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Human Trafficking Awareness : What you CAN do.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and for some of us the truth of this issue may be common knowledge. To others, even today, the reality of human trafficking still comes as a shock. 

Regardless of our familiarity with the issue, to be confronted with the statistics is overwhelming to all of us: 

40.3 million people living in slavery today**.

29+ million of those being women and girls. 

403,000 people in the US alone.

The average age of entry into forced prostitution worldwide is under 17 years old.

The complex trauma related to human trafficking and exploitation is very difficult to overcome.

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These daunting facts can stun us and keep us complacent, static, or frozen- too overwhelmed to do anything. We may ask, “How can I impact such a BIG problem? Is it even possible?”

The truth is WE CAN make a difference. 

YOUR VOICE MATTERS. 

Your actions matter, and your choices matter. 

This is really good news in the face of one of the most horrible realities in human history.

We at Free The Girls love the fact that we get to invite you into the work of supporting survivors of human trafficking in real, tangible ways. With our unique model, we are seeing women regain independence, empowerment, and hope. 

In honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we’d like to invite you to join our Export Freedom Project. As we’re getting ready to send a huge shipment of bras to the continent of Africa, you can join in and follow the boxes of inventory - from our warehouse in Indiana, across the ocean into the hands of survivors in Mozambique! There are many steps in the process of getting your donated bras into the hands of women. Once they receive them, each woman will sustain her business with those bras! 

And the most beautiful part? 

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Not only is she creating a business, she’s creating a life - a life of freedom and hope. 

As we think about the journey of a bra… we can’t help but think about the journey of survivors of sex trafficking. It’s a journey from horrific trauma and oppression to reintegrating into the life they were meant to live - within their own family and community. The dividends of your impact are realized not only in women victoriously leading and providing for themselves, but also for generations to come. 

Through holistic reintegration programming and the economic opportunity to earn a safe income- we’re seeing survivors free to be restored to who they were designed to be- 

WHOLE,
WORTHY,
POWERFULLY FREE.

In order to join our Export Freedom Project, we’re inviting you to create your own Facebook fundraiser* for Free The Girls and invite your community to join in. We’re asking each person to set a goal of $200 -and when you reach your goal of $200, you’ll be added to our insider group of Export Freedom Partners! In this private Facebook group, you’ll be getting exclusive updates, photos, and information about our Mozambique program and the women in it. 

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By joining the Export Freedom Project, you can literally SEE your impact. And not only will you be inspired by the difference your impact can make, but you’ll be able to share the inspiration and impact with your friends and family who have joined you in your fundraiser. 

This opportunity is an exciting way to move from paralysis or being slightly engaged in this issue to making a tangible impact and to SEE results. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

*If you don’t have Facebook, don’t worry! You can still join in! Here’s another way you can participate. Once you start your fundraiser, just send us an email and us know you want to join EXPORT FREEDOM!

THANK YOU.

Thank you for taking a stand. Thank you for caring.

Thank you for choosing to make a mark on this issue of human trafficking.

IT MATTERS.

**https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/lang--en/index.htm

Giving Tuesday

Have you heard about Giving Tuesday? 

Giving Tuesday is global giving movement.  Because if the world is going to come together for a global movement, shouldn’t it be for the sake of generosity?  Last year, 98 countries participated in Giving Tuesday and over 1.6 million people donated!!! 

Still want a bit more information?  Watch this video that explains a bit more.

We’ve never stated a goal for our End of Year Giving.  But we are going to this year.  Not because we’re greedy, not because some strategist told us to, but because we have a reason for this goal.  We have faces and names behind this goal.

We currently have a waiting list of 10 women in Maputo, Mozambique waiting to enter into our program, waiting to begin their own businesses, waiting to be empowered to call the shots in her own life and for her children, waiting to have a global family come alongside her on her journey towards true freedom. 

10 women.  10 families.

$20,000. 

That’s what it’s going to take.  $20,000 is our End of Year Giving goal.  This launches on Giving Tuesday (November 28th or the Tuesday after Thanksgiving for all our American friends!) and finishes on Dec. 31st.  It’s huge.  It’s lofty.  We’ve never raised that in 5 weeks before.  Truth be told, I’m nervous putting that number out for the world to see. 

