At church the other day, a woman approached me and asked if I would consider making quilts for a shelter she supports. Actually, she is the chair of what is called the Emerson (our church) Abolitionists, and they are fighting modern-day slavery as it occurs in the form of human trafficking. The shelter, called Freedom Place, helps those who have been victims of sex trafficking.
As I understand it, Houston has more human trafficking than any other major US city. Perhaps it's our proximity to Mexico and Latin America, but regardless of the reason, it's a shame and a crime, and it has to be stopped.
The shelter, she said, is looking for lap quilts for females. Great, I thought. I make a lot of quilts for kids -- I actually turned in four Project Linus quilts at Quiltworks last week where, you'll be proud to hear, I didn't buy anything but thread (although I got a vicarious kick out of the purchases made by my friend and, of course, since I'm sewing a quilt from her fabric I get to enjoy every inch of it) -- so it will be fun to make something for women instead.
I'm still trying to get my head around what I learned next. This shelter is for girls who have been sex slaves. They range in age from 10 to 17.
As young as 10 years old. Can you imagine? It's difficult to even think about without feeling more than a little sick. When my own daughter was that age she was so innocent, collecting Beanie Babies and reading American Girl books. At 17, she was a happy, normal teenager with so much to look forward to ... not a horrific past to try to deal with.
Two other women at church have already made two quilts each, so I have some catching up to do.
It's the only way I have to give these poor girls a hug.
If you'd like to learn more, here's a link: http://www.freedomplaceus.org/site/freedom/home.html