A women’s group at Trilogy in the Vineyards, Women of Wisdom (WOW), will host a fundraiser Tuesday, Dec. 17, to support the New Day for Children charity.
The fundraiser, WOW’s final event of the year, will take place at Trilogy’s event center, Club Los Meganos, located at 1700 Trilogy Parkway in Brentwood. It will include two fashion shows with models sporting looks purchased from area thrift stores. Show times are 4 and 7:15 p.m. Soup, salad, bread, dessert, coffee and tea will also be served, and there will be a 50/50 raffle. All proceeds benefit the charity.
Linda Schram, leader of WOW, said the group connected with New Day for Children because it was started by a couple who lives in Trilogy, Jon and Elaine Blankmeyer, in 2009. According to its mission, New Day for Children “works to restore the stolen childhoods of young American girls, ages 10-18, recovered from the despair of child sex trafficking. New Day assists in providing loving family environments, safe housing, school, medical and mental health care, horse therapy and more. Working with law enforcement, other faith-based community organizations and families, New Day comes alongside parents and guardians to make it possible for these young victims to receive the support they need.”
“A friend of ours was the vice chief of the Oakland Police Department and he said, ‘Do you know how much of a problem this is?’” said Jon Blankmeyer.
Blankmeyer and his wife knew they wanted to get involved.
In the 10 years since the charity’s inception, the couple — along with their partnerships — has been able to rescue more than 90 girls and help them toward better futures. Whether that’s graduating high school, getting into college, working toward career development, therapy, medical care or a combination of these, it’s really about finding a path forward.
Blankmeyer says the success stories are what keep them going, and Schram says they touch her heart, too.
“Believe me, the first day I met them, I went to brunch with him and some of these girls, he read some of these stories,” Schram said. “I mean, you can’t help but cry. It is so amazing what they do. The backstories of these girls, you wouldn’t think could exist in this country, but they do. Child sex trafficking really has no socioeconomic, racial or cultural boundaries. It reaches, it has a large scope and it could be right in your own backyard and you don’t even know it.”
About 30% of the girls New Day for Children works with are from the Bay Area; 30% are from southern California; and the remaining 40% are from elsewhere. Blankmeyer says it’s important for those in the Bay Area — and Americans in general — to realize child sex trafficking can and is happening here.
“A child is sold every two minutes,” Blankmeyer said. “No matter your walk in life, people need to talk about it. Schools need to be aware of it. People need to get more educated and talk with their neighbors about it.”
Schram hopes WOW will be able to donate more than $5,000 to New Day for Children, which runs on donations and receives no government funding.
“I’m really proud of what WOW has done to have this, get this organized and become a 501(c)3,” she said. “We went down that path and we are able now to reach out to charities, and that makes me very proud.”
Fundraiser tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling 925-809-7180. Trilogy residents can also reserve tickets on the community’s internal website, My Trilogy Life.
To learn more about New Day for Children or to donate to its efforts, visit www.newdayforchildren.com. Check donations can be made out to “New Day for Children” and mailed to P.O. Box 439, Alamo, CA 94507.