News and Events

Run, Walk, or Ride for Rest Stop

In honor of Rest Stop Ministries' 5th Anniversary of serving survivors at Good Hope Farms, our long-time friends Pete + Ginnie Benson invite you to Run, Walk, or Ride for Rest Stop!

This in-person OR virtual event is perfect for athletes, individuals, groups, and families - enjoy the beautiful autumn weather while supporting survivors.

 

How it works:

  • Decide if you're wanting to run, walk, or ride 1 mile, 5k, 10k, or a half-marathon.

  • Obtain sponsors who will pledge a dollar amount for each kilometer you run, walk, or ride. $10 for every kilometer of a 5k = $50 donated to Rest Stop Ministries, $50 for every kilometer of a 10k = $500, etc!

  • Ask sponsors to make their donation here on our website.

  • Join us the morning of November 14 to Run, Walk, or Ride for Rest Stop!

Check out all of the details and register (for free!) at our Eventbrite page
We'll see you then!

We are filled with gratitude as we think about our 8th Annual Gala: Hope Sees 2020! In the year of COVID-19 and pivoting to our first-ever Virtual Gala, we knew that everything would look different, but we kept our overall fundraising goal set at $100,000. Rather than allowing fear to stop us, we watched God continue to pave the way - just like He always has! 

You tuned in, purchased items in our Virtual Silent Auction, became Advanced Donation Sponsors, and gave generously. Now, we are excited to announce the final results! Proverbs 29:18 in The Message says: "If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed."  We want you to SEE what God is doing and Be Blessed!

Together, YOU + God raised:  $158,742.89  - That's 1.5 times our goal!!   

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.(Ephesians 3:20-21)

We are so humbled! We've always known that Rest Stop Ministries' supporters are the best, but you continue to amaze us. Your generosity allows us to keep our doors open, providing much-needed care to these precious women.  It also allows us to move forward with strategic momentum to build our capacity to serve this critical cause! 

Thank you for partnering with us to restore survivors and stop the horrible oppression of human trafficking.

Hope Sees 2020

Join us September 12th for our Livestreamed Gala : Hope Sees 2020, an inspiring evening to celebrate 5 years of serving survivors at Good Hope Farms with moving musical performances and creatively curated stories of hope.

We will be streaming LIVE on Facebook and YouTube - No access code or tickets required!
To watch on Facebook, click here.
To watch on YouTube, click here.
Tune in as we begin streaming at 6:50pm CST!

Our Silent Auction is open NOW! Bidding will end at 9:00pm CST September 12.  To view all of the items and make your bid, click here!

The RSM Re-Store has gone Virtual! Click here to see the beautifully handcrafted goods available for purchase.

There's still time to become an Advanced Donation Sponsor! With a minimum donation of $100, Sponsors help cover production costs of Hope Sees 2020 as well as help us reach our overall fundraising goal of $100,000!
Click here to become an Advanced Donation Sponsor.
 

Silent Auction Sneak Peek : Hope Sees 2020

Atlanta Braves fan? Shortstop Dansby Swanson has had a GREAT start to the season! Dansby has been a friend to RSM since his Vandy days, donating autographed cleats to our Gala Silent Auction for several years. 

Dansby wore these red, white, and blue cleats on July 4, 2019 in a 12-6 win over the Phillies ignited by Swanson's 2 Home Run + 5 RBI night! - Now they're autographed and will be featured in this year's Virtual Silent Auction. Just like his season, you won't want to miss it!

The Virtual Silent Auction will be open for bidding September 1, but click here to take a look around and create your profile. Be sure to check back as we continue to add more items!

Re-Visioned Gala : Hope Sees 2020

Our Re-Visioned 2020 Gala event, streaming live from the stage of Springhouse Worship + Arts Center in Smyrna, TN!

 

Join us September 12th at 7:00pm for an inspiring evening to celebrate 5 years of serving survivors at Good Hope Farms with moving musical performances and creatively curated stories of hope.

Hosted by Devon O'Day, career broadcaster, author, and event speaker. Devon is known for her years in Nashville, having her songs recorded by artists including Ray Stevens, Lee Ann Womack, and a number one song by George Strait, "The Big One," co-written with Gerry House. Devon is currently the host of the podcasts Main Street Today and Devon O'Day's Nashville. Read more about Devon here.

 

Dove Award winner and Grammy Award nominee, Nicole C. Mullen, will be joining us as our special guest entertainer, performing the oratorio "The God Who Sees," co-written and produced by Kathie Lee Gifford, as well as her smash hit "Redeemer"! Nicole will also share from her heart and newly-released book, "My Redeemer Lives : It's Personal - A Story of Hope for Our Time."

