In recent years, Americans have grown increasingly aware of human trafficking – a modern day form of slavery. The victims of this crime suffer greatly – victims ranging from children to young teens and mature individuals, are sold into prostitution, hard labor, or both. Feeling hopeless, they can lose their sense of optimism and self worth.
Anti-human trafficking organizations and support networks have been created in response to the spread of human trafficking. Through the support these organizations provide many victims of this heinous crime have found solace and a fresh outlook on life. In turn, trafficking survivors have the opportunity to share their stories and join in the effort to save others.
One such advocacy organization is Dawn’s Place, a shelter in our area, – a sanctuary, really, – for women who have fallen victim to human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Their staff members provide these women with a home-like environment where they are accompanied in their transition back into society.
The Cabrini Action and Advocacy Coalition (CAAC), with its Cabrini Closet initiative, has worked to provide stylish, contemporary clothing for victims of human trafficking. Concerned and generous individuals have donated new and gently used clothing, household items and gift cards to CAAC to enable the Coalition to assist organizations in helping these victims to recover. Many victims of human trafficking, at the time they are rescued, have nothing but the clothes on their backs.
To enhance their ability to assist these shelters and sanctuaries, the Cabrini Action and Advocacy Coalition recently hosted a sale at Cabrini College, where Coalition members and volunteers sold donated designer purses, belts, shoes, scarves, and jewelry to help fund CAAC’s efforts.
The CAAC chairperson and sale coordinator, Karol Brewer, with the help of her coalition members Cassie Woestman and Ruby Remley, said that the funds raised were beyond their expectations. They were grateful that so many people, who had no particular affiliation to the Coalition or to the College, attended the sale. While they were on campus, visitors asked members enjoyed being able to educate others on the issue, as well as their work, all while raising money to continue their efforts.
Since the Cabrini Closet’s resources are often called upon in times of emergencies, Karol says it is “a good feeling to [be able to] fulfill those needs right away.” CAAC will donate a a portion of the sale’s proceeds to the women’s shelter Dawn’s Place.