Butterfly Dreams Alliance, NFP
Providing awareness, prevention, and rebuilding as we unite to end the acts of bullying, abuse, violence, sexual harm, and human trafficking. A registered Charitable Trust Organization, working as a 501c3 nonprofit community resource.
Healing trauma and building dreams together!!!
Our first year!!
On September 09, 2017, friends and community got together for a benefit to create an area non-profit to inform and empower South-Central Illinois residents to intervene early if we wish to change the influence of abuse, violence, bullying, and human trafficking.
The organization of Butterfly Dreams Alliance, NFP held its first board meeting on Oct. 19 with an outstanding team that has grown to include area leaders focused on the safety and wellness of our community. We found some outstanding providers, educators, policy and social services experts who make our team reliable and knowledgeable in engaging our communities. Together resources throughout South-Central Illinois, as well as survivor resources across the country; there is a huge social change now helping past and future generations live in a more equal and just society.
As president, I’d like to share; our achievements have far exceeded my expectations for our first year and this is largely due to the alliances created with other service providers. We would like to thank everyone for the support our mission is receiving. ‘It takes a village’ because only together can we ensure safety, equality and wellness for everyone!
Here are some of our team's great successes this year!!
Associate Professor, SIU School of Medicine; Laurie Ryznyk, MPAS, PA-C, had the distinct honor speak before medical educators from around the world on August 28th, 2017 in Basel, Switzerland. Prof. Ryznyk presented “Human Trafficking: A Curriculum Model for Medical Education”. The conference was attended by thousands of educators who teach in medical schools worldwide.
She discussed the multi-modality curriculum she developed at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Physician Assistant (PA) Program. The curriculum includes curated videos, reflection papers, an actual week-long case study, “flipped-classroom” activities, and lecture-based sessions. All students in the PA Master’s Program complete this learning module.
Prof. Ryznyk has also presented “Human Trafficking for the Medical Provider” to several departments at SIU School of Medicine, including Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Psychiatry, and Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Board members Kimberly Palermo and Laurie Ryznyk presented "Human Trafficking” for the School-Based Health Centers workshop at a pre-conference for the Illinois Women’s and Children’s Health Conference.
Kimberly Palermo, MSW, Visiting Scholar, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute also presented a session at the conference entitled, “Modern Day Slavery: Human Trafficking in Illinois.” she also recently accepted a position as a Health Policy Specialist, Department of Population Science and Policy at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, IL.
Secretary, Mark Hodapp, Journalist/Editor, Carlyle Union Banner wrote an article about the ‘Trauma-Informed Care’ presentation provided to the Carlyle Board of Education.
On July 18, 2018 Ms. Carla Stalnaker of Clinton County Probation Department, discussed Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) during Carlyle Board of Education regular meeting. Citation: National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, "Childhood Trauma and Its Effect on Healthy Development," July 2012 (http://sshs.promoteprevent.org/sites/default/files/trauma_brief_in_final.pdf)
She said 26 percent of children have experienced a traumatic event by the age of 4. One in five children report witnessing violence in their homes and by age 17, 60 percent have been exposed to crime, violence or abuse . Stalnaker defined trauma as an event or series of events experienced by an individual that is physically or emotionally harmful, maybe even life-threatening. “The event has lasting adverse effects both on an individual’s ability to function and mental, physical, social and/or spiritual well-being,” she explained.
This is an informative and helpful truth for all of us to understand. Often in rural areas these are the signs we see in our youth during school, and then neighbors and law enforcement see their behavior in the community. A difficult home environment can lead to so many more lifelong challenges so early intervention and support for families, teens, adults is the best security for a pathway to wellness for everyone.
President, ‘Trish’ McKnight, has not only survived child trafficking in a rural community, but knows well the tolerances of continued harm and failed relationships, addictions, depression, anxiety, along with many physical injuries and chronic health problems; all of which began in the twelve violent and trafficked years of her childhood. She has dedicated seven years of certifications, trainings, continuing research and education to help her better assist others. It is because of her journey to wellness and seeing the influences her tolerances left in her children’s lives; this is the generational harm which still effects one in four families across the country today. This is a lot of children and teens who are living in at risk environments today.
Our teamwork is blossoming with local organizations and service providers such as Clinton County Health Improvement Coalition, Clinton County Mental Health Task Force, Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force, Violence Prevention Center of SW Illinois, Clinton County YMCA, Hoyleton Youth and Family Services, Community Link; Early Head Start, Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, Coping 4 Life, Kris Fulkerson, and Coalitions that Care and Substance Abuse Prevention Specialists; this is an amazing beginning.
