Duneland Community Church Makes a Global Change through Free the Girls

ftg-duneland-community-churchInternational nonprofit organization called Free The Girls stands by these words. Free the Girls works to provide jobs to women rescued from human trafficking in developing countries by helping them set up micro enterprises selling bras. Bras are collected and packaged and then shipped to developing countries for struggling women to sell. Through the distribution of bras, Free the Girls strives to educate people and organizations about the scourge of human trafficking worldwide.

Believe it or not, Duneland Community Church in Chesterton serves as the home of Free the Girls’ inventory operations. The church receives roughly 10,000 bras from across North America on a monthly basis. Every month church members and volunteers sort and ship these donations throughout the world. The bras reach areas such as Mozambique, Uganda, and El Salvador. Greg Arthur, the church’s pastor, serves on the board of directors for Free The Girls and believed that taking on inventory operations was one way to display their commitment to fighting human trafficking. The church offers volunteer opportunities to everyone and anyone during their monthly “Packing Party.”

What makes Free the Girls such a unique nonprofit is that it addresses a global issue in a creative manner. The organization accepts new and gently used bras, which appeals to a large target audience. More often than not women have bras they don’t even wear anymore, and donating them provides women with the opportunity to get rid of them while helping a survivor of human trafficking. Institutions and groups around the country host bra collection drives in attempts to garner donations efficiently.

Additionally, it provides women with a constructive outlet to direct their time and energy. Bras provide an opportunity for the women to work exclusively with other women, an important factor for women who have a history of being abused and used by men. The women can earn as much as three to five times the minimum wage in their community by selling bras, making it a steady source of income.

On October 2, Duneland Community Church welcomed Free The Girls Co-Founder and Global Director, Dave Terpstra. Terpstra shared a narrative of his experiences working with the women that Free the Girls supports and how the work of volunteers truly does impact their lives. He also revealed the story of what inspired the creation of Free the Girls and other ways citizens can end this worldwide issue.

If you are interested in joining the fight against human trafficking and volunteering with Free the Girls, please contact Free the Girls Inventory Manager Pam Gumns at pam@freethegirls.org.