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Arvest Foundation awards $2,000 grant to Into the Light

Human trafficking victims who were branded by their abusers will have a chance for a fresh start thanks to a $2,000 grant to Into the Light from the Arvest Foundation.

The gift was announced recently in Mountain Home. Scott Copeland, community bank president for Arvest in Mountain Home, presented the check to Gretchen Smeltzer, director of Into the Light. These funds will allow victims of human trafficking whose abusers branded them with a tattoo to have those tattoos removed. Into the Light has a partnership with a local tattoo artist that offers discounted tattoo removal services.

Shelly Hill, Arvest business development; Scott Copeland, Arvest community bank president; Jo Lisa Blossom, Into the Light development manager; Dawn Cotter, Arvest branch administrator; Elisa Murray, Arvest branch sales manager; Cheryl Aloisi, Arvest financial sales representative; Jacob Bruggeman, Arvest commercial banker;  Gretchen Smeltzer, Into the Light executive director; Beth Kratochvil, Into the Light lead trainer & program manager.

“Removing the tattoos their abusers forced them to get is a way for these women to heal from the trauma of their experience and cut ties with their trafficker once and for all,” said Smeltzer. “It’s very empowering for them, especially after the violence they’ve endured. We’re grateful for our community partnerships and the Arvest Foundation for providing funds to help these women start healing.”

“On behalf of the Arvest Foundation, we are proud to support the careful work that Into the Light provides for victims who have been trafficked,” said Copeland. “We are grateful for their passion to serve and bring hope to survivors.”

To learn more about Into the Light and the organization’s mission, visit https://www.intothelightus.org/about-us.

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