Human trafficking is real and here in Ohio the statistics are staggering. I learned so much about what the center does and how they help empower the ladies that are brought there. I was so enamored that I volunteered on the spot and will be working with the Renee Jones Empowerment Center by providing self esteem workshops with a fashion slant to the ladies. The very first day we met, Ms. Jones granted me a whole two hour time slot for a women's conference at the end of the month. She believes in people and that matters so much in what she does.
To put it plainly, the center needs money to operate and is teaming up with US Together for 'Runway Freedom', a multi cultural fashion show and fundraiser on Saturday, August 20th from 4pm-8pm. Ms. Jones took time out of her hectic schedule while flying cross country to answer a few questions:
WHAT DO YOU DO AND HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START?
I'm the president & CEO of Renee Jones Empowerment Center- I got my start by stepping out on faith and getting the support of friends and family to open the center in 2002.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS?
WHEN DID YOU GET YOUR “BIG BREAK?
Last year when the Center received a Victims of Crime Act grant from the Ohio Attorney General which allowed the Center to go from part-time to a full-time operation, which included providing a salary for the director and part time coordinator and funding to provide additional contracted services to victims.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT SO FAR?
Sustaining the Center for 14 Years...
WHO, IF ANYBODY, HAS REALLY HELPED YOU ALONG THE WAY
Vision Partners who made monthly donations, great dedicated board members who are engaged, and many dedicated volunteers who provided their knowledge, skills, talent and time to help with the center’s programs and services.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The Bible, deep faith and people who are passionate and care deeply about helping people restore their lives.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
I enjoy planting flowers and making outdoor flower arrangements. I also enjoy interior design and collecting unique Asian art pieces.
HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THIS SHOW?
By using a task plan that outlines everything that is needed for an event including contacts, progress and expected time frames.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE?
Have passion for your work is number one, surround yourself with people who have more knowledge than you, be committed to learning new things and expanding your network.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU?
To continue to expand and grow the programs and services we offer, to open a new center and to expand the Center ‘s presence on the east side of Cleveland.
WHERE CAN WE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR WORK?
Visit our website at rjecempower.org, Facebook and Twitter.
ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD?
Runway Freedom is a unique opportunity to promote cultural diversity and spread human trafficking awareness locally and globally.
I will be both blogging and working with the ladies behind the scenes the day of the show. My awesome model friend Diondra Heard came in and taught some of the girls to walk the runway and she did a great job! Shoutout to women like her who don't mind using their talents for a good cause and expect nothing in return! If you would like more information about the show or to purchase tickets, buy them here. And if you are interested in volunteering or donating to the Renee Jones Empowerment Center, visit their website.