The work of assisting individuals and families who have suffered the horrific traumas of sex trafficking is costly and “takes a village.” But what is a life worth? In God’s eyes, every life is a treasure and worth every effort and cost to be redeemed and restored. Therefore, a key focus for Stepping Stones Network is to engage the community to work together to fundraise, serve clients, present educational materials, etc. We operate with around 40 ongoing committed volunteers at any given time, many of who have been dedicated for multiple years and make their service a priority in their lives. Stepping Stones Network also has several social networks, businesses, and churches that regularly partner with us. We initiated Community Collaboration meetings amongst social agencies and are an active member of the Lake County Human Trafficking Coalition, Alliance for Human Services, Partnership for a Safer Lake County, and the National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance.
Our approach to fundraising includes grant-writing, events, and reaching out to individuals and organizations through our email, social media, and community engagement network. Our Giving funds include Immediate Needs (Butterfly Circle), Monthly Giving ($24 to Restore), and Church Offerings (25 to Thrive). We hold an annual event in November, Festival of Trees, in partnership with designers and corporate and family sponsors.
We pursue foundation and competitive grants and have been generously funded by the Department of Justice: Office of Victims of Crime, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority: Victim of Crime Act, Safe House Project, the Robert & Aimee Hombach Foundation, Community Purse, Grainger Foundation, and Lake County Community Trust.
We file annual Federal and Illinois AG-990s. Our fiscal year is January 1st to December 31st.
Staffing & Operations
We operate with a flexible staff mix of full-time and part-time employees, contractors, and incredibly committed volunteer leaders who behave like employees. Our full-time employees are all dedicated to direct client service. To keep administrative costs low, our management and operations team are all part-time or committed volunteers.