This blog is a departure from our regular anti-aging topics so that we can draw attention to a non-profit organization that some of our clients are heavily involved with, and that some of our staff members are becoming involved with as well. It's The Refuge, which is a long-term residential therapeutic community for girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking. It is a place where these girls can go to heal, and be helped in a variety of ways, from a place to call home, to on-site equine therapy, a charter school, and even a clinic.
We first heard about The Refuge within the last year from a long time client who filled Leslie in on this amazing organization, and we wanted to help in anyway we could. At that time, a quick way to help was to donate medical supplies. And most recently, another client, who is heavily involved with The Refuge, spoke at length with Iris about it this week, explaining The Refuge's mission and what they do. Iris has been interested in finding a place to volunteer, and this organization really felt like the right fit.
So you can see this organization speaks to us and we are extremely happy to help in any way, and grateful that we can! If you are interested in helping with us, take a look at their "List" of needed items and see if you are able to donate anything. Many of their residents arrive there with very few belongings, and they are often in need of many items.
They have their "List" divided into categories:
UT Charter School Needs
Activities and Entertainment
They specifically request that donated items be new with tags still on. If you would like to donate, you may drop your donation off at Body Tonic, and we will deliver them to The Refuge during one of their drop-off days in December.
To learn more about the Refuge, here's information from their website about why The Refuge is so incredibly needed:
The Refuge Ranch is a 21-building, $7.5 million, labor of love, nestled among the Bastrop County pine trees. Developed by The Refuge for DMST™ (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking), a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Refuge Ranch, is a long-term, residential, therapeutic community for 48 girls, minors through age 19, who have been rescued out of sex trafficking. Built from the ground up on 50 acres in a beautiful and restorative setting, The Refuge Ranch provides trauma-informed, holistic care for the girls on site, including: a University of Texas Charter School program, a medical clinic staffed by community partners and various therapeutic programs uniquely designed for the development of a child survivor.
The Refuge Ranch, with 48 beds, is the largest long-term, live-in rehabilitation facility for child survivors of sex trafficking in the United States. (See some recent photographs of The Refuge Ranch from last week.)
Here’s why The Refuge Ranch is needed:
Child sex trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world.
In the U.S. there was an 846% increase in reported child sex trafficking cases from 2010 to 2015.
There are currently 79,000 young adults and minors who have been sex trafficked in Texas.
Texas has the second most reported number of child sex trafficking cases in the U.S.
There are less than 600 beds available nationwide for child sex trafficking survivors, but we have over 13,000 animal shelters.
Prior to the opening of The Refuge Ranch, Texas only had 24 beds available for child survivors’ long term recovery from trauma.
Visit The Refuge Ranch website to learn more.