Hidden Treasures Foundation is a California registered nonprofit corporation and an IRS recognized 501 (c) (3), tax-exempt agency. The agency is governed by a board of directors and headquartered in San Diego. The purpose of the organization is to provide residential therapeutic services to teenage girls who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
We believe that every girl exploited by modern day slavery is a hidden treasure. She is hidden from the world, living in the shadows of human sex trafficking: our society’s underbelly referred to as “The Life.” It is a life of forced prostitution, pornography, and abnormal sexual experience. It is a life of intimidation, fear, and abuse. Her traumas have destroyed her self-worth which is now hidden from herself. To stay alive, she must conform to demands of her owners, she must dissociate with the evil, heinous events happening to her, and dissociate with any hope for rescue. Our agency is about the Rescue, the Restoration, the Renewal, and the Release of these girls back into a “Life” where they are in control – empowered and valuable persons.
Statement of Mission
Hidden Treasures Foundation is dedicated to the healing of teenage girls victimized by sex slavery in the human trafficking industry. Healing is facilitated by the sanctuary provided, the trauma-informed therapeutic services, personal empowerment classes, and a professional staff that delivers inspiration and loving guidance. We intend to have our clients advance through the steps of healed trauma and broken psyche, advance through the levels of development and maturation, attain grade-level academically, find comfort in healthy relationships, discover the joy and satisfaction of workability, and restore their self-worth leading to an empowered life.
Stages of Transormation
Hidden Treasures Foundation, through its residential therapeutic program called Tiffany’s Place, delivers four stages of life transformation for girls desiring change; desiring healing within a sanctuary where they are safe and offered opportunity to do the work necessary for their transformation.
The word rescue means to save. Yes, Tiffany’s Place is a part of the rescue by providing a healing place, a sanctuary for victims, and a place of hope for a future apart from pain and trauma. However, our clients save their own lives by choosing to be a resident at our healing center. As such, they escape a world where they are too vulnerable and beaten-down to survive – to even create their own future. By entering Tiffany’s Place, they find sanctuary where they are not only physically safe, but they can also focus on their growth and development. Their past does not have to equal their future.
The word restore means to return to a former condition, an original condition. Our clients have not only had their lives interrupted with their childhood experiences ripped from them, their lives have been abused and broken. They have been physically, mentally, and emotionally degraded to a level of fear, hopelessness, malfunction, and brokenness. They see no hope for a future outside of “The Life” of sex slavery and now believe this is their only purpose. At Tiffany’s Place, girls can learn to overcome the role of victim and experience freedom. This is a healing place, a sanctuary for restoration and reclaiming one’s personhood.
The word renew means to restart, to resume after an interruption. Our clients are all about renewing. But the journey from victim through the process of transformation and into the re-birth of a functional and empowered being will require commitment to hard work. At Tiffany’s Place our girls can relax, knowing that their life is worthy of the effort and time required to heal. It may not be possible to recapture their lost childhood; they have become street-wise ahead of their time. But they can heal, create a renewed life and resume as an empowered female – a girl with the endless possibilities of a woman of worth.
The word release means to allow something to move, act, or flow freely; to set free. Our clients have literally been enslaved. They have been manipulated, coerced, threatened, drugged, beaten, and even tortured to keep them in fear and submissive. At Tiffany’s Place they will learn to break these chains of bondage and fly free – daring to dream. Our goal is to have each girl progress in her healing and developmental process as quickly as she is capable of. Like any healthy parent, our agency is eager for our kids to fly. We want to release them into their functional independence, confident in their abilities as healed and empowered individuals.
Human Trafficking Statistics
“With stiff shoulders and a stinging neck, Tiffany lifted her head from the hotel bed and tried to make out the faces of the men were who were sitting near.
“Where am I?” she said, her voice barely above a whisper. The two men laughed at her. She looked down. She had no clothes on. She pulled herself out of the bed and stumbled to the bathroom…”
Click here for more of Tiffany’s testimony.
Ladies Fight Night
Ladies Fight Night (January 27th) by Hearts for San Diego, invites women and girls (12+ years) to come together for an empowering evening to learn self-defense tactics in a friendly, fun environment. Mix, mingle, eat, drink, shop, and win prizes to support the Hidden Treasures Foundation, a local nonprofit that rescues and restores victims of human sex trafficking.
Registration includes a swag bag of goodies (for the first 40 to sign up), a free raffle ticket and complimentary food and drink. Please share with all the lovely ladies in your life! Early bird discount pricing ends Saturday, Jan 20th. Visit the event website for more information, or join the Facebook event and invite some friends!
There are several areas where you can join us in bringing freedom to victims. Your unique skills and life experiences can be a powerful force to reach these victims, meet their needs or to shape a recovery program effective for healing their unique trauma.
For any other questions please email us here.
We partner with the human trafficking ministry at the Rock Church in Point Loma for outreach purposes. Their outreaches are designed for educational, preventative, supportive and rescue purposes. They strive to have both men and women on each of their teams and require attendance at one of their Volunteer Orientations prior to becoming involved. Please email them here for further details.
- Photography and Videography
- Social Media
- Event Coordinator and Event Teams
- Grant Writing
Fundraising is the “life blood” of our organization. Several times a year we plan events and need creative, energetic volunteers for our fundraising team. Contact us here to be put on our Fundraise Volunteer list.
Time and Talent
You have heard that it takes a whole community to raise a child. Donations of your time and talent are critical to providing holistic care for our survivors. Below are examples of professional skills needed:
- Medical, Dental and Optical Care
- Life Skills Training
- Recovery Classes
- Psychological Counseling
- Legal Counsel
Lynn Burgard – Executive Director
Ms. Burgard is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a retired Airline Mechanic. She has a heart for human trafficked victims due to her own childhood sexual abuse and eventual healing. Lynn is grateful that God, in His infinite mercy and grace, has taken her own painful trauma and is now using it to enable her to reach out to other wounded women and girls. Lynn founded Hidden Treasures Foundation in 2009.
Tiffany Mester – Media Relations
Ms. Mester was trafficked herself for two years as a teenager, thus bringing the great assets of personal knowledge and experience to Hidden Treasures Foundation. She has an intimate understanding of the victimization these girls experience and uses her own life story to educate and build public awareness. Contact Tiffany to schedule a speaking engagement.