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Way to Go - 2021 End of Year Review

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

As we reflect on this past year, SASS Go has worked tirelessly to serve survivors and further our mission of eradicating assault, abuse, and trafficking. You have been critical to that effort, and TOGETHER we made a big impact. Way to GO!

 

WAY TO IMPACT

In 2021, SASS Go continued training women and girls to safeguard and protect their lives. This year alone we reached over 4400 people through in-person and virtual SASS courses at businesses, gyms, places of worship, community centers, and more. We trained students, faculty, and staff in elementary, middle, and high schools and in colleges and universities from Washington State University to the University of Georgia, from Salt Lake City Community College to the University of Maryland, from the University of Utah to the University of South Carolina, and many campuses in between. We shared critical information with Girl Scout troops, organizations serving survivors, and professionals from KPMG and Leadership Columbia. We even trained the US Women's Ski & Snowboard team!


Because we believe everyone deserves a life that is free from violence and abuse, this year 70% of those served have received training and support at a free or reduced cost.

WAY TO EDUCATE

In 2021, SASS Go established a free online safety series. These videos are for parents, grandparents, and those with a vested interest in safeguarding the lives of the children entrusted to their care. You can access these videos on our website here.

SASS Go also shared valuable knowledge and raised awareness of its efforts and mission through speaking opportunities and information sessions at Rotary Clubs, Lexington Medical Center, WIL to Run, the Auction for Action Kick-Off Event, The University of South Carolina Women in Law, Woman Shops World, and the Bride City Show. We are grateful to all the change makers who made these opportunities a reality and are helping to share our mission!


WAY TO GROW

Because of your generosity, SASS Go continues to expand the scope of its reach and its services. This year we added communities from Arizona and Texas to our Sassterhood, and we have now shared SASS in 19 states, the District of Columbia, and South Africa!

In addition, 5 more instructors were certified and licensed to teach the Miss Independent and Sassafras curricula, expanding our ability to reach even more middle and elementary-aged girls and their families. These age-appropriate courses help protect girls starting at a young age and lasting for a lifetime.

We will keep this momentum and growth GO'ing with our next National Instructor Training in Dallas, Texas in July 2022. Join other instructor-hopefuls from across the country doing their part to end assault, abuse, and trafficking while making their community safer by clicking here to learn more and apply! Applications are being accepted now through March 1, 2022.



WAY TO LEAD

SASS Go works on the front lines to identify harmful trends in our communities and resolve them. After discovering a disturbing and dangerous uptick of suspected drug-facilitated crimes in our own backyard of Columbia, SC, we brought together leaders from law enforcement, healthcare systems, victim services, and the greater community and worked collaboratively to address and end them. Those efforts resulted in The Green Screen.

The Green Screen Testing Kits are available at hospitals in the Midlands of South Carolina. They serve to educate, support, and test victims for a myriad of drugs used in drug-facilitated crimes. Moving forward, we will continue educating first responders and the community about drug-facilitated crime and the use of The Green Screen. To learn more and see news coverage, click here.


This year we also further developed our consulting services for survivors, their families, and the institutions that serve them. With a team of field experts from around the world, we have worked hard to streamline survivor support and ensure trauma-informed care from hospitals to law offices. Additionally, SASS Go provided information and support to survivors and their loved ones through the highlighting of free and anonymous resources. You can find a list of those resources here.


WAY TO GIVE

Once again, you have shown up big to help support SASS Go's mission and the women and girls we serve. Through participation in Midlands Gives & Giving Tuesday, our supporters helped raise over $16,000! This year also marked an expanded Auction for Action! Nearly 250 businesses and individuals participated as donors, bidders, and volunteers to do their part in supporting our mission. The kick-off event at Tombo Grille and the Auction for Action helped raise awareness of the crisis of violence against women, while also raising over $14,000 to support SASS Go's critical work. To see all the local businesses who supported the Auction, click here.

On the topic of supporting SASS Go, Congratulations to SASS Go Board Member Kelly Hoppmann for being recognized by the AFP Central Carolina Chapter as the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser for National Philanthropy Day! What a well-deserved honor!


Furthermore, we are grateful to have received support from the Greater Chapin Community Foundation, the Central Carolina Community Foundation, Donna Caldwell of Carolina One Real Estate, Lindsey Pilkington Memorial Foundation, Parrish Family Foundation, Rodan Family Foundation, Women in Law at the UofSC School of Law, and the Lauren McCluskey Foundation. We thank these generous donors for doing their part to bring about meaningful change in the world.


We thank everyone who fueled SASS Go in 2021. Whether you gave your time, your resources, your prayers, or your powerful voice to spread awareness, your gift is critical to helping us GO! To learn more about the many ways you can support SASS Go, click here.


WAY TO PROTECT

The all-inclusive I Will Survive Weekend is a landmark event exclusively for women. It was born from the requests of Sassters around the country seeking to find one place where they could go to a beautiful location with incredible food and camaraderie to gain the skills they longed for, including: self-defense training, risk mitigation education, and Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) training from trusted experts. We scoured the country and came up empty, so we created it. The inaugural IWS Weekend launched in February 2021 at The Sawmill Training Complex in Laurens, South Carolina. It was such a resounding success that we held another one in October!


During these weekends, women from all different backgrounds come from across the country to unlock their inner warrior with the tools, training, and knowledge needed to save their lives and the lives of those they love. Because of YOUR generosity, 17 of the 59 participants attended these weekends on a full or partial scholarship. Along the way, these powerful warriors became an encouraging sisterhood rooted in the truth that they are strong, loved, and full of purpose. Check out the video below!

Back by popular demand, we will be gathering again this coming April for our third I Will Survive Women's Weekend. Registration and scholarships for this landmark event are now open here. We hope to see you in April!


WAY TO GO

Because of YOU, we have made such an incredible impact in just over 3 years, reaching over 9,500 individuals with nearly 60% of them at a free or reduced cost. We have doubled our instructor force, shared SASS in 19 states, the District of Columbia, and South Africa, and even expanded our services to include educational programming for all, survivor care, and institutional solutions. WOW!


While we celebrate our successes, our work is never finished, and we never stop needing your support to keep GO'ing. As we look forward to the next year, we know that with your help we can amplify these efforts, supporting survivors, ensuring hope, and safeguarding more communities. We thank you now for your support in getting us here, and we look forward to standing with you in 2022 as we continue to #protectthetribe!