“What if we gave the average woman the opportunity to partner with women who have been rescued from human trafficking?” — Free the Girls Co-Founder Dave Terpstra
I recently read a staggering statistic that nearly 35 million people are enslaved in the world today — not just women, but men and children as well. This modern day slavery comes in many forms: forced labor, sex trafficking, child trafficking, bonded labor, etc. While many organizations have set out to free these victims, many of them are not sure what to do afterwards.
What would you do with your life after being sold into sex trafficking for possibly years and years of your life? One organization, Free the Girls, has thought of a solution to that very question: “What happens after they are rescued…often their resources are limited.”
Their solution: provide these brave survivors with an opportunity to build their own business selling second-hand clothing. They can do this all while going to school, making a home, and caring for their families. Each woman starts with inventory as a donation and is then able to buy additional inventory from Free the Girls for below wholesale value to help maintain their competitive edge in the marketplace. On top of that, each woman gets a one-on-one mentor to teach them areas of inventory management, budgeting, and financial planning.
What are they looking for? Bras. Why bras, you ask? In many countries around the world, second-hand clothing is a profitable market, and bras are a hot commodity! The bonus is that by selling bras, they are able to work with other women. Many of these women faced more than any of us can even imagine due to the physical, mental, and soul-crushing abuse they received from men. Working with a man may be the last thing these women want to deal with, so selling bras is the perfect opportunity to be around just women.
More women and children are victim to sex trafficking than ever before. This issue is one that I personally care very much about. Stopping these heinous crimes is not easy, simple, or something that may ever be completely resolved in our lifetime. BUT, we can make an impact. We can help. You can make a difference today for a victim. How? Honestly, the answer is so simple that anyone can get involved.
These ideas came directly from Free the Girls:
- Share our Facebook page with your friends
- Send us a gently used bra or two
- Ask friends, family, or coworkers to donate bras
- Host a bra drive or fundraiser in your community
- Become a financial supporter
- Ask a local retailer to become a bra drop-off location
- Help connect us with corporations, foundations, churches, and service organizations who believe in the cause and can help fund our growth
- Host a Free the Girls information table at a local anti-trafficking event
Free the Girls has grown since being established in 2011, and with our help, it can continue reaching out to the women and children who are being saved from slavery every day. For more information on anything you have read, please visit Free the Girls site here.