By: Macy Goodnight | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: May 2019
Founders Jason and Kristin Weis.
In a perfect world, the mission of The Demand Project would be unnecessary. Most of us cannot even fathom why their mission is so crucial, but the darkness they battle is unfortunately very real and entirely too prevalent in our society. It is their light that shines over victims of child sex trafficking, fighting to protect and rescue them, and working through the struggle to help them through recovery.
Jason and Kristin Weis founded The Demand Project in 2013. Realizing the need for more soldiers in the field in the war against child sex trafficking, they equipped themselves with the training and tools they needed, and put their boots on the ground. Prevention is the pillar of their mission, but they are also armed and ready to rescue the victims, and walk with them on their
journey to recovery.
In 2017, they received a miracle, in the form of Mount Arukah. The name Arukah is of Hebrew origin, and literally means God’s Restoration. Appropriately titled, this new faith-based sanctuary will provide safety and healing for these children who have suffered so greatly. “Mount Arukah fills a gap in the system,” said Kristin. “There are only two other recovery centers in Oklahoma, and the need is too great for them to fill.” Mount Arukah will eventually house 60 child survivors, ranging in age from 11 to 17, once open.
Due to the lack of facilities available to so many victims, many of these children are housed in detention centers. “Many of these kids look like criminals, because of what they’ve been forced to do,” Kristin said. “Our facility will fill that need and provide them with a safe place to nurture their road to recovery.” The demand is great, with Jason and Kristin receiving calls weekly for victim assistance. “Depending on how they come into the system, once stabilized, they will find the sanctuary they need at Arukah to begin the restoration process.”
Mount Arukah is a beautiful haven in Northeastern Oklahoma, and will provide soothing and productive therapies such as equine, art, and music, as part of the process of restoration. For two years, the massive undertaking has been daunting, with an incredible restoration of the facility itself. “The miracles of the companies that have come along to help has been extraordinary,” said Jason. Kristin has been consumed with the renovations for almost two years. “She lives and breathes Arukah,” he said.
As a non-profit, and with so much work to be done, The Demand Project relies heavily on donors, sponsors, and fundraising events. “It’s been a faith walk,” Jason said. “If we didn’t have these companies alongside us, we couldn’t do it.” Funding is sometimes difficult, as it is a disturbing subject to bring awareness about, this dark element in our society. “It’s not a comfortable topic,” said Jason. “To go to this level and support us, even when it’s uncomfortable, is so crucial and incredibly appreciated.”
One such event is The Demand Project annual golf tournament, to be held on Monday, June 17, 2019. All proceeds benefit their mission to protect children, stop predators, rescue victims, and restore the lives of sex trafficking victims. “We find that this event is a great way to inform and share our vision,” Jason said. The tournament will be held at The Golf Club of Oklahoma. 2019 sponsors include presenting sponsor Right Now Roofing, Allstate agent Carey Alexander, The Vintage Pearl, ImageNet Consulting, Mark Allen Chevrolet and Explorer Pipeline.
For more information on the golf tournament, or how you can support The Demand Project mission, visit their website at www.thedemandproject.org, or follow them on Facebook for the latest news @thedemandproject.