Jane Oberhauser and Genevieve Duflock are high school students in the Saratoga-Los Gatos National Charity League. Their class adopted The Grateful Garment Project as its senior class project for the 2016-2017 year. Jane and Genevieve wrote this post explaining why the class is supporting us, and what they will be doing throughout the year. You can meet the students at the Walk 4 Dignity, Sunday, June 26, in Guadalupe River Park, downtown San Jose.
When Lisa Blanchard started The Grateful Garment Project for her senior class project, it was run solely from her living room. The project took on a life of its own, and now the organization occupies an office space in San Jose, California, and works to support an estimated 25-40 victims of sexual violence and human trafficking every day. That’s seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, for the last 5 years.
While many instances of rape and abuse remain under wraps, TGGP’s role in a recent episode has received a rare moment of public attention. Many of you are likely aware of the recent rape case at Stanford University—The Grateful Garment Project was able to offer supplies to support the young woman involved through a SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) facility.
The goal of the Grateful Garment Project is to restore dignity to victims of sexual violence by providing them with new clothing and supplies. The organization works in association with local hospitals and law enforcement agencies as well as shelters and safe houses to provide the necessities for a fresh start. Victims with access to TGGP’s resources are given clothes to wear in the place of a disposable hospital gown after SART exams are administered, as well as court-appropriate attire for testimonies. An additional program also offers small incentives for teen and young adult victims to make return visits to doctors and other specialists to receive the help they need.
It’s amazing how something so small can grow into such a source of hope for so many. We hope that our senior project can make as positive and wide-reaching of an impact as Lisa’s. As our junior year in high school came to a close, our National Charity League class voted to devote our time and energy to TGGP. Our goal is to spread awareness and support TGGP’s mission to aid victims of sexual violence in their healing process through projects of our own. We plan to help run TGGP’s booth at the Walk 4 Dignity in downtown San Jose on June 26, in addition to helping Lisa with inventory, fundraising and marketing through weekly office workdays. As members of an internet-centric generation, we have also launched a media campaign in hopes of raising awareness, complete with YouTube videos and a website updates.