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The Rainbow Connection
Remember every time you witness a rainbow, know that God will keep His promises to you in spite of your hardships, trials or any other life altering circumstances.
For nearly 20 years the House of Giving has been blessed to provide hope and healing to communities across the globe. Thanks to your contributions and support our latest mission to provide Dream Rooms, a home to heal, re-build and transform the lives of victims of human and sex trafficking has been accomplished with extraordinary success. Together we accomplished what at first seemed impossible yet, through your generous gifts we not only built one room, we built nine rooms for young men.
Human trafficking was a developing story in the news and seemed like an important cause where we could give our services to those who desperately needed our help. Annie Ellison, the Director of House of Giving, became aware of a local ministry named Dream Center, dedicated to rescuing victims of human and sex trafficking and provide them with a safe place to stay, recover and turn their lives around. The Dream Center facility is an old hotel that was in need of construction and remodeling of the old, dilapidated rooms to safely house these young adults. Most of the victims have been forced into this horrible lifestyle. They’re traumatized and have a deep sense of “fight or flight” embedded in them. A safe, comfortable, private space helps calm them and gives them a sense of security, realizing they don’t have to run. Counseling, schooling, medical treatment and mentors help them to heal, provide them hope, as they begin a new life in physical, emotional and spiritual wellness.
There was an overwhelming need at the Dream Center for more rooms to be constructed and remodeled for the many new victims and soon-to-be survivors of human and sex trafficking. In late July of 2020, House of Giving began to raise the necessary funds to design and build new rooms. With our 2020 end-of-the-year House of Giving campaign, we raised a good amount thanks to generous donations from TriVita members, employees, family and friends and with the help of Trivita’s dollar-for-dollar match, we were close to accomplishing our fundraising goal. At this point in the campaign, the facility only had programs available to female survivors and our goal was to complete one Dream Room.
On January 23, 2021, the world changed forever for Marcus and Annie and the Ellison family.
Early that day, Annie and Marcus were hiking on a local mountain and saw the most vibrant, colorful, majestic rainbow that they had ever seen. The brilliance of this rainbow visibly moved everybody on the mountain. It was a sign from God in all His glory. They just weren’t sure yet what it meant.
On their way home, they stopped at a grocery store. Marcus got a phone call. The news was tragic. Their 18-year-old son Chase Michael Ellison was found dead from accidental fentanyl poisoning. Life would never be the same.
The shock and grief was overwhelming. Support poured in from all over. Family, friends, TriVita employees and members all said and did what they could. It was tough. The Ellisons needed some time to grieve and pray and try to make some sense out of this devastation.
Shortly after, Marcus and Annie were meeting with a group of friends who were sharing their condolences and discussing how they could turn this terrible tragedy into something good. Most were open to help monetarily or with whatever resources they had. The desire to build the Dream rooms seemed even more urgent now. Jeff Hillis, a lifelong friend, whose company builds luxury homes, offered to do the construction and remodeling work at his cost. Jeff also asked many of his vendors to donate materials for the rooms, and they did. But there was one big change to come. The Dream Center contacted Annie and said they were starting a new Dream room project and would like us to change the room design for male sex-trafficked victims. They also asked if we could do more than one room because of the influx of newly rescued victims. It was then that Marcus and Annie, along with the help of Jeff, were determined to build not one, but nine rooms. This news was another sign that inspired the Ellison family to make this happen and in the loving memory of Chase.
During the final walk-through for the rooms, Marcus and Annie met Irene Orr, the Program Manager for the Young Men’s portion of this project for The Phoenix Dream Center. There were two young men with Irene, who are currently in the program. The young men were excited to share how they have accepted Jesus and how the Lord has saved them. One of them had been addicted to drugs, had overdosed more than once and was tired of that life. The Lord and the Dream Center have saved him. The young man said, “I gave up Narcan (an overdose nasal spray) for Jesus.” Irene expressed how excited they all are to have this project almost completed. They have prayed about these rooms for a long time, knowing they will be done in God’s time. Meanwhile, the boys had written Scriptures, prayers and beautiful messages on the concrete floors that would soon be covered with wood flooring. The boys and Irene also prayed over the rooms. Irene shared that when they were done praying over the rooms she looked up and there, directly above the rooms, were two incredible rainbows. It wasn’t even raining. Not a cloud in the sky. Another sign.
Marcus and Annie are convinced that the rainbows are a message from God that He is with them on this project, that there is an afterlife and that Chase is with Jesus.
“Just as this project to rebuild and transform the rooms and the lives toward healing and recovery of the survivors, so The Lord rebuilds and transforms us.” Annie
We would love to give a huge heartfelt THANK YOU to all of our donors, employees and TriVita members who have helped us to build the Dream Rooms. We had a vision to start with one room but with overwhelming support, we accomplished what once seemed impossible: nine Dream Rooms!
With our heartfelt gratitude,
Marcus & Annie