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Bridges & Balm Newsletter
July 2024

Hello everyone! Welcome to the first edition of the Bridges & Balm newsletter. We have two key goals with our newsletter: to update readers on our activities; and to increase awareness of the needs of those in our fellowship who have ministered to us or have suffered trauma.

To view a pdf of the newsletter in a separate tab, please click here.

Who We Are 
 

Bridges and Balm is a tax-exempt charity that seeks to meet the needs of both former workers who are in financially vulnerable conditions as well as any survivors of sexual abuse who need support with funding for the cost of therapy. Established in February of 2024, Bridges & Balm was founded by people who recognized that there was a significant population of people in both of these groups with unmet basic needs, and we wanted to establish a transparent and scalable entity to assist our at-risk populations.

 

Our mission at Bridges & Balm is to be a conduit between those who need assistance and those who can help provide it. 

Assistance Activities
 

As of late June, we have dispersed over $12,000 to workers and survivors needing assistance. The last two weeks of June have been very active in terms of assistance requests, especially from resting and transitioning workers due both to the large worker assistance need and because word of our existence is spreading. In June, we approved an additional $10,000 in worker and survivor commitments, bringing financial assistance commitments to over $8,000 per month (up from $5,000 per month in May).

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Ongoing Needs Assessment of Resting / Transitioning Workers
 

Since resting and transitioning workers are often reluctant to ask for help, we reach out to them through friends and advocates to review their living situations on an ongoing basis. Currently we are checking in on a list of over 66 former workers to assess their living conditions and status. By using the budget worksheet available on the Bridges & Balm website, former workers can assess their financial health and we can assist with monthly deficits they may have. 

Budget and Donations Status
 

Balancing donations and committing assistance is always a tricky process, but we try to keep six months of committed assistance in the bank at all times. As you can see in the figure below, we are significantly behind in our cash levels per that metric, but our donations have gone up each month as more people become aware of our charters.  

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Survivor Focus
 

In this section, we highlight the experiences and needs of survivors of CSA or SA in our fellowship. The names and specifics have been obscured to protect the survivor’s identity but the experiences described below are real. If you feel moved to help this survivor get therapy, please donate with the Survivor Code S0998. See the “Tips” section below for instructions on how to donate using survivor codes.

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Transitioning Worker Focus
  

Transitioning workers experience extreme emotional trauma when they are asked or told to leave the work.  Trauma also accompanies those who have made the agonizing decision to leave the work on their own. Either way, most workers must completely rebuild their lives from scratch. In our discussions with resting/transitioning workers, we repeatedly heard the following comments about transitioning to life outside the work.​

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Useful Tips on Using the Bridges & Balm Website
  

Did you know that you can recommend specific workers and earmark survivors for your donations? The sections below describe how.

Using Survivor Codes

Using Worker Recommendations

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For More Information
  

Website url: www.bridgesandbalm.org 

Email: BridgesandBalm@gmail.com 

Phone: (510) 626-0788 (Please leave a message) 

Mailing Address: 

Bridges and Balm 

P.O. Box 8369 

Bend, OR 97708

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Thank You! 
  

Thank you for reading this and supporting us! Even if donating is not in your budget right now, we thank you for your love and care for the most vulnerable amongst us. We are grateful to be a part of Bridges & Balm, and we will keep you updated along the journey.

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For More Information Website url: www.bridgesandbalm.org Email: BridgesandBalm@gmail.com Phone: (510) 626-0788 (Please leave a message) Mailing Address: Bridges and Balm P.O. Box 8369 Bend, OR 97708 Thank You Thank you for reading! Even if donating is not in your budget right now, we thank you for your love and care for the most vulnerable amongst us. We are grateful to be a part of Bridges & Balm, and we will keep you updated along the journey.

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