My Post-11When I started fundraising for Vision for Empowerment workshops in 2015, in collaboration with the international nonprofit Her Future Coalition, I was unsure how much support I would receive. Of course, people strongly detest human trafficking and the abuse it brings to communities and young women across the globe, but for some, this issue does not hit home because it’s not at home. Kolkata, India is many, many miles from the beautiful city of St. Augustine. However, after four years of fundraising and hosting events, I have found that the experience working with women in Kolkata is, in fact, easy to translate to such a compassionate community, filled with those who support the arts and female empowerment.

I will never forget the feeling of looking across a crowd of 75+ people and knowing they really care about the work we are doing, and more importantly, about our sisters in India.

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Exhibition photographs printed by Imagine Fine Art Printing, St. Augustine, FL

There are so many things to fight for in 2018. I urge you to be an activist in your local communities or abroad. There is so much work to be done. I have found my work to be in India. Yours may be closer to home, cleaning up the St. Johns River, or feeding our growing homeless population, or providing environmental education to our children. Whatever it is, keep pushing forward, and more importantly, sharing the story. We have an incredible community of people who care and will support you.

Our art exhibition and silent auction at Parlor Room in downtown St. Augustine was a huge success! Our goal was $5,000 to cover expenses and we exceeded them—raising nearly $6,000! Aslyn Baringer Productions & Sarah Annay head to Kolkata in February to lead the 2019 empowerment workshops.

Sarah Symons, Sarah Annay, Aslyn Baringer

Huge thank you to all of the local businesses who contributed to the silent auction, to Parlor Room offering their beautiful space, Cassidie Corwin behind the florals and decor, Jim Johnston on the guitar, Grace Geracioti taking photographs, Kelly Conway from Imagine Fine Art Printing, and our many volunteers (seen below) who year after year join us to set up the artwork, greet guests throughout the evening, and break down at the end of the night. We couldn’t do this without you.

Think global, act local.

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Paper art by Sarah Symons

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Thank you!

  for more info, visit Her Future Coalition

 

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