Awareness around sex trafficking is rising around the world. As this movement grows, people have been asking us, “What can I do to help survivors of sex trafficking?”
Hearing this question warms our hearts. Every person has a role to play in this fight. Every person can know the signs of sex trafficking and be prepared to step in. Every person can get involved by supporting a survivor aftercare organization like Uncaged. These are concrete steps that every person who wants to heal survivors of sex trafficking can take!
Beyond these ideas, we have seen that God has already given individual people talents that can help to heal survivors. Sometimes, they hide in plain sight. Hobbies that seem ordinary can be extraordinarily powerful for unlocking transformation!
One of our donors, who we will call “Gigi,” heard about Uncaged from a longtime family friend. When she learned about the horrors of sex trafficking, she immediately knew she wanted to take action. She got involved supporting Uncaged. Then, she wanted to go deeper. At first, she didn’t know how.
“I’m a retired executive from the corporate world,” she says, “I was thinking to myself, ‘what can I do for these people.’”
All the while, she was creating beautiful greeting cards in her free time. Years earlier, Gigi entered a card-making shop and was fascinated by the intricate paper designs on display. She picked up a multi-layered, embossed nutcracker card and inspected it wonderingly. Soon after, she signed up for a class to learn how to make that same card.
“I made a dozen of those cards,” Gigi laughs. “I realized that paper made me happy.”
Gigi decided to make cards with words of encouragement for survivors. Survivors have often received few tokens of affection in their lives. These beautiful cards were designed to brighten their days and give hope. She even took it upon herself to translate the messages into survivors’ languages!
Then, Gigi took it a step further. “I heard Kim and the trauma therapy team start talking about art therapy. They were saying that even the act of working with your hands, of doing creative activities, could rewire some of the trauma for survivors and give them relief.”
The idea struck: what if Gigi could create card-making kits for survivors to use as art therapy materials? She reached out to us to confirm it. This tactile activity would be perfect for the trauma-therapy program.
Now, Gigi has created dozens of card-making kits for survivors as part of her “Hey Beautiful” series. Each kit contains the card design, the materials for creating it, and step by step instructions for how to bring the card to life. The cards contain messages of hope and encouragement for survivors in their own languages. The cards range from basic styles to exquisite and finely detailed pieces.
“I love knowing that survivors make these and can feel proud of themselves,” Gigi shares. “On a personal level, it makes me feel even more connected to these courageous women and girls. Cards are about reaching out to people and touching them. In today’s world, reaching out to a person with something you’ve made is one of the most powerful things in the world.”
Gigi firmly believes everyone has a talent to bring to anti-trafficking work.
“I really believe that we all have a chance to be a part of this movement in different ways,” she states. “Everybody has something that they’re interested in that could be helpful to survivors. We take so many things for granted that might be new and wonderful to a survivor.”
Together, we are unlocking transformation for thousands of survivors. All it takes is people like you and Gigi combining our gifts and determination to be the key to freedom!