RALEIGH, N.C. — Local aesthetic entrepreneurs, providers, and leaders had planned to host a gala event on March 12, 2020 to support two local non-profit organizations, Designed For Joy and Shield North Carolina. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event was postponed. In the meantime, Awareness Through Aesthetics gala leaders have gifted a portion of the funds raised to Designed For Joy and Shield NC to help the non-profits sustain their missions during uncertain economic times.
According to the North Carolina Department of Administration, “human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States”, with an active presence in the Triangle area. Shield North Carolina defends against human trafficking in NC via prevention, policy, and restoration support. Designed For Joy provides dignified, safe work for trafficking victims and other vulnerable women in the Triangle area. Both organizations rely on the financial support of a loyal community of donors and volunteers.
"To be chosen as a beneficiary for this event was such an honor. When we first started planning, we had no idea that these funds would come at such a critical time for us," said Cary Heise, co-founder and Director of Designed for Joy. "We are now even more thankful for Jennie's compassion and the support of so many local businesses. The Gala donation allows us to go into spring and summer confidently knowing we will be able to continue production and hiring as soon as it's safe for everyone to be together again in our Raleigh studio."
The Awareness Through Aesthetics event was designed to raise both awareness and funds for these two local non-profits. Knowing the impact the cancellation would have on Designed For Joy, Jennie Kowaleski, event creator, donated a portion of the pre-event proceeds to help DFJ support employees and artisans through the coronavirus crisis.
Gala sponsors include Azura Skin Care Center, Beam Collective, Blue Water Spa, BodyLase, Care Plastic Surgery, Designed for Joy, Jennifer Injectables, Lorena Luca, New Life Aesthetics, Raleighwood Media Group, Shield NC, Synergy, and Wake Plastic Surgery. The Awareness Through Aesthetics event team plans to reschedule as soon as local gathering restrictions are removed. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.awarenessthroughaesthetics.com.
Designed For Joy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Raleigh N.C. that provides transitional work experience for women coming from trafficking, homelessness, time in prison, overcoming addiction or other vulnerable situations. DFJ is providing living wage work hours, building confidence and refreshing resumes to launch equipped women into the marketplace. For more information, please contact Cary Heise.
Shield North Carolina is developing a community model to fully guard against human trafficking. We engage in strategic, best practices prevention and awareness to target those on the front lines. Shield North Carolina initiates and advocates for smart, gamechanging policy on the municipal, state, and federal levels. Our team of experts identifies gaps in restoration services and works to find innovative ways to fill those gaps. To learn more, visit www.ShieldNC.org.