Last week we said “farewell” to 2015 and “welcome” to 2016 by shipping nearly nearly 2,300 new t-shirts out to 95 California organizations that help sexual assault victims, as well as commercially sexually exploited children and human sexual trafficking victims. The t-shirts were donated by two San Francisco Bay Area companies, Greenlight Apparel and Reva Wear.
“With the help of about two dozen fabulous volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 466 and Cornerstone Research we successfully shipped 95 boxes of brand new t-shirts to SART facilities, rape crisis centers, safe houses, and shelters across the state,” said Executive Director Lisa Blanchard. “We can’t thank Greenlight Apparel and Reva Wear enough for their generous donation. Those shirts are going to help 2,280 people feel like someone cares after experiencing a terrible trauma.”
Greenlight Apparel, headquartered in Fremont, manufactures sports apparel clothing with an emphasis on social responsibility; it does not use sweatshop labor and focuses on environmental sustainability. Reva Wear, located in Milpitas, is committed to providing access to youth sports through an initiative called “Always Moving.”
It’s because of donations of new clothing from companies like Greenlight Apparel and Reva Wear, as well as hundreds of donations of items from groups and individuals each year, that TGGP can continue its mission to help restore dignity to victims of sexual violence. Many volunteers conduct clothing drives at work or school, or invite friends into their homes for Gathering for Garments parties.
The t-shirts just went out on Wednesday, Dec. 30, but thank you’s from organizations around the state are already coming in.
2015 was a banner year for TGGP, founded in 2011. Blanchard was asked to speak for numerous organizations, including at a panel on human trafficking for the USF for Freedom Symposium. In addition to receiving dozens of grants and donations from local service organizations to continue its work, TGGP was recently recognized by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation with a $25,000 grant, the single biggest grant in the nonprofit’s history. And it was chosen for the 2015 Mercury News Wish Book, which has brought new attention and new donors to the nonprofit, along with numerous volunteer applications.
January—which is also Human Trafficking Awareness Month—will be another busy month for TGGP: we are counting down to the Super Bowl in Santa Clara on Feb. 7 with the Pack-It-Forward program. Law enforcement officials are expecting an upswing in human sex trafficking activity, so we’re preparing by asking for donations of 250 backpacks, along with new sweatshirts and sweatpants, sports bras, and other items to bring comfort to rescued commercially sexually exploited children and adults. Consider donating a backpack today, or donate one of the other items on our Pack-It-Forward list. Thank you and happy new year!