As Thanksgiving approaches, staff at our Half Moon Bay headquarters are gearing up for the holidays. We’re overwhelmed by conversations with supporters eager for ways to help this giving season. It’s the end of the year, and it’s been a big one. We’ve taken some time to reflect on 2013, and it turns out we have a lot to be thankful for.
FEBRUARY It started as a big idea. We’ve watched REBBL grow from its inception to an organic, healthy tonic that has direct impact in the fight against human trafficking. In February, REBBL began distribution in natural food retailers in Northern California; now you can buy REBBL in any Whole Foods Market in California.
APRIL Thailand Director Kru Nam cut the ribbon to commemorate the opening of the library at Not For Sale Thailand. When the local library turned our children away and refused them access to their resources, an outraged Kru Nam began dreaming of the day when she could provide these children with the resources they deserved. This year, that dream came true.
MAY Supporters like you joined us in fighting for survivors of sex trafficking in the red-light district in Amsterdam. As the demand for services grew, we were forced to put women on a waitlist to join our culinary training program. When we expressed this urgent need, you responded immediately; together we raised the money necessary to provide job skill training services to every woman on the list.
JULY Team Not For Sale spoke louder than ever this baseball season, with 35 Major League Baseball players fighting modern slavery with every game they played. Players like Brandon Belt of the San Francisco Giants gave powerful purpose to their performance that went beyond wins and losses. Not For Sale nights at stadiums across the country celebrated this partnership and raised funds and awareness in L.A., San Francisco, and Minneapolis.
AUGUST Not For Sale Thailand celebrated the installation of solar panels to work towards an environmentally sustainable children’s home. The solar panels will allow for energy independence during the day, which has a wealth of powerful implications, including the installation of a computer lab. With access to internet and electricity, these children will have a dynamic learning environment that most of the world’s children go without.
OCTOBER The 2013 Not For Sale Gala. Need we say more? Supporters from around the world gathered with a common goal to end slavery; it was bound to be a powerful night. Thai survivor Cha Fiew bowed on stage to thank supporters, a heart-stirring manifestation of our impact intimately shared with our supporters. An emotionally moved audience gave our friends from Thailand a standing ovation,there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
NOVEMBER Following organic certification, one of the Amazonian communities we work in received Fair Trade Certification for the production of Brazil nuts. This promises fair wages for the farmers, and we look forward to supporting them through the three years it will take to see the return on investment. We are working toward sustainability in small Amazonian communities in Peru, and it’s becoming a reality.
What a year it’s been. We are thrilled to have such tangible, impactful successes to reflect on. Everything we do is in partnership with our committed supporters; we couldn’t be more grateful for you. Thank you for standing with us to make 2013 a year to celebrate.