Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Beginning of EAO

Food Not Bombs!!

The idea of Earth Angel Outreach, EAO, began in the spring of 2008 after volunteering as the Outreach Coordinator at The South Florida Women's Health Center in Hollywood, Florida. Partnered up with 'Doula D', we drove around Hollywood in her grandma's old rusty blue 'Hoopty' singing 'Earth Angel' (by the Penguins) while handing out homemade cooked Vegan food, donated clothing or supplies, and assisting homeless men and women with their needs. We would bring the women and children into our facility and help them with services and provide for them any way we could. Our work there spanned from helping pregnant teens and young mothers on the street, assisting parents with children, obtaining services for the ill, distributing food and clothing to homeless friends, educating the community about the environment and nutrition, hosting childrens events and classes, and direct outreach in the community.

One little boy from the Bahamas, named Mike, was the glue that made it all stick together. Saving the life of this little 18 month old and enduring three open heart surgeries in 36 hours, Mike found himself surrounded and cared for by a team of Angels who supported him for several months from the childrens ICU back home. The bond of friendship between the ladies solidified the need to help more children in need.

At the Woman's Center, the impacts of poverty on the people in our neighborhood became apparent in the large population of homeless on our streets. We started the local chapter of  FNB Hollywood and joined Lovebags in Ft. Lauderdale in order to help more people in need. We were feeding many people and realizing the need for organization in order to obtain more supplies and materials for our street outreach.


It was during the Spring of 2008 that EAO attended the first CSEC training seminar at Kristi House in Miami, conducted by Sandy Skelaney of Project GOLD.  Because of the work EAO was doing on the streets, it was suggested the volunteers attend this training to learn about a new demographic many were unaware of. That was the first time our eyes were open to the problem of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in America.

Project GOLD Outreach

Several months after the training, while celebrating Lovebags second year on the streets, we met a victim of Human Trafficking late one night in front of the downtown Ft. lauderdale library. Her name was Leviathan. A woman who had been kidnapped as a child and forced into over 20 years of slavery, now she was drifting on the streets from city to city. Meeting this young woman taught us how unprepared our system was for this new species of human being. It was because of our experience with this woman, which spanned for almost 6 months after a volunteer took her into her home, that the idea to bring awareness, advocacy, and the desperate need for resources, safe housing with proper assistance which catered to the needs of this very sensitive group of victims. 

Late Night Outreach
Earth Angel Outreach attended seminars, summits, and trainings in the field of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children since 2008, met hero Linda Smith of Shared Hope International, completed U.S. Justice Dept. CSEC training with Rachel Lloyd of GEMS , Coordinated Outreach with Sandy Skelaney of Project GOLD, The Broward County Human Trafficking Coalition and The Miami CSEC Working Group. EAO also teamed up with Child Advocacy Centers which cater to the needs of homeless and at risk youth, LGBTQ youth and runaways by providing direct outreach, donations of food, clothing, or support through various EAO Projects.

Making Friends
The Mission to help children is in the hearts of all EAO volunteers whether Domestic or Abroad. Through The La La Land Projects, Missionaries have been funded to follow their dreams helping children in Haiti, China, Mexico, and Peru, children in orphanages or in need of supplies and materials for healthy living and proper education. Earth Angel Outreach became Incorporated in the Summer of 2009 before embarking on the first of the La La Land Projects, called 'The Lla Lla Land Project' which took place in a small mountain village of Llalla in Cusco, Peru. By joining a restauraunt owner and his dream to help a small impovershed community build a school for the young children. EAO helped to raise needed funds, collect supplies and materials from South Florida communities and personally deliver the items to the children of the village. By collecting donations, conducting fundraisers and bridging communities, Earth Angel Outreach and the volunteers who help the children bring awareness and advocacy to children in need across the globe by holding hands and reaching out together.

Collaboration is the key ingredient to the Earth Angel Outreach Projects. Whether Feeding on the Streets or in Youth Centers, Creating Art, Music, or Working on out of the box solutions for Advocacy and Awareness, EAO works together as a team in which all involved are equal. Working with the Community, Youth, Volunteers and other Organizations allows for more understanding and more hope to be spread.

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