Brooke Crowder Groundbreaking Speech
Executive Director Brooke Crowder's speech at The Refuge Ranch Groundbreaking, October 25, 2016.
Our Children Matter
Speech by Brooke Crowder
October 25, 2016, The Refuge Ranch Groundbreaking
"Good Morning and thank you for being here today to celebrate with us this milestone for The Refuge. Today represents so much more than the commencement of construction of The Refuge Ranch. For us -- Our Board of Directors and Staff, for our architect team at Reach, our engineering team at Stansbury, our construction managers at Square One, for our 17 partner churches, our hundreds of donors and our amazing contractor Joe Bland, today represents more than breaking ground, it represents the uniting of compassionate hearts and strategic minds that want to declare: OUR CHILDREN MATTER!
"Our most vulnerable children, who are suffering due to extreme trauma at the hands of traffickers; our children who feel unworthy and forgotten because they’ve been caught in the evil web that is child sex trafficking. Today we are all saying collectively - OUR CHILDREN, THEY MATTER! They not only matter, but we as a community want to right the wrongs, and we want to build a place of rest and restoration for child survivors to be able to rebuild their lives.
"There has been an awakening that this is going on-that our children here in the US are being bought and sold for sex at an alarming rate. However, as we become more aware and are identifying more child victims of trafficking, we are more keenly aware of the lack of long-term, holistic services for these children in our state and in our nation. We recognize that there are no places for these children to get help and to heal.
"Our mission is to be that place and today represents one day closer to that dream. As we begin the building process on our beautiful 50 acres donated in Bastrop county, Yes! We are excited! - but, we are also in a state of urgency!
"Unfortunately, there are currently only 24 beds in Texas specifically designated to care for trafficked children. Once we are open we will be able to care for 48 girls, ages 11-17, who need comprehensive and therapeutic services and who need a safe, secure and loving environment to rebuild their life.
"Frankly, we can’t build The Refuge fast enough.
"The Refuge is a part of a whole and broader team of people, leaders, pastors, state and federal representatives , and organizations all working together to tackle one of the most complex issues in our communities today. We are honored to work with this team of people, many of whom you will hear from today.
"Our vision all along has been to partner with the very best and bring them to The Refuge; to never recreate what is already being done so well in our community. The Refuge is a place that our partners can bring to bear their expertise and services upon a young survivor’s life and provide the very best community-based services for her restoration and care. Our community partners are too numerous to mention them all today, but, I’m excited to turn over the microphone for you to hear from some that we are honored to work with and who's leadership in our state has helped make The Refuge a reality."
Brooke Crowder is the Founder and Executive Director of The Refuge. (Full bio.)