Photo / Real Escape from the Sex Trade
The city of Seattle is the nation’s third largest center for human trafficking, a more $30 billion global industry. With Washington’s proximity to the Canadian border, abundance of ports and vast rural areas, trafficking is a critical topic for our region. That’s why Social Venture Kids members Rumi, Zoe, Eli, Kendall, Jackson, Liddy and Emma decided last fall to support organizations providing vital services to this marginalized population.
Social Venture Kids (SVK) members did research, raised money, invited and reviewed grant proposals, visited local nonprofits and ultimately gave $6,500 in grants to two organizations that provide a haven to victims of sexual exploitation and educational programs to teenagers in our area. Learn more about the organizations they funded below.
Real Escape from the Sex Trade
Real Escape from the Sex Trade (REST) envisions a community free from sexual exploitation and one that is inhospitable to trafficking. The organization provides programs that promote pathways to freedom, safety and hope for women and girls victimized by the sex trade.
SVK awarded REST a $5,500 grant to help fund their recently opened Emergency Receiving Center where victims can access emergency shelter and drop-in services, as well as 24/7 crisis intervention support via the REST Hotline for those seeking a safe place to escape their trafficker or exit the sex trade.
The center provides case managers to help survivors stabilize and search for long-term housing. It also hosts weekly survivor support groups, healing art workshops, life skills classes, medical consultation, chemical dependency support groups and dinners.
Seattle Against Slavery
Seattle Against Slavery (SAS) mobilizes our community in the fight against human trafficking through education, advocacy, and collaboration with local and national partners. Their work empowers young people in our area to become leaders in preventing sex and labor trafficking.
SVK awarded the organization $1,000 to support Trafficking Prevention for Schools, a program aimed at delivering human trafficking prevention curriculum to high school students in King County.
The course leverages both curriculum designed by the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation and input from local service providers and survivors. SAS plans to expand the program to all 80,000+ high school students throughout King County within four years, eliminating youth vulnerability and ending sexual exploitation before it starts.
Social Venture Kids (SVK) has given more than $150,000 in grants since 2000 to organizations focused on a range of issues such as literacy, mental illness, domestic violence, child abuse, teen depression and suicide, quality childcare and the environment.
If you know of a teen who is interested in giving back, or looking to complete their community service requirement, SVK could be a great fit! Besides the 30-50 community service hours, SVK provides the opportunity for teens to participate in a complete grantmaking cycle, collaborate with their peers to complete projects, interact meaningfully to reach consensus, and lead their peers in activities.
The SVK program begins again in September and SVK members meet twice a month throughout the school year. For more information or to get your family involved, email Ben Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.