Hello, Everyone, and Happy 2020!
Last year we were able to accomplish some truly incredible things with your help and support, and this year we are looking forward to helping even more survivors of trafficking! One piece of that initiative for this year is through Give Big Green Bay, a 24-hour day of giving from February 18th at noon to February 19th at noon. We are incredibly excited to have this opportunity and to show the community how much of an impact we can all make in the lives of survivors of trafficking!
Before we delve into Give Big Green Bay and what that means for the organization and our community, we wanted to discuss a little bit more of what Eye Heart World does and why it is so important for the Green Bay community.
Eye Heart World was established in 2010, which means this year is our 10th (!!!) anniversary! So, what have we accomplished in those 10 years? Eye Heart World began as a relatively small operation aimed at providing emergency response bags to survivors of sex trafficking. Our founders, Brian & Season Russo, saw a need in their community, had met women who had been trafficked, and wanted to do something tangible and helpful. Those response bags had everything a survivor might need access to in the moment they were recovered – toiletries, a change of clothes, and other personal care products.
But what happened to the women after they had been recovered? Brian & Season saw another need, and that was for support services for survivors, including things like trauma-informed therapy and residential care. From that question (and it’s answer!) Eye Heart World has grown into what it is today – we fight sex trafficking through awareness, prevention, and recovery.
Just to break that out for a moment, we now, in 2020, offer recovery services that look very much like what we wanted survivors to have in 2010. We have a residential facility (called the Rose Home) that serves survivors 18 and up as they recover from the life of trafficking. The program is 10-12 months and, during that time, our residents experience trauma-informed therapy, life skills training (like grocery shopping, budgeting, selfcare, etc), and workforce development (resumes, GED, job placement). By the time women leave our program, they have the tools and skills to be healthy, independent adults. We also still offer emergency intervention services, although now it’s expanded beyond the emergency response bag (though we still do those!) to emergency intervention and a drop-in center (called the Rose Center) in Mobile, AL. – we have trained staff who meet the women in their moment of crisis and help them in their moment of need.
The final components of what we offer are awareness and prevention trainings. Prevention trainings are designed specifically for people 12-14 (the average age of entry into the life) and older and teach skills to help our teens from being trafficked in the first place. Our vision for our community is to help build a community where sex trafficking cannot thrive, and that means helping prevent some people from becoming victims in the first place. That final piece, awareness training, is for community members who interact with survivors professionally (medical fields, law enforcement), and for members like you, who just want to learn more about trafficking and how to prevent it.
One of the questions that we sometimes get is: “Is human trafficking really a problem in my state?”
While the answer can be made more nuanced, the short answer is “yes”. Human trafficking is an issue that touches every state and reaches into every community. The survivors are all around us. Using Wisconsin as an example, human trafficking has been identified in all 72 counties; the problem isn’t isolated to one county or one city, it is everywhere. It is an honor to have our headquarters in the Green Bay area and we look forward to your support in continuing to fight human trafficking in our community.
"Human trafficking has been identified in all 72 counties in Wisconsin."
That brings us, finally, to Give Big Green Bay. We are so thankful to be part of Give Big Green Bay this year, with special thanks to the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and Green Bay Packers Give Back. What the event essentially entails is that – from noon on February 18th to noon on February 19th – there will be a 24 hour “day of giving” during which your contributions can go even farther, thanks to a proportional match by Green Bay Packers Give Back! Give Big Green Bay is an amazing way to support an organization and a cause that you care about and ensure that your donation goes as far as possible, to make as much impact as possible. We hope that you’ll join us on February 18th and 19th as we raise funds to fight sex trafficking in our community and make 2020 an even more incredible year than 2019!
Please visit our Give Big Green Bay page at https://www.givebiggreenbay.org/organizations/eye-heart-world and see the impact that you could make!
If you have any questions prior to the event date, please email Megan Dickman-Renard at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit eyeheartworld.org