WHO WE ARE
Giving Connection, a Portland based 501©3 non-profit organization, is a clearinghouse for community donations for sex trafficked survivors (ages 8-25). Donations to Giving Connection are delivered directly to the social service organizations and Portland police and detectives who provide safety, treatment and housing to young survivors.
As members of the Multnomah County Sex Trafficking Network, organizations that Giving Connection serves are: Department of Human Services, Child Welfare CSEC Unit, Morrison Family Services (SAGE), Janus Youth Services, Vancouver, LifeWorks NW, CSEC Unit, A Village for One (Anisa’s Place) and the Portland Police Bureau.
HOW WE STARTED
Giving Connection started as a volunteer group in July of 2013. The founding group of women were members of Dining For Women, a national giving circle that supports women’s and girl’s
projects around the world. After attending a meeting focused on a sex trafficking project in Cambodia, the member giving the presentation added that she was a youth lawyer and that she had two clients who had been taken into custody just that week and had been trafficked. We were stunned to learn that this was going on “in our own backyard” and decided we wanted to do something to help these children & youth.
We reached out to the Multnomah County Collaborative Effort to End Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). As a part of their outreach, they told us they needed a community group to coordinate support for survivors that would allow the advocates and agencies to focus on their work. That sounded like a perfect fit for us. We met with the advocates to get to know them as well as the needs of the survivors. This began a relationship that has continued for 9 years to date.
"At Harry's Mother, youth and staff alike frequently use the lap pads! Many youth have taken to using the lap pads during intake processes as well as care during case management meetings. Staff have also begun passing lap pads around during shift change check-ins. Folks describe them as calming and they create a sense of security."
-Sarah, Janus Youth