Hi friends! Courtney here.
We’ve got so many great things in the works right now that I am feeling a little guilty about taking a minute to write this. I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop, looking out the window on a beautiful sunny day, the first hints of summer in the air. I have my laptop out, and I’ve been working on an education component to our Everyday Abolitionist program – basically I have a document open that has a lot of awful stats about human trafficking. The prevalence and scope of it, the amount of money generated yearly by oppressing and exploiting other human beings, and then an entire section on the complexity of survivorhood. It’s for sure not the happiest Word document I’ve ever had opened.
I’ve been working on this for a few months now, and there are times when I’m in public that I’m hesitant to open my laptop. I’ve had so many side-eye looks, looks of shock and horror when people get a little too nosey and glance at what I’m working on, quick turnarounds, even slumped shoulders. I almost feel guilty sometimes – like I’ve ruined someone’s lovely day with in-your-face depressing reality. But there have been more than a few people who have actually engaged in conversation with me, asked me what I’m working on, strike up a conversation about human trafficking.
This is my favorite.
It is a heavy topic. Trafficking puts the focus on depravity, violence, darkness. But one of the things all of us at Free The Girls strive for is to be an avenue for people to enter into this difficult dialogue without feeling triggered, without a feeling of helplessness, without becoming hopeless or, even worse, numb and apathetic.
Because reality is – trafficking is horrendous. But reality also is – it’s not hopeless. You don’t have to be resigned to shake your head, feel a pit in your stomach, wish you could do something, and then go about your day with some unnamed guilt hanging over your head.
No. You have a role to play.
You do. I promise.
What you do makes a difference.
When you donate a bra, that becomes the actual inventory for a woman to sell in her business, making money in a manner full of dignity and confidence to feed herself, provide a home for her babies and children, and maybe even go back to school.
When you donate bucks, make a financial contribution or hold a fundraiser, those funds go towards sorting, repacking, and shipping those bras. It goes towards tape, boxes, fumigation, shipping. It goes towards programs like this education piece I’m currently working on that gets information into your hands for you to then educate others in your own community.
When you become a Bra Drop-off Location, you’re not only spreading awareness to your clients, customers, patients. You’re also advocating for the women, leveraging your position in your community for the greater good on the other side of the world.
When you join The Underwire Club, we as a staff get to know you a little better, cultivate community with you, and you in turn get to know more of the ins and outs of what’s happening in our programs overseas, you get to celebrate with the women as they begin businesses and eventually graduate.
What I’m trying to say is that what you do matters on multiple levels – in your own neighborhood and across the globe.
What you do matters. You matter.
It’s not hopeless, friend. Don’t become numb. Mobilize. Be involved.
Fight for global justice for survivors.
Be a woman helping a woman. Be an investor in a small business run by an incredibly capable woman who has overcome so much and is the very definition of resilience.
We can’t do it without you. Truly.
-Going to get a refill on this latte now,