With many of these area experts we have the privilege of introducing Community Teen Partners group at Central Community High School. It is in this program we will use a resilience and self-awareness ‘Teen Compass Wellness Notebook’, a highly reviewed youth goal building program, which we hope will build a peer and community support network to prevent substance use, depression, bullying, and suicide.
We are also members of National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse. ‘Trish’ is Midwest Regional Ambassador of this resource network of adult survivors providing education and support, as well as a rebuilding and recovery group for persons dealing with past or present challenges from harm.
Ms. McKnight provided a two-day workshop March 13th & 14th - “Beginning Steps if Human Trafficking” - for the Illinois Association of Home and Community Education State Conference, Effingham, Illinois. She has since been invited to present again in Taylorville, November 13th, 2018. There was also a short version; “Steps and Stats of Human Trafficking” she presented to North Central Vicariate at St. Dominic’s Church in Breese; Carlyle Rotary Club, and most recently the ladies of Martha’s Circle, Carlyle Methodist Church. She is happy to provide this presentation to all community members and leaders, simply contact her at the information above. We can also coordinate one of our experts to provide further accreditation.
These are just the beginning developments being achieved and we are extremely excited about future possibilities; hopefully empowering smaller, more rural communities to be aware and get involved.
The donations we receive, either for presentations or during our events, helps us continue providing and building resources to help those old and young, as well as our leaders and educators, healthcare services and law enforcement be more knowledgeable and prepared to assist those in our communities affected by some type of harm, mental illness, or addiction, violence, exploitation, and human trafficking.
Goals for 2019:
Central Community High School Partnership with “Community Teen Partners” using the ‘Teen Compass Wellness Notebook” program and area experts
Engaging our communities and teens in Awareness Month Activities (January Human Trafficking Awareness, April Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness, May Mental Health Awareness and Substance Abuse Prevention; and October Domestic Violence Awareness)
Collecting items to provide care packages for persons displaced by harm or human trafficking
Growing the Survivor’s World Support Group; and most importantly, continue building alliances with our area providers.
We have a great deal to be grateful for in our first year and a great deal to continue building together throughout 2019.
We start with one desire to create something stronger and safer for another. Hand by hand, heart by heart, we see peace and wellness for those in our closest circle. As we each become more aware, our communities become a more equal and safe society for everyone.
Upcoming events Oct 12th- Human Trafficking Conference "They Never Asked", on Friday, October 12th in Springfield, IL.
Kimberly and Laurie, with several other planning committee members, are planning the upcoming human trafficking conference. Our president will be one of the guest speakers discussing the importance of the survivor voice in programs and policies, and our current initiatives in Clinton County. Trish will also touch on, when she was “missed” and how can the healthcare profession better recognize the red flags of human trafficking. Speakers will include survivors, ER physician/expert, hospital personnel, FBI, Illinois State Police, U.S. Attorney’s Office, trauma-informed care experts, legislative experts, as well as many others.
A note from the secretary
I thought I knew about human trafficking. Forty years in the newspaper business and I never imagined what human trafficking really involves. I went to shoot a picture of a Butterfly Dreams Alliance balloon release, talked with Trish McKnight and have been scolding myself since then because it is so obvious, but it simply had never occurred to me.
A recent incident reported on the sheriff’s department police blotter showed me that human trafficking is close to home, as close as a truck stop in New Baden, as close as a home in Freeburg or Greenville. To make up for my ignorance, I jumped in with both feet.
I was interested in being in a support group for child sexual abuse and human trafficking survivors. But this group is so much more. We have tried to have programs on teen suicide, on taking a permanent and irreversible action to solve a temporary problem. We are trying to develop positive programs for teens to help them make better choices. We are trying to make a better world one life at a time. That’s a tough but noble effort. That is why I am here. How about you?
We thank all of you for reading and for sharing in this mission to help change our old habits into new thoughts and prevention strategies. Together we can all make a difference, even if it’s only in our closest circles.
Always believe anything is possible with you in the active equation!!
Butterfly Dreams Alliance, NFP
President - 'Trish' McKnight; Advocate/Mentor/Speaker/Survivor
Vice Pres - Janice K Pulver; Attorney
Treasurer - Kimberly Palermo; MSW, Health Policy Specialist SIU School of Medicine
Secretary- Mark Hodapp; Journalist/Editor, Carlyle Union Banner
Voting Member - Charlie Hilmes; Mayor of Breese, Retired Teacher
Voting Member - Galen Mahle; Associate Director, Gateway Regional YMCA
Voting member Laurie Ryznyk: Associate Prof. PA Program, SIU School of Medicine