministry that seeks to open shelters that offer faith-based residential recovery programs, free of cost to American boys who are survivors of domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST). Restore One will treat every survivor as a unique individual by using holistic approaches and proven clinical methods that nurture healing and restoration. Restore One also counteracts human trafficking and human exploitation by community awareness, education, outreach and partnerships. Restore One’s goal is to see DMST survivors live in complete freedom, and to generate communities that are intolerable to the problem of human trafficking and human exploitation.
How and why did Restore One come to fruition?
During the summer of 2010, Anna Smith interned at a Christian safe house for domestic minor sex trafficking victims. It was there Anna felt God calling her to fight human trafficking. That same summer Chris, Anna's fiancé, was working as a youth minister. Provoked by Anna’s interest, he took it upon himself to research the problem. Through research he discovered that few men were serving in modern day abolition. It was because of this revelation he followed the call of God to be a man who stands up for freedom. Following a short stint of domestic human trafficking mission work, God placed the vision for Restore One on Anna and Chris’ hearts. Summer of 2012 they returned back to Greenville, NC to start the ministry. Upon moving back, the couple immediately met with Justine Williams to share about Restore One. Justine had just returned from Phuket, Thailand, where she spent the summer ministering to sex trafficked men and women trapped in the red light district. The team joined together and so the adventure began. Restore One was officially founded June 2012 by a husband and wife team, Chris and Anna Smith and dear friend Justine Williams. On March 27, 2013, Restore One was granted 501©3 nonprofit status, giving us the green light to progress toward opening The Anchor House. Our success did not end there. Over the past years, Restore One has seen the lasting impact we’ve had against the darkness of sex trafficking - Anna Smith
Domestic minor sex trafficking among American boys is not something we hear much about in the news. Why do you think that is, and how do you propose to change that?
The cultural norm of sex trafficking is frame men as the perpetrator and women as the victim. Therefore law enforcement and service providers, do not traditionally view men and boys as victims. Change will transpire as awareness is raised and male survivors begin to speak out about their sex trafficking experiences. - Anna Smith
What kind of long term damage do victims of domestic minor sex trafficking suffer from?
Abuse and trauma that is endured from being sex trafficked during a child’s vital developmental years transpires into numerous psychological, social, spiritual and psychological complications. While particularities are unique to each case victims many DMST victims suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, complications with establishing healthy relationships, physical compilations arising from maltreatment during trafficking situation and overall loss of identity. While in “The Life” children become bonded with their pimp and over time develop a trauma bond, a dysfunctional attachment formed during the presence of shame, danger or exploitation. Their pimp gives them a new name, tell them when to sleep, eat, how to talk and what to dress like, the person they were before they were trafficked becomes unknown to the current victim - their identity is lost. - Anna Smith
I read that your organization is currently raising funds for the very first shelter in the U.S. "designated solely for American boy domestic minor sex trafficking victims". Can you tell us what sort of role this shelter will play in your mission to help these boys and why this is so important?
The devastation of sex trafficking can be wiped away and the person can be restored. Restore One’s mission of restoration comes alive through The Anchor House. While the noble act of rescuing sex trafficking victims is strenuous, all work becomes lost if that person fails to have a stable and safe place to go post-rescue. Across the nation, we’ve established a couple hundred bed spaces for Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking female victims, a small step in the correct direction. Sadly there are no restorative homes in the nation specialized in providing care for boys. Today if a boy is rescued his chances of staying out of The Life and recovering are starkly bleak. Our shelter, The Anchor House will fill this gap in care by providing bed space in a holistic trauma sensitive home just for boys who’ve been victimized by sex trafficking. - Anna Smith
What impact has your organization already had on some of these young boys? How has this changed your own lives?
Since embarking on The Anchor House, we’ve been able to connect with, provide services for and empower male survivors. Through our awareness efforts we’ve empowered male survivors to speak up and voice their story. From funding dental care, to supportive phone calls we’ve already been graced to make a different in several young mens' lives. - Anna Smith
Prayer and faith are a huge part of your organization's foundation. Tell us about this.
Our ministry is completely faith-based which means that we approach everything through prayer and seeking God's heart. We have discovered, through experience, the importance of waiting for the calling of God. Prayer is a pillar of Restore One - the most essential pillar. Everything we do is covered in prayer, even the most simple tasks. We experience spiritual attack regularly, we fight against the Kingdom of Darkness, those kinds of things don't go unnoticed by the enemy. We are taking a stance against what we believe is the darkest of evils, it would not be fair or true to say that we haven't all had our faith stretched to its limits.
Restore One offers a variety of ways for people to help your cause. What are these?
We love to see community members involved at Restore One. Becoming a volunteer offers a versatile experience. Volunteering can vary from administrative tasks to painting a canvas or drawing with chalk for an upcoming project or event. For those who are not in Eastern NC, social media plays another vital role for our ministry. We encourage others to always follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - but also to share, retweet or repost what we post. Awareness is so key to spreading the word of what sex trafficking is and what we're doing to see it ended. Social media provides such a unique and wide-spread presence for our ministry. Another way for others to get involved, and to really bless our ministry is to give. No one likes asking for money, or even bringing up the subject, but the fact is that Restore One is a ministry - a non-profit ministry. We have big dreams and huge visions given to us by our loving Father. We know he will carry these visions out, but it won't be possible without donors coming alongside us and committing to be the foundation on which we build the Anchor House. -Justine Williams
Tell us about any new projects or exciting plans you may be working on.
The Anchor House is Restore One's chief project. Currently, we are in search of the land that will one day house that vision. God has allowed doors to be opened but also allowed for them to shut. We know that one day, like a glimmering sunrise, the right land will make its way to us and into our visions. - Justine Williams
Connect With Restore One
There are lots of ways to know what Restore One is up to. You can follow us on social media:
You can also sign up for our eNewsletters here.
As a staff, we are always eternally grateful for opportunities to spread our message and the vision we have for this nation to others. For those who have any other questions about who we are, please email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.