Using Causes to fundraise and change the lives of girls
Posted Jul 29, 2011 by Sydney Fleischer
Our post today comes from Colette Bercu, the CEO/founder of Free for Life International. Free for Life has had great success using Causes to fundraise and Colette is here to tell us her story and how these funds are changing the lives of human trafficking victims throughout the world.
Six years ago, I saw a television show documenting a young girl being purchased as a slave. That show changed my life, and Free for Life International was born. Our purpose is to partner with shelters and individuals around the globe to meet the needs of trafficking survivors through financial, emotional and spiritual support. Most of these shelters only have enough money to meet the basic needs of trafficking victims, and have little left over for higher education, therapeutic classes or special skills training. That’s where we come in. Since 2005, we have had the privilege to work with amazing heroes in five countries, getting our message out though our website, Twitter and Causes. Through Causes, we’ve been able to raise funds that would not otherwise have been available.
Traffickers sell the same product all over the world, HOPE. They give their victims the hope of love, hope of a job, hope of a better life, hope to help their family and hope of education. Those hopes are soon dashed when trafficking victims find out that they have been sold to brothels, brokers, listed online in the same way as a piece of furniture, or forced to sell themselves on the streets day after day. To the trafficker, a girl is not a person but a commodity; their bodies are simply business. Traffickers set out to systematically break a girl down, body, mind and spirit, until hope is just a distant memory.
But hope is never lost. Hope stands patiently waiting as girls are rescued and find their way into the loving arms of people who see them as the precious gems they are.
Last November, I wanted to start raising money for scholarships for the girls we work with. I turned to Causes to create a Fundraising Project, because I knew that this tool, in combination with our Causes community, would give Free for Life International the incredible opportunity to raise awareness for challenges facing the girls we work with.
So far, every dime for the scholarship fund has been raised through Causes. Since November, we have raised almost $15,000. We’ve benefited from an outpouring of support through Causes Wishes, and generous donations to our Cause and Fundraising Project. This money has already given four young women the opportunity to have a better future. One of the girls enrolled in beauty school, another will be pursuing a career in dance through classes, and two will be attending the best school in Nicaragua for children with learning disabilities.
None of this would have been possible without the opportunity to launch this campaign on Causes. Through the Free for Life Scholarship fund and our Causes page, dreams will continue to become reality. Thank you all so much for your support and love for girls who have gone through so much. Together we can ensure they all have a brighter future.