Finding Freedom: Triumph over Trafficking

Every year millions of young women all over the world are being trafficked. Now, a Michiana nonprofit is offering exploited women a way out.

In the spirit of giving this holiday season, we are introducing you to a very special non-profit with roots in Michiana called Starfish Project. It's a jewelry company that provides freedom, independence and hope to countless girls and women who've been exploited by human trafficking. 

Starfish Project was founded 17 years ago by a Goshen woman. Jenny McGee grew up in Goshen, graduated from Bethel University, studied abroad, fell in love with Asia and launched Starfish Project around a dining room table. It has exploded ever since.

Today, she focuses on helping women make the brave escape from the brothels.

Once a woman decides to leave and joins the Starfish mission, she's given a safe place to live, access to trauma specialists, a care team, an individualized growth plan and a job making jewelry. Eventually, women at Starfish Project begin to study various pathways. Many come into the program with just a second-grade education level. They end up excelling though and work their way up to high-level positions within the Starfish organization as photographers, accountants or graphic designers.

All of the jewelry at Starfish Project is handmade by the women.

It's sent to a warehouse in Goshen where volunteers sort, pack and ship orders worldwide. The organization depends on those volunteers. And it needs sales to pay for the cost of caring for each of the women in its program.    

For the first time ever, Starfish Project has a waitlist. Women are currently waiting to leave the brothels.

Starfish needs to sell more jewelry to help cover the cost of their care before they can take them in.

If you would like to volunteer your time this holiday or in the future, send an email to this address: [email protected]

Visit www.starfishproject.com to learn more or take part in their holiday Freedom Campaign.

Their goal is to get 10 girls off the waitlist this holiday.


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