Free the Girls
Free The Girls is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides job opportunities for survivors of sex trafficking. We collect gently used bras and donate them to the women as starting inventory for their own business selling the bras.
Women we work with were sold into prostitution, often as children. Bras provide the following:
Second-hand clothing is a profitable market in many countries around the world. Bras are usually sought after items. Some of the girls in our program are making 3-5x the minimum wage in their community by selling bras!
Bras provide an opportunity for these women to work with other women, since they have a history of being abused and used by men.
Most of the women we work with were sold into prostitution as children, only 8-10 years old. Because their lives were stolen from them, they missed out on going to school and getting an education. Selling bras allows them to work as much or as little as their school schedule permits.
Once a program has been started with a safe house, it is designed to sustain itself. The women in our 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 in the marketplace. Revenue from inventory sales helps subsidize overseas program costs.
MINIMAL EFFECT ON LOCAL MARKETS
There is no doubt that second-hand clothing had an effect on local production of clothing in Africa in the past. However, researchers have shown that the current impact is far less than would be assumed.
Free The Girls is launching new pilot programs in 4 more locations in 2013.
There are many ways you can support this growth and help us reach more survivors—here are a few ideas:
- Share our Facebook page with your friends
- Send us a gently used bra or two
- Ask friends, family, or coworkers to donate bras
- Host a bra drive or fundraiser in your community
- Become a financial supporter
- Ask a local retailer to become a bra drop-off location
- Help connect us with corporations, foundations, churches and service organizations who believe in the cause and can help fund our growth
- Host a Free The Girls information table at a local anti-trafficking event
Click on the sections below to learn more about collecting bras; helping our partners; educating yourself about the cause; and international opportunities. Orcontact us to explore other volunteer opportunities!
Overseas Friends and Supporters:
If you are outside of North America and want to help Free The Girls, we have a number of ways for you to participate in what we do. We are a small organization, and don’t yet have the resources and staff to support collection centers for bras in Europe, Asia and Africa. Also, it doesn’t make sense to ship bras all the way to the United States–and we can’t accept donations shipped directly to Mozambique. But you can still help! We formed Free The Girls because we believe that it is possible for the average person to help fight trafficking. Here are some ideas about how to help us and the cause:
- Locate a local shelter for trafficking victims and find out what they need
- Spread the word about trafficking and Free The Girls on Facebook and Twitter
- Donate money so we can bring the project to other countries
- Buy a t-shirt from our online store
- Check out our website (see links below) for other great websites where you can learn about issues, and support the cause