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Spotlight Nonprofit: “Sewing” a new story for victims of sex trafficking

LatinaLista — In a 2007 report by the U.S. State Dept., it was found that between 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year. More than 70 percent are female and, according to a 2009 UN report, 20 percent of all trafficking victims are children.

The reasons why some women find themselves involved in sex trafficking are as varied as the women themselves — tricked by an acquaintance, needs money or drugs, etc. Yet, the main reason why most women stay victimized is because they feel they have nowhere to turn for support or how to make an honest living.

“No little girl grows up saying, ‘I want to be a prostitute'” so says one U.S.-based organization dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking.

With a mission — “To love people affected by the sex trade,” Rethreaded creates business opportunities for women coming out of addiction, violence, human trafficking, and prostitution. Since many of the victims are jailed and leave prison with felonies on their records, finding decent and safe work opportunities is hard. Rethreaded helps the women by gathering donated t-shirts which the women up-cycle into new products for sale.

From purses to wine bags to scarves and redesigned t-shirts, the women learn sewing skills to create a new future for themselves and “sew” a new story.

Yet, helping victims of sex trafficking doesn’t stop there for Rethreaded. The Jacksonville, FL-based non-profit also has a distribution center where they gather products made by sex trafficking victims from around the world. The products are sold at home parties.

The parties are used to educate people on the existence and horrors of human trafficking, as well as, give people an opportunity to show their support for the women coming out of the sex trade all over the world.

Profits from the home parties are put back into the T-shirt up-cycle company and every purchase helps former sex trafficking victims achieve a new sense of freedom and accomplishment.

We believe that together we can make an impact in our community of Jacksonville and in our world. We are a relational organization that believes when we take a risk, step out in faith and begin to think differently about our neighbors, all are transformed.

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