(As told to us by Paula Haines, Executive Director)
Q. Tell us a little about your organization. Mission? Population you serve?
A: Freedom a la Cart empowers survivors of human trafficking to build a new life of freedom and self-sufficiency. In Franklin County, over 1,200 women are arrested each year for prostitution. Of those, over 92% are identified as victims of sex trafficking. These are women who were coerced into a life of prostitution, typically by someone they’ve loved and trusted. Even after they’ve escaped the street, these women still struggle daily with the effects of shame, severe trauma and drug addiction. Freedom offers hope and restoration. In addition to our supportive services, we’ve developed a wholistic strategy of workforce training through operating a box lunch and catering business. We prepare survivors to eventually get sustainable jobs in their areas of interest and support themselves financially.
Our ladies are breaking free! They are getting their GEDs, attending college, getting their driver’s licenses, regaining custody of their children, buying cars, moving into their own apartments, and even buying their own homes!
Q. What has your involvement with AFP been?
A: I became the Executive Director of Freedom in late June, joined AFP in July and attended the Fundamentals of Fundraising workshop in early August. The class served as a valuable foundation for the fundraising responsibilities of my new role. I’ve also recently joined the Marketing Committee.
Q: Does your organization have anything special going on? Tell us about it!
A: EAT UP! COLUMBUS — Celebrating Community, Collaboration & Cause Cuisine, on March 11, 2017. In the spirit of the underground supper clubs which debuted Freedom a la Cart to the Columbus dining scene, Eat Up! Columbus is a culinary adventure celebrating community, collaboration and cause cuisine.
The evening’s dinner party will showcase a female-led team of Columbus’s top up-and- coming chefs who will prepare an innovative six-course menu complemented by select drink pairings and finished with an array of petite desserts. Selected chefs will collaborate to create a unique culinary experience for guests, while supporting an important cause in our community. The list of participating chefs will be posted online at eatupcolumbus.org.
The honoree at this year’s event is Ohio First Lady, Karen Kasich. Mrs. Kasich is passionate about issues affecting women and young people and has been an outspoken advocate in the fight against human trafficking in Ohio.
Eat Up! tickets will be available soon at freedomalacart.org.
Posted November 2016