It was such a great privilege to volunteer for the International Justice Mission (IJM) Benefit Dinner held on December 8th. Sara and I arrived at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. to a slew of volunteers. We stuffed programs, created name tags, all while enjoying the camaraderie of the other volunteers.
After a much needed nap, we dressed for the event. First on the agenda was the silent auction. Everything from a “surprise bag” to luxury vacations were on display. The most wonderful hot chocolate bar was the place to be and be seen during the silent auction.
Sara and I were stationed at the entrance of the ballroom. We pressed a program in the hand of everyone who walked in the door while the Dove Award winning and Grammy nominated band, Sixpence None The Richer, entertained us.
After an amazing dinner Senior Vice President of Structural Transformation, Sharon Cohn Wu spoke about IJM’s ongoing casework. She explained, “IJM investigators, lawyers and social workers intervene in individual cases of abuse in partnership with state and local authorities.”
By pushing individual cases of abuse through the justice system from the investigative stage to the prosecutorial stage, IJM determines the specific source of corruption, lack of resources, or lack of good will in the system denying victims the protection of their legal systems. In collaboration with local authorities, IJM addresses these specific points of brokenness to meet the urgent needs of victims of injustice.
Sharon also detailed for us the story of Prema. As a young girl, Prema was trafficked into a brothel where she was beaten and sold to customers. Today, Prema is living in a safe and loving aftercare home. We were told how IJM was able to rescue Prema and other stories of freedom. – Ellen Andrusia, RJI Staff Member