Girls’ Night Out!

20 Sep

Two days ago I woke up to a Breaking News article about the bust of a sex slavery ring in Orlando, FL. Learning about the forced prostitution going on in my own “backyard” didn’t exactly surprise me yet I found myself shocked that this sort of thing could be happening… anywhere! Several years into my career of being a human rights activist and I still cannot wrap my brain around how someone could torture another person like that. Every single time I hear about an individual being enslaved I am outraged and it my greatest passion to shed light on this issue and help raise up an army of abolitionists to join me in this fight to end modern slavery.

Last Thursday, Sept 11th, I was able to do just that. AddressSlavery hosted our fist Girls’ Night Out to raise funds and awareness for the eradication of human trafficking and bonded labor. The event was a great success! 30+ women came with fashionable yet gently-used clothes & accessories to donate and a willingness to learn about modern slavery. After sipping some yummy wine, gnashing on delicious appetizers, catching up with old friends and making new ones, I showed a short documentary about the problem of human trafficking in Tampa, FL (which has the 2nd highest trafficking rate in the US).

AddressSlavery's Sept 11th "Celebrate Freedom" Girls' Night Out event

AddressSlavery’s Sept 11th “Celebrate Freedom” Girls’ Night Out event

The documentary showcased how living in dire poverty entraps individuals and puts them at high risk of being trafficked. After the video, I spoke about what GHNI is doing by helping impoverished communities become self-sustainable so that they would not be lured into slavery by people preying on their desperation. I explained how AddressSlavery is looking to help GHNI by raising funds (through the sale of gently-used items) for a grant that will be given annually to a group of individuals seeking to end the cycle of slavery in their community. We ended the night by raffling off several great prizes that were donated by compassionate local businesses and individuals.

In fact, I’d like to take a moment to thank each of them for their tremendous contribution that helped raise $413 for the cause (and that doesn’t even include what will be raised by the sale of those awesome gently-used clothing & accessories that were donated)! We are so grateful for Tuni on Park Ave for their generous $100 gift certificate, the very altruistic Maria at Lambs Eat Ivy for offering $100 towards salon services, The Bar Method for graciously donating $75 worth of classes, Aveda for contributing $80 worth of awesome hair and skin-care products, Red Carpet Boutique for the stunning Pia Gladys Percy gown that they donated, Warrior One Yoga for the sought-after 10 Class Package they gave, A very special Fairy Godmother/Disney employee who selflessly donated 2 Park Hopper passes, and Sleeping Moon Café (my favorite neighborhood indie coffee shop) for hosting the event at a fraction of the cost! Also, a huge Thank You to the volunteers who gave their time to help make Girls Night Out a huge success!

I am crazy excited to see that we have over a half of a grand already in the bank for AddressSlavery’s first grant (to be chosen in late spring/early summer 2015) and we are just getting started! With all of the awesome items that have been donated (Coach purses galore for anyone who is interested), we have thousands of dollars worth of garments and accessories just waiting to be sold! I’m in the process of seeking volunteers to help with photography and online sales, as well as registering for vendor spaces where AddressSlavery can sell our inventory. Please let me know if you have any leads on either.

Building a business is not something that I have ever dreamt of doing and still to this day I’m not convinced that I have the entrepreneurial ability required for such an endeavor but if it means saving people from slavery, I will die trying. Thank you all SO much for your support along the way!!!

PS. In my last post I mentioned that we had yet to sell an item. Well, I want to proudly announce that since then we have sold six items! I feel the ball rolling and can’t wait to see where it takes us!!

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