 

Our Silent Auction will be virtual this year! Watch our social media and newsletters for more information. We will be featuring unique pieces you won't want to miss!

 

Become an Advanced Donation Sponsor! A tax-deductible minimum donation of $100 will help us cover production costs to make this an unforgettable evening. Plus, since our annual Gala serves as our biggest fundraiser, ensuring the continued support and restoration of female survivors of sex trafficking, you will also be helping us reach our overall fundraising goal of $100,000!  To show our gratitude, Sponsors will receive an autographed copy of Nicole C. Mullen's newly released book, "My Redeemer Lives: It's Personal - A Story of Hope for Our Time." Become an Advanced Donation Sponsor NOW by donating here.

 

Tune in to this Livestream event on Facebook or YouTube!

The Big Payback Results are in!

At the beginning of May, we participated in The Big Payback, a 24-hour online giving campaign for nonprofit organizations in Middle Tennessee. In the weeks since, we have been in awe at how incredible YOU are! You answered our phone calls, read our emails, participated in social media competitions, and you helped make this our most successful year! Read on for the full report:

 

Total Raised in donations + cash prizes: $19,930 -This is a RECORD-BREAKING total for Rest Stop Ministries in the 6 years we've participated!

 

The Break-Down:

  • $15,230 raised by 299 Unique Donors

  • $4,700 of Prize Money earned in these categories:

    • $2,000 - Regional Grand Prize for Most Unique Donors in the Greater Nashville Region

    • $1,650 - Most Unique Donors for Medium-Size Organizations Providing Housing

    • $750 - Tie for Most Unique Donors for Medium-Size Organization between 10:01pm - 2:00am

    • $300 - 2nd Place for Most Unique Donors in Wilson County

Statistics we LOVE:

  • Among the 988 Middle Tennessee organizations of all sizes, we were 10th OVERALL for Most Unique Donors!

  • 137 first-time givers to Rest Stop Ministries - Together, you raised $5,610.15!

 


A message from our Founder + CEO:

 

My heart is tenderly warmed by messages I have received from some of you saying that you are including Rest Stop Ministries in the favorite charities you are BLESSING by using your stimulus check to Pay It Forward! What a bunch of compassionate, loving, kind, caring, selfless, and servant-hearted stewards we have as supporters!! You keep AMAZING me! Thank you from the core of my being; seriously, you take my breath away.

Rondy Smith

A Letter From Our Founder

Dear Supporters of Rest Stop Ministries,

Today, I marveled with our resident who graduates our program January 12, 2020.  Through tears she explained how God is giving her important glimpses of recollection of the very broken child she was when she walked in our doors 16 months ago.  Only 21 years old, she had just been released from jail in a strange city because her trafficker sold her across state lines then abandoned her. We had only talked with her by phone and she agreed to come to a partner rehab facility here in TN for 30 days before coming to live in the Rest Stop Community.  At rehab, they did a group activity requiring each person to look in a mirror and give positive affirmations to the reflection staring back at them. She remembered how she COULD NOT DO IT. Then, she was so excited to tell me that same mirror activity had been utilized in a group just this week at Rest Stop.  THIS TIME she grabbed the mirror shouting many affirmations while gazing at the beautiful, healthy young woman staring back! Then, she proudly reported that EVERY SINGLE DAY now she looks in the mirror and tells herself “You’ve got this kid! Look how far you have come!! Don’t stop now! There are no limits to your freedom!!!” 

THIS is what YOU make possible!!  Horrifically abused children getting a new lease on life; a fresh start to reimagine the possibilities. A God-ordained second chance.  What work could be any more important?

I want to share some very significant news with you that impacts the future trajectory of RSM.

  1. September 2019 was the best financial month in the history of RSM.  Our annual fundraising gala this year felt a little bit like a “coming of age” celebration!  We sense a keen awareness of the blessing of momentum and firmly believe we are to capitalize on this season by expanding our vision.  Some of you have been with us from the very beginning, and you should feel a real sense of accomplishment for helping us get to these special days!! Others of you are newer supporters and should feel like you’ve joined us during very exciting days!!  

