How It Began
In 2013, we asked local advocates if providing hygiene products to youth trafficking survivors would be helpful. All responded that they had what they needed. We wanted to help!
Fast forward to 2018, The team realized that there was a disconnect and the hygiene effort were no longer active. We also received news that there were hygiene products that were left unused. We could use this inventory to distribute to our survivors and build Survivor Bags.
The very next week we were contacted to support a local service project regarding our Survivor bags . We were asked to build 100 bags for young people in Portland and it sparked the Surviror Hope Bags!
"Everyone who has received a bag is very thankful! The products are nice and it goes a long way when youth don't have much access to in-person services where they could have picked up hygiene in the past."
"When kids are experiencing exploitation in the street, they look forward to having products they like and are not from the dollar store."
"Your donations are heartfelt and appreciated."
-Robin Miller, Janus Youth
“These youth are always grateful for any support. Even if there are some things they don’t need, it is just the fact that someone cares enough to put it together and thought of them. Really, they believe they have been forgotten, so, any little thing makes a huge difference.”
Cory Grose Psy.D., Program Director/Licensed Psychologist, Lifeworks Northwest
"We are so very grateful for the donations of gift cards and survivor bags. We have used the gift cards to feed youth who came back from on the run and used the survivor bags to engage youth who were in danger of being trafficked, getting them out of dangerous situations."
One youth showed up to the office bored and lonely and we gave him a survivor bag and a gift card to get dinner at Olive Garden. He said he thought it was so cool that someone cared enough to donate.
Another youth was a girl on the run and with her street family and a CPS worker gave her the bag. She was grateful for some toiletries and masks as she was in need.
Another youth has been on the run and we used the gift cards to ensure her safety. She was grateful for a hot meal.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!"
-Michelle Hilbert, DHS
What is in the Survivor
When the youth come off the street, they carry nothing with them. There is a great need for individual bags of toiletry items for each and every survivor. We want to help them get off to a “fresh start” and also know that the community has not forgotten them. So, working with the staff at NCMEC and the advocates at our local agencies, we developed a list of items to go into each bag including hygiene products for males, females and transgender, appropriate snacks for nourishment, a journal and a hand written note from volunteers who assemble the bags. The note says, “This Hope Bag was assembled by volunteers with some basic items, just for you. Keep your head up. You are not alone. You are not forgotten.”
See separate checklist of items with sizes, and sources for all products, as well as, for the bags that hold everything.