Designed For Joy (DFJ) is a leader in the fight against human trafficking, partnering with A21’s Walk for Freedom, The Salvation Army’s Project FIGHT and Shield NC to deliver hope and help to victims of this modern-day slavery right here in Raleigh. This issue continues to persist in disguise around our hotels, tattoo parlors, truck stops, night clubs and more. So many are unaware of the warning signs, or even definition, of twenty-first-century human trafficking. This is why DFJ sent volunteers to give education, outreach, and supplies to those fighting and facing this hidden menace.
The mission started Thursday, October 17th, with 12 DFJ volunteers handing out Kind bars at downtown Raleigh bus stations and within Moore Square. The bars provided clear and discrete information taped to their label about helplines and warning signs for any person, or someone they know, that is caught in human trafficking. Friday consisted of revamping, painting, and redecorating the Project FIGHT housing for trafficking survivors. With $5,000 raised in gifts and donations, DFJ was able to turn a shelter into a home.
Elizabeth Hunter, Coordinator for Project FIGHT commented, “Project FIGHT is blessed to partner with DFJ every day, but especially on their recent local mission trip. The team poured so much love into redesigning the healing space for our survivors. By the end of the weekend, each of our survivors walked away feeling seen, valued, loved and important – something that many of our survivors haven’t felt for years.”
Volunteers also served dinner for The Women’s Center Friday night and took leftovers, along with toiletries and basic sanitary items, out into the city for direct service to known trafficking hot spots. Finally, Saturday saw volunteers participating in the A21 Walk for Freedom with
180 other activists. The trip culminated in DFJ’s outreach event Saturday evening, designed to lift up trafficking survivors by providing dinner, childcare, speakers, education and options for help.
Cary Heise, founder and director of DFJ emphasized, “Not all of our artisans have stories of trafficking, but we use our platform to bring awareness. We often hold rescue as the most important piece of trafficking, but awareness, outreach, and recovery are all vital pieces to ending modern-day slavery or human trafficking – both sex and labor.”
All of this was made possible thanks to the devotion and persistence of DFJ’s volunteers, as well as the supportive and collaborative partnerships that allow for more broad and meaningful impact.
Designed For Joy is a 501(c)(3)nonprofit based in Raleigh N.C. that provides transitional work experience for women coming from trafficking, homelessness, time in prison, overcoming addiction or other vulnerable situations. DFJ is providing living wage work hours, building confidence and refreshing resumes to launch equipped women into the marketplace. To date, DFJ has hired 33 artisans and paid over 3,000 living wage hours.
Inspired to expand their mission, DFJ also fosters partnerships with anti-trafficking organizations to help fight human trafficking at home and across the south.
For more information about DFJ’s mission or partnerships, please feel free to contact Alan Buck at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (919) 278-7258.