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Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry, and Michelle Knight

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The Touch of the Master's Hand

'Twas battered and scarred, And the auctioneer thought it hardly worth his while...
To waste his time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried, "Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?" "Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"
But, No, From the room far back a gray bearded man Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?" As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?" "Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice, Going and gone", said he.
The audience cheered, But some of them cried, "We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?" Swift came the reply. "The Touch of the Masters Hand."
And many a man with life out of tune All battered with bourbon and gin
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine, A game and he travels on. He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes, And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.
Myra Brooks Welch


In our country, when one of our citizens is in need, as with Michelle, Amanda and Gina, the people come through.

In today's Cleveland Plain Dealer, there is an article about the surprise and gratitude expressed by the three women, Michelle, Amanda and Gina who were rescued (in Cleveland, Ohio) in early May, from the home where they were held captive for 10, 9 and 8 years, respectively. The article stated that, "Cleveland is known as a generous city" which I know to be true. I've live in the city of Cleveland my entire life (outside of a three year period that I spent in the city of Euclid.) I know what I have seen through the years, the big hearts of the people of my city.
In our country when our citizens are in need the people come through. Currently, the tornado victims in Oklahoma need support; we helped with the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, the flooding in New Jersey, and New York. As a nation, we don't let these people down. In our city, Cleveland, we don't let our people down. The article said that the three women, the survivors of that atrocity, expressed their surprise at the outpouring of gifts of money, donations of goods, and services. There are no words I can use to express the feelings I have for what happened to these three women... and their families.
In the days and the weeks since their discovery, it has been a process - to process the whole thing. The torment they endured, the torture their family's had to live with for such a long time. At times, in the morning, or when sitting and my mind will wander, I think of .. 10 years, 9 years, 8 years. I can't even fathom one year of that. One month of that. It really frightened me to think of what one day might have been.

So, now, to give some money to help them recover, what of that? How can someone not want to help in some way?

Below is a link to The Cleveland Courage Fund which was established as a fund just to donate to these three women and their needs. In the news I found that, if they were to receive donations from other charities, they would need to pay taxes on the support. The Cleveland Courage Fund is a trust, which will hold the money until the women's needs are outlined. According to the news organizations, this is the safest place to donate for them. When situations arise where people's hearts are tugged at, many donation centers will pop up. Some will be fraud. Others may be well intentioned, however much of the money will go to administrative costs. With The

Cleveland Courage Fund, 100% will go to the aid of these women and their needs. And they will not need to pay taxes.

(Cleveland Councilmen set up the fund:) see this article:

(CLEVELAND - The details of how donations to the Cleveland Courage Fund will be distributed to the Cleveland kidnapping victims ... " The fund was set up by Cummins, of Ward 14, and council members Dona Brady, of Ward 17, and Matt Zone, of Ward 15, to help the three women and child who were held captive inside a Seymour Avenue home. Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Berry's daughter were discovered inside the home one week ago.
Cummins said he is in discussions with the women's attorneys about how to make sure the women receive every penny of the donations. Right now, the Cleveland Foundation is holding the donations until a plan is in place. (This article was dated May 13th.)



The following is currently from,

The Cleveland Courage Fund

The Cleveland Courage Fund - Help Rebuild Their Lives... is the appropriate place to give a donation to help these families.

Support the Survivors
There are many ways you can support Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Amanda's daughter.
We encourage monetary donations as the best way to help them re-build their lives.
MONETARY DONATION We encourage donations by credit card through

The Cleveland Foundation.

Find A Key Bank Branch

We are happy to announce our partnership with the Family Ministry Center as a drop-off and spiritual reflection location for cards, letters, well wishes and donations of goods.
Beginning Monday, May 13th through to June 22nd, donations will be accepted at the south entrance of the church during the following days and times:
Monday through Fridays from 3:00-7:00 p.m. and on,
Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m.

The Family Ministry Center is located at:
3381 Fulton Road, Cleveland Ohio 44109
- former Blessed Sacrament Church

Family Ministry Center
Blessed Sacrament
IMPORTANT NOTE - The Cleveland Courage Fund is in the process of awaiting instructions from representatives of Amanda, Michelle and Gina regarding what needs they have for material goods. Until their needs are determined, we suggest first considering a monetary donation. This address can also be used for cards, letters and well wishes.
Volunteers from across the region will be helping to offer hospitality, organize donations and pray with people, and on an ongoing basis be praying for the women's healing and all the adjustments that freedom has brought.
We know north east Ohio is a generous community, and so donations given in excess of what the women and their families need will go to other area resource ministries to support those in need in north east Ohio. These ministries will be identified and coordinated by the Family Ministry Center. Some of the groups that will be involved include: Love Inc of Western Cuyahoga, Joy Cares and the Well.
Goods and Gift suggestion at this time:
* Gift cards for clothing, restaurants, food or services.
* If you want to give something to the survivors, please give gifts of new purchases or gently used items.
Services - We ask donors interested in offering services to please send a letter that describes the service being offered and include any location or frequency limitations, any restrictions, as well as an expiration date of the services being offered. Please understand it may be weeks or even months before they are ready to accept your donation and utilize the service being offered. Gifts for services can be e-mailed to: clevelandcouragefund@gmail.com
Prayer and Hospitality Volunteers
Collection Assistants
Please note that two (2) volunteers are needed per two- or four-hour slots for each position. For full details and instructions to sign-up, please see the: Family Ministry Centers Cleveland Courage Fund Collection Site Volunteer Registration



On a bright note, to me - is the section of the article today (below) which revealed there were three dogs in the house with the women and the little girl. From my standpoint, dogs, like young children are innocent. They are gifts from God. The authorities are waiting to find out if the three women might want to keep any or all three of these dogs. They are in 'foster' homes now. Maybe they brought a ray of light into the home. That little girl, the baby born to Amanda sure did bring light; she was born on Christmas Day. That is what her mom, Amanda Berry shared with us. Thank God for that baby. She might have given the three women more reason to live, and to seek freedom, through prayer... or in not giving up.


Three Canines Discovered ... "


CBS/WOIO) The Cleveland dog warden is holding three canines discovered in the home

and car of accused Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro, CBS affiliate WOIO reports.
The warden, John Baird, told WOIO that a Chihuahua was found by police in Castro's car as he was arrested, and two other dogs that appear to be terrier-poodle mixes were found in his home.
The dogs appeared to be in good health, but needed heavy grooming, Baird told the station.
The FBI reportedly asked Baird to hold the dogs in case kidnapping victims Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, wanted the animals.
The three women disappeared between 2002 and 2004 when they were in their teens or early 20s. Prosecutors and police allege that Castro kept them captive in his home and beat and sexually abused them.




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