If you're looking for ways to really get involved in the fight against human trafficking, first let us say a heartfelt THANK YOU. There are far too few people who are willing to join the battle and fight for freedom in this dark place.
As you begin to think about ways you can get involved, here are some specific things you can do NOW to help My Refuge City care for real victims of exploitation, human trafficking, or other urgent crises in North Carolina.
1. Pack a "Go Bag".
Rescues happen 24/7 and we rarely have advance notice. Usually it's a phone call on the hotline that starts the process and our first responders pick up and go, whether it's 2:00 PM or 2:00 AM. Sometimes we arrive on scene and find the victim with literally nothing except the clothes on her back. That's why we try to keep "Go Bags" on hand at all times. Our first responders can grab one of these bags and know they have the essentials for the first 24 hours of care. To donate a "Go Bag", you should buy a duffle bag or backpack and fill it with the following items:
2. Provide Treat Bags for Our Strip Club Outreach
We have a team of ladies who make biweekly visits to North Carolina strip clubs. We typically spend around 30 minutes to an hour in the dressing room, talking to the girls and identifying any needs that we can meet for them. This is usually a time to just get to know them and let them know we are available if they ever need emergency help. While not all entertainers at strip clubs are involved in human trafficking, we have found that this is often an entryway and pimps target these clubs in an effort to recruit new girls. That's why we believe these visits are vital for both prevention and to help girls leave the industry to escape this risk.
During these visits, we try to take in treat bags of goodies for all of the dancers, house moms, managers, and bartenders. We need around 30 treat bags for each visit. Here are some suggested items that can be placed in treat bags:
3. Volunteer with My Refuge City.
We could not do the work we are involved in without a strong army of volunteers. We are currently looking for men and women to serve on our first responder team to help us during urgent rescues. We also have openings for women who wish to serve with our strip club outreach. All volunteers at My Refuge City must go through one of our quarterly training sessions and complete a full criminal background check. Email us to learn more about volunteering.
4. Help Us Make Local Connections.
We are trying to network with businesses, churches, and other nonprofits in North Carolina who could potentially offer services or meet physical needs for our victims. Currently, we are seeking hotels who would partner with us during rescues to offer safe lodging in a discrete, cost effective way.
5. Host a Fundraiser.
Would you be willing to head up a fundraiser for My Refuge City? We would love to provide you with more details about our organization and hear your ideas. Email us to start the conversation.
6. Raise Awareness.
One of the biggest challenges we face is helping the community see human trafficking as a real problem. Most wrongly assume that it doesn't happen in North Carolina, yet we see it every single day. We would love to come share with your church, business, or group of friends about what human trafficking looks like in NC and how you can make a difference. You can request trainings or a guest speaker by contacting us here.
7. Meet the BIG Needs.
If your heart is moved to do something really big to help victims in NC, we have a handful of big needs...