Boundless Mercy

seeking freedom for those in the sex trade

Mission

Boundless Mercy's tag line is "seeking freedom for those in the sex trade." We seek freedom for those in the sex trade through prayer, awareness sessions, and regular intervention (outreach) to employees in the sex industry. The Ark Bakery & Café, an arm of Boundless Mercy, is combatting trafficking in tangible ways and making every crumb count by selling bakery items to the public to raise awareness of human trafficking in northeast Houston. Sales venues as of November 2019 will be online (www.thearkbakerycafe.org) and at a local farmer's market.

Ruling year info

2018

Founder & President

Christine Marie Ege

Main address

2734 Whispering Fern Ct.

Kingwood, TX 77345 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

83-0803649

NTEE code info

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

Christian (X20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Houston is a major hub for sex trafficking in the United States.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Awareness Sessions

We conduct information sessions to raise awareness of the causes of sex trafficking and the scope of the problem, particularly in the Houston metro area.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents

Every two weeks, our team visits 12-20 locations in the sex industry (strip clubs, brothels, sex shops) with gifts of artisan cookies and notes of encouragement. We have permission from managers on-site to visit the businesses and have built relationship with them. As of November 2019, The Ark Bakery & Café has been engaging in farmer's market direct sales and receiving online orders from the public for the cookies we have been distributing free (and will continue to distribute free) to employees of the sex industry. All profits are funneled back into anti-trafficking initiatives.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We desire to give employees in the sex industry in Houston hope for other lifestyle and career options through building relationships of trust. We offer them the local anti-trafficking hotline number available to sex industry workers in Houston; we also give away artisan cookies and notes of encouragement. Our next step is to procure space for a ministry office and The Ark Bakery & Café, which will serve to raise public awareness of the sex trafficking problem in northeast Houston and fund anti-trafficking initiatives. The goal will also be to hire women and men exiting the sex industry and train them in culinary arts and small business management.

In addition, we provide awareness and training sessions to various groups upon request. These sessions educate participants in the scope and severity of the sex trafficking problem in our city and help direct them toward available courses of action to combat the problem.

Through prayer, awareness sessions, and regular outreach activities, we strive to re-direct those in the sex industry to other lifestyle and career options. We provide encouragement, assurance, and a sense of personal worth to those we visit regularly in our target locations. We also ensure they are equipped with the local hotline number, which provides services for those wishing to exit the industry. We work equally with club managers, customers (when they initiate conversation with us), dancers, prostitutes, traffickers (when they speak with us), as well as security guards, club bartenders, and valet parking attendants. Our desire is to build relationships with them and encourage them to have confidence in their ability to learn viable skills outside the sex industry.

Over the past 9 years, we have built a regular, consistent outreach schedule to strip clubs, brothels, and sex shops in northeast Houston. Managers have given us permission to visit their employees, and they consider us a part of their regular routine; they have said repeatedly that they look forward to our visits. We distribute artisan cookies and personal notes of encouragement to each person; our average number of people visited every two weeks is 150 (around 3500 encounters annually). This interface requires 3500 notes written and 7000 cookies baked (each person receives two cookies). The percentage of repeat encounters is approximately 30%, as we visit the same locations regularly. The numbers of women versus men: 2:1 (roughly two thirds of our encounters are females; one third are males). Our capacity to sustain a high-intensity level of outreach has been proven and maintained.

Similarly, we conduct awareness and training sessions when requested by any group to do so. We cover topics that are needed by the requesting group: scope and severity of the sex trafficking problem, how to recognize a potential sex trafficking victim, how to decide what type of outreach or intervention might be useful in a given community, how to identify possible locations to be visited, ideas for strategies to combat human trafficking in a given community, and how to speak with potential victims of human trafficking.

Please see above. Outreaches can continue to expand as more people are trained to visit sex industry workers. The proposed bakery (which went "live" online in August of 2020) serves to raise public awareness, as it openly advertises that all funds received above cost are used to fund anti-sex trafficking initiatives. The long-term plan is to hire those who desire to exit the sex trade and train them in culinary arts and small business management.

We currently are operating solely online under the Texas Cottage Industry Law. The next step will be to move our baking efforts to a local commercial kitchen prior to soliciting corporate donors for our own commercial space and for endowed, salaried positions with benefits for those we wish to hire out of the sex industry.

Financials

Boundless Mercy
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Boundless Mercy

Board of directors
as of 2/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Christine Ege

Sara Barnes

Perkins & Will

Brian Beneda

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Stephen Ege

Retired, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.

Mitchell Jerome

Senior Source, LLC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/17/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/17/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.