Community First Credit Union Gives Human Trafficking Victims Support to Start Over | Business
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. – Community First Credit Union awarded a $1,000 Investing in You grant to Rethreaded, a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping women victims of the sex trade industry restart their lives economically and emotionally. The grant will be used to support the agency’s T-shirt recycling business, which employs women who are emerging from lives of addiction, violence, human trafficking and prostitution.
Rethreaded collects donated T-shirts and teaches women to recycle them into new products, including handbags, scarves, and rugs. The agency sells these items, along with other products made by women all over the world, through home parties that not only raise money to reinvest in the project, but also help educate others on the horrors of human trafficking. The $1,000 grant will help the organization purchase a new sewing machine and sewing supplies.
“One of Rethreaded’s core philosophies is freedom through business,” said agency director, Kristin Keen. “By employing these women, and teaching them a viable trade in a supportive, non-judgmental environment, we’re helping them heal and realize how much potential their lives hold.”
“The women who Rethreaded supports have been through unimaginable hardship,” said John Hirabayashi, CEO of Community First Credit Union. “As a financial institution, it is an honor to support them in their efforts to become economically independent,” Hirabayashi said.
Rethreaded is the third winner of a total of six grants that are available through the 2012 Investing in You campaign. The initiative launched in April, inviting anyone with an idea to make the First Coast a better place to participate. The credit union awards $1,000 every two weeks for 90 days, with the last winner being chosen July 13. Semi-finalists are chosen based on which ideas received the most “likes,” with a panel selecting the winners that will receive grant funding from Community First. Entries for the remaining grants can be submitted through Community First’s Facebook page.