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But these women are worth it.

And then I think, “But what if we raised it earlier than New Year’s Eve?  What if we raised it so we could tell the women before Christmas that they have a plan for 2018?  What if our Christmas present to them is a business?”

When I say “we” and “our”, I don’t mean the FTG staff or the Board of Directors.  I mean the collective us.  All of us.  You reading this.  Our 24,423 supporters on Facebook (think of if each person who liked us on Facebook donated $1?!?!  We’d surpass our goal!).  Our Instagram followers, those on our newsletter mailing list, the churches who receive our prayer guides, the Drop-off locations around North America who have leveraged their influence in their communities to spread the word.

We are in this together.  And why not be in it together on a day when the whole world is binding together in a magnificent show of generosity?

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So how do you do it?

We have a couple different options for you. 

1)    First, you can go straight to our site and donate online from your phone, tablet, or computer.

2)     Strapped for cash or want to expand your generosity influence by gathering your friends to also participate?  Start a Facebook fundraiser.  It’s incredibly easy. Seriously, hold a FB fundraiser for 1 day.  Create it, invite your friends, post about it, and you’ve done it!  (Some quick directions to do that: Go to your "home" page and scroll down. At the bottom left of the screen you'll see the word "CREATE". Under that, click "Fundraiser", pick your organization (hint..Free The Girls ;) ) and start raising money for a great cause!) Don’t have Facebook?  Start a campaign on our website and share through email to your contacts! 

3)    Spread the word and advocate.  We have some FTG Giving Tuesday at the bottom of this post! Download (or screenshot) and share them on social media- it's easy to use your circle of influence to benefit those women in Mozambique.

4)    Take an #UNselfie.  It’s a Giving Tuesday thing.  You’re showcasing your selflessness and your focus on others by being involved.  Print a sign (check the bottom of this post), scrawl the hashtag on a piece of paper, whatever you like- and tell the world why you care.  Share your heart and your passion for justice, restoration, and the power of many.

We would absolutely love for you to be a part of Giving Tuesday this year.  If it’s not with FTG, please support another organization or cause near and dear to your heart.  Because when the water rises, all boats float.

Happiest of seasons, friends!  Have a blessed Thanksgiving,

Courtney Skiera-Vaughn, Executive Director

 


P.S.

Here are a few graphics you can utilize during #GivingTuesday to spread the love on social media! Don't forget to tag #freethegirlsbras

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Honoring the Mothers in our Lives

Mother's Day is a time to honor and show our gratitude for the mothers we've been blessed to have in our lives. You may be celebrating your own mother, a mother-in-law, or someone who has been a mother to you. Maybe she's a sister, and aunt, or a friend. 

You could give flowers as a token of appreciation (we love flowers, too) or maybe a little gift, but what if you could give a gift that honored mothers in other parts of the world? What if your gift could bring joy and blessing to more than just one mother? 

For some of the women in our program, their children are their proudest accomplishment. I'm sure if you're a mom, you would most likely agree. The relationship of mother and child is one of the deepest and truest bonds - and it's something to celebrate! As we consider the women in our program and what they've been through (sexual exploitation, gang violence, poverty, injustice, to name a few...) we are amazed at the strength and tenacity they show in providing a safer life for their children. The love and support they give their children despite their circumstances is inspiring to us all. 

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Honoring our mothers and theirs. Give the gift of freedom today!

By giving a gift in honor of the mother in your life, you're bringing freedom and hope to a survivor in our program. Your gift helps our mission of holistic reintegration for survivors of sex trafficking.  

We'd love to take this opportunity to invite you to give the gift of Freedom for Mother's Day. If you make a donation to Free The Girls in honor of a mom (and the mothers in our program), you're supporting our mission to provide safe economic opportunity and holistic reintegration to survivors of trafficking - many of which are mothers striving to give the best to their kids. 

We'd be honored if you'd give a gift in Mom's name today! 

Happy Mother's Day to you and yours! 

If you'd like a downloadable card that you can gift to mom on Mother's Day, just get in touch! We'll send it right away. E-mail Abby at media@freethegirls.org