This weekend there was beautiful snow in D.C. The whole city slowed down, which is rare and really amazing to see. As we all settle into the heart of the holiday season, I wanted to share a true example of giving.
This week, one of the young women we support in our program approached me to ask me if I could help her buy some gifts and holiday food for her family. This young woman has been through truly tremendous ordeals and trauma, but almost never thinks of herself. She thinks of her much younger brothers and sisters and almost always puts their needs before her own.
I thought about what I could do. We had some donated clothes in our office, but they would not work for our young client and her siblings. I wanted her to have something special. I did not want her to feel like she did not deserve to have some of the things so many other children in the United States take for granted like stockings and holiday lights. I also couldn’t stand the thought of her being hungry on Christmas.
As I thought about what to do, I remembered a supporter who has often told me that she would help FAIR Fund if we had a young woman in need of food, clothes, or other basic needs. On Friday morning, I called this woman to ask for her help. As the storm approached D.C., she gracefully ran through town gathering all of the simple yet truly meaningful things that our client and her siblings needed. This amazing woman delivered the gifts to our door just as night fell. She didn’t ask questions or for anything in return, she just generously helped.
I arranged to meet with my young client today, but the snow… well, it slowed us down. The metro was not working, so my husband and I walked and walked to meet our client part of the way. I observed others walking with gift bags and families, and a few rather crazy folks driving around as if the 15 inches of snow were not there. Finally, we met our young woman, and we traded gifts. We made a call to our “angel” friend, and said thank you. Then, I gave our young client a hug and said goodbye, and she turned around smiling and disappeared back into the snowy white D.C.
Just a few days ago, the Senate passed an omnibus spending bill that will allow for a 25% increase in the Department of Justice’s spending toward providing services to victims of trafficking. What is particularly unique in this bill is that now, for the very first time, U.S. victims may also benefit alongside foreign victims. What this means is that finally FAIR Fund and our partner agencies serving U.S. born victims of trafficking will finally be eligible for assistance. For FAIR Fund, this means increased security that the United States government recognizes that any child, regardless of where they are from, deserves assistance if they are victimized through any form of human trafficking.
All around the world – in Serbia, Russia, Uganda, and D.C., FAIR Fund’s clients and staff are having small gatherings to celebrate the holidays and spend time together. I wish I could be there to see all these smiling faces and share in their holiday songs.
I honestly think that these last couple of days have helped me remember what true holiday giving is about. Happy holidays and thank you to each and every one of our supporters and friends. We really could not do it without you.