Dear Friends & Supporters,
Welcome Back to Fall! We missed you in August, but our team took some much needed down time to recharge from an intense spring and summer. For many, September is a time of exciting new beginnings and routines, as kids are back to school and we return to our regular work schedule. Here at FAIR Girls, our critical work with Survivors continues as we are gearing up for a busy start to our new fiscal year with several exciting projects in the works, including our Drop in Center expansion project and our “Back to School” social media campaign and webinar series to raise awareness, debunk myths and discuss trends related to human trafficking.
This September, more than ever, has me pausing to take a moment to reflect on and appreciate all that we have been through in Fiscal Year 20. Despite everything, I am so proud of our small but mighty Staff and Board and how they have risen to the challenges we have faced this fiscal year every step of the way, providing innovative solutions and systems to enable FAIR Girls to continue to serve trafficking survivors safely and responsibly. I look back on how we pivoted our annual in-person fundraiser to a virtual event and exceeded our best expectations in large part due to the creativity of our team and your kind generosity. I appreciate how we were able to provide real time solutions with our industry partners for survivors in need of a safe place to quarantine before transitioning to our Vida Home. I reflect back in awe on how we were able to reach and teach even more community members through moving our prevention education and training efforts online. I am inspired and hopeful about the progress FAIR Girls has already made on the action items set forth in our June statement regarding the systematic racial injustice, violence and civil unrest roiling our communities. As we look forward to the new beginnings of Fiscal Year 21, we will be working with our local law enforcement partners to expand our street outreach initiative, deepen our partnership with MPD’s Youth and Family Services Division, and train new recruits and veterans at the MPD Academy to ensure that victims of human trafficking are better identified, treated humanely and have access to the services they need. Indeed, we are positioned to be exactly where we need to be in the coming year – in the trenches trying to create positive change from within the systems that have historically criminalized, abused or ignored the survivors we work with.
We are also excited to highlight our FAIR Girls Volunteer Program this month. Volunteers are a critical part of sustaining our programs here at FAIR Girls! As many of us are mourning the loss of a hero and role model in Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we felt like it was important to highlight the inspiring and impactful things that we see volunteers in our communities doing every day to support, inspire and empower girls and young women survivors. We rely upon and appreciate the time and investment that all of our amazing volunteers dedicate to supporting our mission. We welcome supporters who are interested in deepening their investment to consider becoming a volunteer – there are so many different ways that you can get involved.
How can you let your light shine by sharing it with others? Please click here for more info. And I hope you take a moment to read below about supporters Lola Maraiyesa and Gabi Green and learn about why they have chosen to give back through volunteering and supporting FAIR Girls.
Armed with the reflection that we, like the Survivors we work with everyday, can not only survive but thrive even when the world throws us a devastating pandemic, civil unrest and economic hardship… I say Onward – Bring on Fiscal Year 20!
As always, we thank you for your generosity, kindness and continued support of FAIR Girls during these challenging and unprecedented times.
Erin B. Andrews
Executive Director, FAIR Girls