Cookies and gift bags ready to be delivered to the girls in strip clubs near Harrisburg.
By Tammy Stauffer
Our team gathered gift bags, Valentine’s cookies and prayers from friends and family as we prepared to deliver 40+ gift bags to two area strip clubs. Offering beautifully decorated cookies and gift bags was just a small way for us to show love to those who work in an industry where the real definition of love is extremely misconstrued.
We arrived at our first club to find it still dark with the parking lot very snow covered! A quick phone call with the general manager put us at ease that they were on their way and looking forward to our visit!
As they plowed parking spaces, turned lights on, vacuumed and swept floors getting ready for the night’s business, our team was busy arranging our gift bags on a table in a back corner of the club. This table was actually an answer to prayer since we had planned to locate a better spot in this particular club to be able to visit and talk with the girls. It was nice to see that they had already taken care of this for us!
Two of our team members from Crown of Beauty Ministries spent time visiting with the girls in the dressing room and learned that fleece blankets would be very much appreciated! It can actually be quite cold in some of these places and the girls like to wrap up and warm up between shifts.
They loved the carefully selected pampering items that were donated for the gift bags and one of the first things they opened was the lip gloss from Avon! It was a blessing to have an extra gift bag so the general manager could share one with her sister, who was hurting from an incident that happened earlier in the week. As these Valentine’s gift bags were being created and prepared, I don’t think any of us thought about it that the love might extend beyond the club walls to their family members too.
Hand-written notes, thoughtful words of love and encouragement, had been carefully placed in each bag. After reading her note, one of our new friends said it was just what she needed to hear at this time!
After letting the girls know we would be back in a couple of weeks with blankets, food and information about an upcoming luncheon – which they were very happy about – hugs were exchanged and we headed out into the cold to our next destination.
We were greeted immediately with warm hugs at our next club, and it was kind of surprising to be on the other side of receiving a little love! The gift bags were so appreciated and one of the ladies mentioned that she was looking forward to spending time reading the heart-shaped verses about love.
In the midst of make-up being applied and hair being curled, we received a lot of thank-yous and hugs. The cookies were a huge hit with the general managers. They were actually very hungry, which we’ll keep in mind for next time!
We listened to and talked with several of the girls, trying to make sure everyone received a gift or bag of cookies and soon it was time to head out and let them continue their shifts.
We were pleased to hear one girl call out to us that she loved the chicken salads we delivered the last time, so much so that she told her mom all about it!
But one of the most memorable moments of the night happened as we were literally walking out the door. We caught the eye of the girl on stage waving good-bye to her, but she shook her head and mouthed “no, not yet.”
She wanted us to stay and hear her story because, in her own words, “I want you to use it to help someone else and further your cause.”
Hearing her story felt like being on sacred ground, sitting together in a smoke-filled room watching the ash tray fill up even as her tears refused to spill. I promise to share more of her story in a future post. For now, it’s just good for us to remember these words from a Celebrate Recovery therapist, addressing the issue of sexual abuse:
“We never know someone’s story – we might only see one chapter. But we must be diligent with wound care…we need to help stop the pain, the bleeding, the infection. We can do this by pouring LOVE on that wound.”
Thank you to all who were part of this visit through your donations, written notes, prayers, preparing and organizing gifts bags, partnerships, and overall support of She’s Somebody’s Daughter!
To help this ministry through your prayers, sponsoring the She’s Somebody’s Daughter billboard or visiting the girls, email Tammy.