Escondido Sunrise Rotary; Meeting to Serve our Community in Person and via Zoom; and “Susan Johnson w/The Alabaster Jar Project”
August 24, 2023
As we all try to conduct our professional pursuits in new ways, it’s appropriate to remind ourselves of who we are as a Serving Organization… Our accomplishments, our fellowship and the reminder of our many successes is valuable as we seek new opportunities to serve…
We met again in person at the Chamber of Commerce… Great to enjoy the fellowship again and see all your smiling faces…
As a Club, Brian Murphy led us as we honored our nation with a salute to our Flag and, an invocation was offered by past President Jack Anderson .….
Guests & Visitors:
Susan Johnson – Speaker for today from The Alabaster Jar Project
Debbie Stanley, Cheryl Engdahl – Friends of Susan Johnson
Darol Caster – East Rotary Club
Special Occasions:
Happy Birthday to:
Dave Casey – 8/26
LeaAnn Fay – 8/30
Happy Wedding Anniversary to:
Gerry & LeaAnn Fay – 26 years on August 30th!!
Happy Rotary Anniversary to:
Richard Agnew- 12 years on August 29th
Upcoming Calendar Events:
High 5 and Announcements:
Gerry Fay announced that grandbaby #9 is on the way, their son is having baby #3. Congratulations to the Fay family!!!
Darol Caster announced the East Club Rotary is having a pickleball tournament at Castle Creek on 10/26 from 12pm to 5pm, the cost is $100pp
Judy Fitzgerald sent the info on our upcoming 5K to the North County Times and there was an article published, thank you Judy for getting the word out!!
Rotarian’s Having Fun!!! A picture is worth a thousand words!!
Past President Jim Ponder went to Mammoth with the family and brought back beer and a mug for president Mark. They enjoyed hiking, toured a museum and enjoyed the beautiful scenery
5K Update: 16 Days to go!!!
The Yankees have moved ahead over the Padres with the Pirates and the Diamond Backs not too far behind!! We are now over $96k with over 700 registered for the race, awesome work everyone!!
Guest Speaker
CEO Susan Johnson, The Alabaster Jar Project
Judy Fitzgerald introduced Susan Johnson as they have collaborated on creating local service projects targeting & equipping parents and youth on Human Trafficking awareness and prevention. Susan is the CEO and co-founder of The Alabaster Jar Project (TAJP) that serves all North County and is based in Escondido.
The Escondido Sunrise Rotary financially supports The Alabaster Jar Project, a non-profit resource for victims of Human Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation, and Domestic Violence.
Susan stated that she co-founded the organization 18 years ago after realizing how insidious and prevalent the problems in this area were in San Diego County. Susan also has a heart to serve victims after she had experienced being sexually exploited and assaulted in her youth, along with witnessing a childhood friend be groomed and subsequently trafficked in the City of Oceanside by “friends”.
Susan chose to name the non-profit organization “The Alabaster Jar Project” after being approached while serving as a bible study leader and being offered compensation for all she poured into those she led. She responded by saying, “This is my Alabaster Jar”, meaning she was pouring into serving Christ as the least she could do after all He has done for her. Susan was referencing the story in the bible of the woman who had received so much undeserved grace, mercy, and forgiveness from the Lord. The woman went against the cultural norms of that day, and entered the room where Christ was having a meal with men who frowned upon women intermingling with men. She brought her best, a year’s worth of wages of expensive oil in an alabaster jar, and washed the feet of Christ.
The organization has grown since 2018, where they started in a borrowed childcare room at a church in Oceanside for housing resources, and offering temporary shelter in a rented two-bedroom apartment in Escondido, making it challenging to serve efficiently due to distance and timing. Today, through the generous donations of organizations such as the ESRC and other generous organizations, as well as private donations from individuals with a heart to save the vulnerable and exploited. The organization now operates on a $600k plus budget, has a payroll for one full time person (the CEO) and several part time positions (employing former victims), and have purchased a three-bedroom home. This home provides up to 2 years of shelter for women that are completing a transitioning from crisis to stability through their Survivors program.
Susan stated that TAJP served 213 victims in 2022. In the first 5 months of 2023, TAJP has served 203 victims, and it is expected that the number of victims will exponentially continue to grow! Current statistics show that San Diego County is recorded to have the largest amount of Human Trafficking in the country. This is based on professional sports, the convention center, and tourism events and industry. She believes as these continue to grow, so will the need for services of TAJP. Although $600k has made an impact, additional funding is greatly needed to properly care for and serve victims seeking to escape the life of victimization in Human Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation, Domestic Violence, and Homelessness. She offered to provide a small group tour to Rotarians that wish to visit the facility and to learn more about how to get involved.
Thank you Susan, for sharing your heart with us today!!
Next Week’s Meeting:
Closing: President Mark Maus announced that we will be meeting in person at the Chamber of Commerce at 7:30 AM on August 31st… and our guest speaker is Rebecca Jones to talk about the SANDAG update
Thanks for Attending Today’s Meeting….
Support for our Escondido Community …
Our great community and the success of its businesses is all of our responsibilities… Support the businesses that are doing all they can to survive this trying economy…….
The ‘Giving Arch’ on Grand Avenue and Centre City Parkway reminds us that Escondido is a caring, giving community…
To all; be safe and be well…. God Bless those men and women that carry the load at our medical facilities, and God Bless our first responders… May our governmental leaders be wise, thoughtful and smart as they navigate these times that have been difficult…..
The meetings will be technically managed by Past President Richard Agnew… Thanks for that Richard… And, Richard is prepared to support all of our attempts at joining the on-line meetings if needed….
SEE YOU SOON……  In Person … Next meeting; August 31st, 7:30 AM at the Chamber of Commerce…
Check President Mark’s email for the reminder…