(A LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR)
As we get ready to usher in 2013, we can’t help but look back on 2012 and think, “Our Cups Runneth Over!”
We are so incredibly grateful to all of you for helping us create new futures for survivors of sex trafficking—through your generous donations of bras, financial resources, time, expertise and talents!
In February 2012, we were honored to be featured in a 3-part series of stories by CNN’s Freedom Project. The response was amazing, with an outpouring of support from all over the world! As a result, an amazing shipping company named LR International came forward to help us ship over 32,000 bras from Chicago to Mozambique. Our friends at Truckers Against Trafficking helped us find Rickie Youngquist, a sweet, selfless trucker who donated his time and his truck to get the bras from Denver to Chicago so they could be loaded in the shipping container. The bras arrived in July, and we’re happy to report that we’ve been able to replicate the results of our successful pilot program in Mozambique and add 7 more women to our program, for a current total of 10. These women sold 2,700 bras in just 6 weeks! CNN will be airing a 30-minute follow-up documentary in late 2012/early 2013, so stay tuned!
I recently returned from a trip to Mozambique, where I was privileged to meet several of the girls in our program (and all of their beautiful kids!). One of my favorite visits was with “O”–one of the original women in our first pilot program. Her bra business provides enough income for her to support herself, her boyfriend, her sister, and her sister’s three children. She’s even had extra money left to slowly replace the walls of her reed house with cement blocks and mortar. And the best news of all–she is about six months pregnant with her first child and is absolutely radiant!! The baby is a real miracle because she didn’t think she could bear any children due to the trauma she suffered in her former life. On behalf of “O” and the other women in the program, I thank you for making this new life possible!
Through the generosity of friends like you, and because of the success of our current program in Mozambique, we are now in conversation with three safe houses in two other countries in Africa to launch new pilot programs in their regions. These three new safe houses are anxious for us to help provide a sustainable employment solution for the survivors they work with. Free The Girls is poised to quadruple our impact in 2013! Would you help us as we expand our efforts to more survivors who desperately need employment? Please consider making an end of year tax-deductible contribution here for $35, $50, $100 or more.
Wishing you joy, love and peace this holiday season and always,