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The increased use of programs like Zoom and Facebook Live are helping keep friends and co-workers connected in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also were used by Convergence Resource Center (CRC) in place of the nonprofit’s annual fundraising dinner.
“While COVID-19 may have stopped a lot of businesses, it didn’t stop human trafficking or the work we’re doing to help women,” said Debbie Lassiter, D. Div., the nonprofit’s CEO and co-founder. “By taking our banquet online, we’ve made it possible for more people to learn about what we do and the lives we’re changing and assist us in helping more women overcome trauma and rebuild their lives.”
CRC, a faith-based organization that helps women rebuild their lives after incarceration and female survivors of human trafficking, conducted a five-day virtual telethon on Facebook between August 10-14. The half-hour live segments, titled “A Celebration of Changed Lives,” were recorded for later viewing and remain on CRC’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/conresctr) and on its website (https://www.convergenceresource.org/virtual-fundraiser-2020).
During the event, CRC highlighted the story of a woman whose life was changed through CRC programs. Each woman is called a “Work of ART” referring to CRC’s Avoid Recidivism Track that provides counseling and training to help women rebuild their lives and remain out of the justice system.
“We weren’t sure what to expect, but we saw that many people watched the videos after they were posted on Facebook,” said Carla McKiver, CRC’s co-founder and Chief Financial Officer. “One woman messaged us that she’s added Convergence Resource Center to her will after seeing one of the women’s stories.”
McKiver noted that the cancellation of the fundraising banquet could be a blessing in disguise.
“Tickets for our annual banquet cost $75 each. That ticket amount might be out of reach to many people who would like to support the work we’re doing, and we would be limited to how many people could attend,” she said. “With this virtual format, hundreds – even thousands of people – can still join us and make a donation through our Facebook page or our website.”
“We have become a leading service provider for human trafficking survivors and justice involved women, and our HEMAD campaign has transitioned into a movement which addresses the demand side of human trafficking. Looking into 2020 we are prepared to launch several new services that are poised to address gaps in services for human trafficking survivors and we need support from the community,” added Lassiter.
About Convergence Resource Center
Convergence Resource Center (CRC) is a faith-based nonprofit community service organization providing support for men and women rebuilding their lives after trauma with an emphasis on justice involved women and female survivors of human trafficking. It collaborates with more than 50 community service organizations locally and nationally through partnerships and membership in several human trafficking task forces. To learn more, call (414) 979-0591 or visit www.convergenceresource.org.