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Jan 5 | Posted by: Team Joan

Hello and Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a great holiday with family and friends.  I know everyone gets bombarded this time of year with messages, but I wanted to write a brief note with some news. 

As you may know, the charity that we were planning to support at last year’s Mother’s Day Benefit, Somaly Mam Foundation, closed it’s doors in September.  There is a message from the directors at www.somaly.org.  Because the foundation was in an unstable state last summer, I chose to wait before sending in our donation, and therefore no donation was made to them.  

I have no opinion about the questions that were raised regarding Somaly Mam herself, but I do believe that her foundation did important work while it existed, and that there is still much work to be done to help curb human trafficking and assist its victims.  After careful consideration, I’ve chosen to donate the money we raised to an organization with a similar mission, Polaris.  Polaris was founded in 2002 by 2 Brown University students who discovered victims of human trafficking near their college apartments (read more here).  Polaris receives a 99 out of 100 score on Charity Navigator, with over 85% of funds raised going directly to programs and services it delivers.  Under the circumstances I felt this was the best plan of action, and the donation was made before the end of last year.  Thank you again to everyone who participated in last year’s Mother’s Day benefit, and I’m looking forward to continuing this tradition in 2015 and beyond!

On a more personal note, I want to thank those of you who reached out to me and my family after my father’s passing last October.  It’s hard to put into words how much your kindness was appreciated, as was your understanding when several shows had to be cancelled or rescheduled. Thank you so much.

Best wishes to you and yours in the New Year, and I hope to see you soon.

Love - Joan
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