Everyday Abolitionist

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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Everyday Abolitionist Q + A with Danielle Snyder in El Salvador

“I love that I have the opportunity to have a front row seat to see someone heal, and grow. I can see confidence and independence move into the lives of these women and that is truly an extraordinary thing to see.”

Danielle and her family live in El Salvador and run a ministry called Mission to El Salvador. Danielle is our program partner in El Salvador for Free The Girls and has a lot of wisdom and insight from her years of working in this position. We wanted to take a moment to ask Danielle some questions so you could get to know her a little better! 

Q + A 

Q. How long have you been in El Salvador and what brought you there?  

A. I have been in El Salvador for almost 8 years. We came after several years of volunteering in our free time with project in El Salvador because we saw a need for more resources for vulnerable individuals on the street in San Salvador. The country and people are so beautiful and our family completely fell in love with El Salvador! 

 

Q. What inspired you to become involved in the work of helping survivors of trafficking and exploitation? 

A. When we began our work on the streets, I met several women who I realized were being trafficked and exploited in El Salvador. I began to learn all I could about human trafficking, specifically in El Salvador. I still remember the first women who shared her story with me as I stood talking with her on a street corner. From that moment, I knew I had to do something. 

 

Q. How did you get connected with Free The Girls? 

A. Before our family moved to El Salvador, we met Dave Terpstra while his family was preparing to move to Mozambique. At the time, we had no idea that we would eventually be involved with survivors of human trafficking but as we began that work, he reached out and asked me to try a pilot program similar to what was happening in Mozambique. We already had several micro-enterprises at our site, so it seemed like a natural fit. 

 

Q. What are some hard things you see survivors up against in the area where you live? 

A. Violence is the hardest thing that survivors deal with. There is a constant threat of violence in their lives. It threatens their personal safety, and also their businesses. 

 

Q. When you think of the many people you've worked with, what is one story that comes to mind that brings you joy and keeps you motivated? 

A. There are many women that keep me motivated to keep moving forward, but this past year we have seen some major changes happening in the life of one of the women in our program. She was trafficked as a young girl, and now as a young woman she is doing her very best to raise her own daughter. Just this past year, she asked us if we would help her to learn how to read. Seeing her faithfully come to her literacy class every week, and continue to fight to move forward for her daughter has been incredibly encouraging and has brought so much joy to me and to many others on our team.

 

Q. If you had a superpower, what would it be? 

A. There are so many things I would love to change…the violence and the poverty that I see so often, but I think in my personal life I would love to be able to somehow make more time. More time for the women, more time for our organization, but also more time for my husband and kids, and more time to just think about, grieve when I need to, and celebrate as much as I would like all that I experience in this work. 

 

Q. What is something you love about El Salvador and the work that you do. 

A. I love so much about El Salvador, the volcanoes, the black sand beaches, the food! I also love that I have the opportunity to have a front row seat to see someone heal, and grow. I can see confidence and independence move into the lives of these women and that is truly an extraordinary thing to see. 

 

Q. Who is a hero to you or someone you look up to in your life? 
A.  I have a lot of heroes in my life in all different areas, but in this fight against human trafficking I must say that my sister-in-law Erica Chevalier has been a hero for me. She has cheered me on since I first even began to question how to get into this work, and she has been a constant voice of life and hope speaking into the work that I am doing. She organized a group of “Praying Aunties” that pray every single day for the women in our program and she always encourages me to keep moving forward, and that the work I am doing is worth the hard effort of facing the many obstacles. She also cares deeply for each woman that comes into our program, and she helps me to celebrate every small victory in the fight against human trafficking in El Salvador.

“The women in El Salvador have different lives because of Free The Girls, and I would love for FTG supporters to know we are all on the same team bringing this amazing opportunity to women in El Salvador and around the world. ”

 

Q. As someone who is 'on the ground' doing this work daily, what is something you'd like to tell supporters of Free The Girls? 

A. I would like FTG supporters to know that you are making a difference. It’s hard to see that when you don’t see faces or talk personally to the women in the programs. Your effort to organize bra drives, your donations toward shipping and program costs are so needed and so valuable. The women in El Salvador have different lives because of Free The Girls, and I would love for FTG supporters to know we are all on the same team bringing this amazing opportunity to women in El Salvador and around the world. 

 

Q. What would you tell a young person who's wanting to find a way to be involved in the fight against human trafficking? 

A.  I would tell them to go for it! I really didn’t know much about human trafficking until I met someone who had been affected by it. It was then that I began to learn all I could about human trafficking in my context. I think anyone interested in joining the fight should be a student of the context around them, learn all they can, and look for quality organizations making a difference in their area. Everyone can help in their own way! 

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”Everyone can help in their own way!”

 

If you'd like to get involved, we have our EXPORT FREEDOM campaign for El Salvador happening now.

You can sponsor a box a bras that will be shipped directly to a survivor in Mission to El Salvador's program - and she'll be able to make a safe and sustainable income for herself and her children. This makes a real difference and we'd love for you to partner! 

A big thanks to Danielle and her family + team in El Salvador! We're so honored and grateful to partner with Mission to El Salvador