RALEIGH, N.C. — The COVID-19 Pandemic hasn't slowed Designed For Joy's efforts combatting human trafficking in our community. DFJ received a generous award of $10,000 from Awareness through Aesthetics (ATA). The donation was initially planned to be awarded during the Awareness through Aesthetics spring gala postponed in March. The event is held by local aesthetic entrepreneurs, providers, and leaders. The award program will now go virtual August 13, benefiting Designed For Joy and Shield NC. ATA granted $10,000 to each nonprofit.
Jennie Kowaleski, owner of Azura Skin Care Center and founder of ATA noted, "If one thing that 2020 has taught us is that things do not always go as planned and we must adapt to make productive change. The Awareness through Aesthetics team was not able to deliver the event at Raleigh Union Station that so many worked hard for, but is pleased to announce a virtual event to be held on August 13th." The virtual event continues to help raise awareness and funds for Designed for Joy and Shield NC. "We are so excited to continue the conversation to help stop human trafficking in a way that is safe for our community and continues to protect those most vulnerable to this issue," said Kowaleski.
The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic required everyone to switch gears, especially those in the nonprofit world who assist others in need. Fundraising, which can be tough even in ideal circumstances, is now a precarious situation for organizations in place to help the underserved.
"We didn't imagine postponing the gala, especially for a pandemic," said Cary Heise, Director and Co-Founder for DFJ. "COVID-19 brought new complications to running a nonprofit, and we are so thankful for the timing of Awareness through Aesthetics." Heise further explained how far this donation stretches to help the women she serves, "The gift of $10,000 ensured our rent is paid, so we invited women back into the studio once the stay-at-home orders lifted to resume almost regular work hours. We can't do the work we do without the community support, especially right now."
Heise acknowledged the best way to attack trafficking in North Carolina is through prevention and awareness. "With business leaders like Jennie Kowaleski using their platforms to bring awareness and influence to an entire industry of business leaders the way she has with Awareness through Aesthetics is impressive and brings anti-trafficking organizations like ours much hope."
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.