Earrings, scarves, and handbags are up for sale in the Dauphin County home of Deford Davis, all to support the nonprofit Women At Risk International.
“We are a nonprofit helping women, children, men around the world who are at risk of being trafficked, ” Davis said.
Trafficking has also happened in the Midstate.
“It’s not just in Thailand. That’s what was an eye-opener to me. Harrisburg. Hershey. Wow, I’m just learning a lot,” Cookie Clinton of Hershey said.
The pop-up boutique has a purpose: not only to spread awareness but to help survivors as they recover.
“Volunteers, we sell products made by them or made in support of them,” Davis said.
Women At Risk International mails information on human trafficking along with the merchandise.
“They will send you boxes of pretty things like we have here. You invite your friends,” Davis said.
On the back of each Women at Risk tag, you can tell where the item was made. Many come from the United States. What is not sold gets sent back in prepaid boxes along with the money raised. Just how much?
“Ninety percent,” Davis said.
Brenda Hollenbach also volunteers for Women at Risk International.
“I’ve had people say why don’t you just give a donation. It would save you a lot of work. But when you think about a woman whose life has been anything but beautiful creating something beautiful and then knowing someone wanted to buy it, it’s so valuable to them,” Hollenback said.
“What it means to me is not only am I empowering the women but telling their story, because when I wear what they’ve made them, I’m able to tell the story to someone else. It repurposes the gift,” said Julie Walker, of Wellsville.
For more information on how to volunteer or to visit a pop-up boutique, visit warinternational.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.