Donate a Bra and Give a Former Slave a Job: “Free the Girls” Yoga Benefit

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On Saturday, June 15th, the Gooddess Project – WV will sponsor a fundraiser for Free the Girls, an non-profit organization committed to providing real jobs and real opportunities for trafficking survivors.

Free the Girls was launched in August 2010, and to date has collected over 80,000 gently used bras from women all over the world. In Spring 2011, working alongside their first safe house partner, Project Purpose, they launched a pilot program in Mozambique, Africa.

The results of the pilot program were very promising—the women made 3-5x minimum wage selling bras. In February 2012, Free the Girls was 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, the organization shipped 32,000 bras to Mozambique in July 2012. Since the bras arrived, Free the Girls has been able to replicate the results of their successful pilot program and add more women to the program, for a current total of 20. The women sell between 100-500 bras each per month.

THE PROBLEM?
Currently 27 million men, women and children are being held as slaves around the world—more today than in any other time in history. 80% of those slaves are women and girls. There are a number of amazing organizations that are helping to rescue these women out of a life of prostitution, but what happens after they are rescued? Many safe houses and aftercare facilities are doing great work in providing comprehensive rehabilitation and educational opportunities to survivors, but often their resources are limited.

THE SOLUTION
By partnering with safe houses and after-care facilities, Free the Girls provides an opportunity for women rescued from sex trafficking to earn a living selling second-hand clothing while going to school, getting healthy, and caring for their families. Selling clothes allows them to work as much or as little as their school schedule permits. The women in this program receive their starting inventory as a donation, and are then able to buy additional inventory from Free the Girls for below wholesale value to help maintain their competitive edge on the marketplace. Revenue from inventory sales helps subsidize overseas program costs.

WHY BRAS?
Let’s face it, ladies: the back of your underwear drawer is most likely a graveyard of bras you don’t wear anymore or that never fit right in the first place. By contrast, second-hand clothing is a profitable market in many countries around the world. Bras are sought after items. Some of the girls in this program are making 5x the minimum wage in their community by selling bras! And even better, bras provide an opportunity for these women to work with other women, since they have a history of being abused and used by men.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
Grap a gently used bra (or two) and bring them to Jack Roberts Park – First Ward on Saturday, June 15th at 10:00am. Join Bliss yoga teacher Stephanie Hughes at 10:30 for some yoga, and stay around a bit afterward for light refreshments. In the event of rain, or inclement weather, meet us at BlissBlissBliss rather than the park.

CAN’T MAKE IT ON THE 15TH?
No worries! You can drop your gently used bras off at BlissBlissBliss at anytime!

For more information about this event, or the Goddess Project, contact Britt: 304-319-1660 or Terra: 304-376-7157.