  2. As if to punctuate this strong affirmation from you, our private donors who have been our only means of support thus far, we got the news on the last day of September that we have been awarded our very first grant from the federal government.  Anti-trafficking is high on the nation’s agenda and funds have been earmarked for those on the frontlines of this battle to stop the horrific crime and restore the victim survivors. There is also a recognition by both the federal and state government that partnerships with faith-based organizations are key!!  This grant is a significant 3-year award (2020-2022) and was highly competitive; we were one of only 33 organizations in the nation and the only one in the state of TN to have been awarded in this particular area of specialized services to human trafficking victims. This is important professional acknowledgement from the field that Rest Stop is a model worthy of the federal government’s support.   

 

These two facts serve as the springboard we’ve needed to launch important strategic growth.  The need for subsidized transitional housing for our graduates is huge and the priority goal for 2020.  Safe, affordable housing in the Nashville area is a challenging hurdle for women just starting out again toward leading lives of financial independence.  We MUST take this next step to insure that the cycles of vulnerability do not repeat!!  

 

Will you help us leverage this momentum?!  Your continued support is needed now more than ever!  The government funding is reimbursed to us at a shared percentage of 75/25, meaning we still must raise the same amount annually that we have been raising PLUS 25% of the grant award amount.  You know the old saying “it takes money to make money!” TRUE. Also true is the dynamic that people want to give to SUCCESSFUL organizations. Please consider honoring our recent successes by continuing to partner with our vital mission & vision!!

One more critical factor as you consider making a year-end gift to Rest Stop Ministries:  It is crucial that we have a strong finish in 2019.  Here’s why: we have the opportunity to re-finance our mortgage in March of 2020 at the same INCREDIBLE rate offered by Pinnacle Financial Partners 5 years ago when we purchased Good Hope Farm.  Through a state government tax incentive program, Pinnacle was able to offer us prime minus 4%, which meant 0% interest rate for the first 2.5 years of the loan and miniscule interest since then!!  We are thrilled to learn that they will continue this same deal with us for the next 10 years. The terms are that we pay down the debt by $100,000 in March; we can do this because YOUR FAITHFUL GIVING has enabled us to save this amount in escrow since taking out this mortgage loan!!

After a moment to bask in that victory, here’s the ASK:  Please help us continue this level of wise financial stewardship while advancing our mission by helping us raise the $100,000 we still need in 2019.  It is a proven statistic in the nonprofit sector that about one fourth of the annual budget comes in during the month of December. This has been our experience every year and is true again this year.  We have raised approximately 75% of our $406,580 annual budget through November. Will you help us with the final 25% by making a tax-deductible year-end gift? The women we serve are worthy of your support!

I am eternally grateful for the humbling leadership experience of utter dependence on God and the people he moves to give.  Without moving the hearts of people, the resources don’t get shared. By sharing in our journey, the abundance of reward is yours too …the deep satisfaction of knowing LIVES WERE TRANSFORMED by your gift.

As we move into these great days of momentum building at Rest Stop, I keep hearing an encouraging promise from God regarding our ministry: “I myself will be a wall of fire around it…and I will be its glory within” – Zechariah 2:5.  I sense God’s wall of protection around us, and that He is pleased with what is going on within our walls. I want to continue in faithfulness with the work He has given us to do!  

 

With Sincere Gratitude & Good Hope,

 

Rondy Smith

Founder & CEO

Gratitudes + Giving

There are so many ways you can support Rest Stop this week!

Thanksgiving

If you're not following us on social media, now is a good time to start!  We're sharing videos all week about things our staff and residents are grateful for.  We hope you'll join us on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter!

Black Friday

Are you registered for Amazon Smile?  If not, head to smile.amazon.com to select Rest Stop Ministries as your charitable organization!  .5% of all your purchases will then benefit RSM!

Small Business Saturday

There are a few small businesses that sell our products or support us with their own!  Show your support by shopping small on Saturday, November 30th!

Lady Crew - an apparel company where each piece has a story.

The Adopted Farmhouse - find our Good Hope Farms mugs there!

The Faith Store - a local boutique that sells fairtrade items (including some of our ReStore items!) and fights human trafficking.

The Darling Home Co. - amazing, clean burning candles with purpose.

Giving Tuesday

This is an international day of giving, meant to spark a movement of generosity.  It happens every
year on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. This year, we have a $3,000 donation to match! We hope you'll mark your calendar for December 3rd and participate by supporting Rest Stop Ministries!

RSM + LadyCrew

Lady Crew has created some beautiful apparel that directly supports survivors of sex trafficking!  When you buy a shirt, tank, or sweatshirt, 100% of proceeds goes to Rest Stop Ministries!  You can find out more and shop at https://wearladycrew.com/!

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Rest Stop Ministries
restore survivors. stop oppression.
P.O. Box 156
Hermitage, TN 37076

(615) 965-2647

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