You could say that non-profits are the backbone of our communities. The missions that drive them, the goals and values that define them, non-profits embody the essence of what community is. Someone once said, "Behind every non-profit, is someone that is pissed the hell of, or affected by something happening in their community." Such is the case for Ocassama Moore. She was dealt a bad hand by life that led her to multiple prison stays, over the course of a few weeks. During the time of her last incarceration, Cassie made a choice: continue on the path that I'm on or change. As a mother to two boys, it's not like she didn't have a reason to change her ways. But when she was released, she turned her life around, but also made the decision to help other women do the same. Nationally, there are more than 8x as many women incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails as there were in 1980, increasing in number from 12,300 in 1980 to 182,271 by 2002. Those numbers only have increased as the years have gone on. Having first had gone through the prison system, and been on the receiving end of society's cold shoulder to the formerly incarcerated, Cassie saw it as her duty to do something. What would have broken many, and led them back to a life of bad choices, Cassie took her testimony a step further to change her life and the lives of many others like her. And so, Liberating Lives was created. What started as merely a woman who has made mistakes and found God, looking to help others work through their mistakes and find God as well, progressed into a vital resource for formerly incarcerated women in the community. Liberating Lives is an organization focused on empowering these women while they are incarcerated, and when they are released. The mission of Liberating Lives starts with its ministry, which was born from Cassie's pain. She knows what it feels like to be mistreated, overlooked, and doubted by society, so ministering to these women every Sunday is so essential to Liberating Lives. Women within the prison system have been broken by it, so how can we expect much from them upon release? How can they move on or move forward? Cassie's relationship with God changed her life in an unimaginable way, at her lowest point, so through her ministry, she strives to do the same for these women. After being released, Cassie's dream is to open an institution for these women to come to. Many women, and people overall, end up incarcerated due to the environments they are living in and the people they are surrounded by. This place would serve as a safe space, a home more so, for these ladies to be rehabilitated so that they can reenter society with a new lease on life so that success and happiness can be a guarantee and not just a hollow dream. They will learn life skills and trade skills so that they can find reliable employment and know-how to take care of themselves and provide for the ones they love and care for. Even though her institution hasn't been built yet, she continues her work in the communities of the Lowcountry to create awareness of this community of people that's been judged and cast away, and spread her ministry to those who need it most. I know what you are thinking, why should anyone want to support an organization invested in helping ex-cons? Because this organization doesn't help ex-cons, they help human beings tap into their potential and become even better people. Women are already considered a minority in the US, and incarcerated women are barely even acknowledged. Liberating Lives gives them a voice, and an opportunity to own up to their mistakes with dignity and move forward in a healthy way. This institution they plan to build gives them what they were missing, and led to their untimely demise: education and opportunity. Cassie's testimony is paving a way for people to better themselves and the community. She is doing what more people should do: using your experiences to bring about change. And that's why non-profits matter. So support Cassie, and let's liberate these women from societal constraints, from their mistakes, and welcome them to salvation.