One by one we can work together to bring hope and healing to victims of human trafficking.

Welcome to the Rising Hope Foundation. Thank you for taking the time and making the decision to get involved in the fight against Human Trafficking.  Any amount of support for Rising Hope helps us to bring restoration to the lives of Human Trafficking Victims in the United States.

I began to realize the magnitude of this atrocity twenty years ago in the trucking industry. Traveling the country and seeing young girls on a regular basis being driven into truck stops and forced to go around and knock on driver’s doors was a real awakening for me.  It occurred to me that what I was witnessing was “modern day slavery.” Many of these girls were 12 to 13 years of age or less. It broke my heart.  It also stirred in me to do something to help and I knew that eventually I would want to do all I could to make a difference in rescuing these young girls. After several years of driving truck I made a career change to fulfill a dream and became a Concert Promoter for Christian Artists.  While working as a Concert Promoter my passion to help bring awareness and help to victims of human trafficking never diminished.

In January 2013 my wife Vicki and I began the process of setting up a non-profit organization, The Rising Hope Foundation for restoration and healing of victims of human trafficking. With prayers and support of friends and contributors we can make a real difference in the lives of young women enslaved by human trafficking. Rising Hope’s goal is to build the first FREEDOM RANCH in Brainerd MN. This Freedom Ranch will be a safe home where these young girls rescued from the abuses of human trafficking can begin the healing process with the help of trained counselors, educators, and health care professionals. Our board of directors is also from the land of 10,000 lakes. One by one we can work together to bring hope and healing to victims of human trafficking.

David Leckie Co-Founder Rising Hope Foundation

Board of Directors

Jessica Burkhamer – President of the Board

Jessica Burkhamer, MSW, LICSW, has been a Psychotherapist for more than 20 years. Most of her career has been based in private practice providing a wide range of therapies for children, adolescents, couples, and families as well as specializing in neurobehavioral disorders. Jessica taught Psychopathology as an adjunct Professor for the University of Nevada, Reno, served as Clinical Director of Healing Ministries for Sparks Christian Fellowship in Sparks, NV, and wrote a behavioral health column for Northern Nevada Family Magazine.

 Ms. Burkhamer received her undergraduate social work degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1988 and her Master’s degree from New Mexico Highland University in 1989. Jessica’s history of speaking at workshops and schools promoting effective communication for families and educators has added to a distinguished reputation alongside her presentations as a ROPES course instructor. Through ROPES, she has been instrumental in the positive results achieved by couples, families, and corporations as they experience the game and problem-solving techniques that are taught. Jessica currently presents national seminars as well as working staff cases. She is married, has two children, and lives in a resort town in Minnesota.

Patricia Crandall

Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a minor in marketing and early childhood development.

I have spent many years in the banking industry where I specialized in Compliance. I bring to Rising Hope Foundation the skills and knowledge of business accounting and compliance. I am a current partner at Angelic Enterprises Consignment & Gifts in Park Rapids.  As a member of the business community It is in my heart to help victims of Human Trafficking and to help bring awareness to others of how we can all help make a difference!

Naomi Nelson

Naomi Nelson is the Safe Harbor Central Minnesota Regional Navigator, she collaborates with eight counties to offer guidance and support on the issue of sex-trafficking and to connect victims to the services they need. Naomi desires to see all victims/survivors served holistically and with dignity and respect as they journey away from “the life”. Her passion and hope to see victims living in freedom has taken her to India, Thailand and throughout the United States to serve youth impacted by this crime. Currently she is in graduate school studying to be a psychotherapist with hopes to serve this population.

Travis Guida

IT specialist

Sara Swanson – Lawyer and Consultant for Rising Hope Foundation

Sara A. Swanson obtained her law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in May 2008 and began practice at Thomason Law Office after being admitted to the bar in October 2008. She has focused her practice primarily in the areas of Real Estate, Estate Planning, Small Business Formation, and Elder law and Veterans issues, including being a Veterans Administration Accredited Attorney.
Sara grew up in Park Rapids, MN and holds degrees in Theology and Music from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University. She is married with two daughters and actively involved in the Park Rapids community. Along with her husband, Sara is campus pastor of the Lakes Area Vineyard church in Park Rapids, MN.