Community Involvement Opportunities

Learn ways you can participate in local efforts

Often times when people learn about sex trafficking their immediate thought is, how can I help? Thankfully, there are many incredible efforts happening all throughout the County with which you can engage. From leveraging your finances to support an organization to volunteering your time, there are many ways to contribute to the fight against sex trafficking.

The following list is by no means exhaustive of all the needs present within Multnomah County, but it is a solid place to start. Here you will find various opportunities as community members to engage in this important topic.

1. Attend or Host a Training

Provider Agency:

Organizations often get involved in topics like this one through the passion of one persistent individual. Likewise, service provider agencies in related fields often come into contact with the sex trafficked population and either do not know it, or don't know how to respond when they do. Multnomah County is happy to come provide a training to your department, organization, or agency. Whether you are a nurse, teacher, bus driver, dispatcher, clinician, or any professional potentially exposed to these vulnerable populations, we encourage you to request a training by clicking the link below.

Community Training:

There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding the nature of sex trafficking. Some still choose to believe it does not exist, while others simply have an inaccurate perception of what trafficking really looks like. The media often sensationalizes trafficking, giving the impression that it requires movement across borders or is primarily achieved through kidnapping. While these instances do occur on rare occasions, it is hardly representative of the vast majority of trafficking cases. For this reason the county is happy to come and provide trainings to your organization. Contact us for an awareness presentation today.

Request a Training (scroll down to the 'Request a Training' webform)

2. Participate in Open Community Meetings

At the top of the quarter, we host a Sex Trafficking/CSEC Network Meeting. This is a time when providers come together to share about what is happening in the community, receive ongoing trainings, and share about the current needs within the community. If you have a particular passion, you are welcome to participate. Learn about the various subcommittees and workgroups to potentially join. Learn more by visiting our Recurring Meetings page.

3. Spread the Word

Spread the word of the realities of sex trafficking by using your various social media platforms. Click here for downloadable images.

4. Volunteer

Sex Trafficking Specific Opportunities

  • Raphael House Volunteer
    • 40 hour training provided to those looking to work directly with sexual assault survivors
    • Some will end up working directly with sex trafficking survivors over time
    • You can apply for specific administrative needs within the organization
    • Monthly volunteer commitment
  • District Attorney Sexual Assault Victim Advocate (SAVA) Volunteer
    • Provide support and information during the forensic medical examination and law enforcement interview
  • A Bunch of Guys
    • Volunteer opportunity to work to end the demand for people being sold for sex against their will. This is an opportunity for men to move beyond awareness and into action
    • Monthly volunteer commitment
  • Rotary

General Preventative & Direct Service Opportunities

5. Direct Donations

Giving:

To learn more about our core partner agencies doing incredible work, visit our Survivor Services page. 211info.org also shares about organizations that you can give to which are not currently a part of our collaboration.

Giving Connection: A local partner organization that receives donations from the community to provide support to sex trafficking-specific agencies. For in-kind donations, they post up to date lists of agencies' current needs.

Sponsor an Agency:

For $50/month you can help provide basic monthly needs for 1 survivor. Most agencies have donation pages that allow you to make recurring monthly payments in support of their services.

In-Kind Donations:

Agencies not only need financial donations, but have tangible needs as well. Here is a non-exhaustive list to help generate some ideas about items you could provide. (Please Note: It is critical to check with any organization regarding their specific needs before arriving with a donation. Ideally this would be done in coordination with Giving Connection who provides support in this process.)

  • Gift cards
    • Visa gift cards in all quantities
      • Crisis needs
        • Food (Subway, Taco Bell, McDonalds, etc)
        • Clothing (Fred Meyer, Target, Ross, etc.)
        • Hotel voucher
        • Cab to Safety - Lyft gift card
      • Basic and ongoing needs
        • Ongoing grocery or living needs (Fred Meyer, Safeway, etc.)
        • Coffee gift cards for staff to take survivors to coffee/tea during case management/advocacy
        • TriMet Hop Cards or books of tickets for basic transportation, and so that survivors can make it to appointments
        • Hygiene kits: toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrush, body wash, lotion, tampons, pads, shampoo/conditioner, gift card to Mid-K Beauty Supply (which has hair care supplies for a variety of hair types), washcloths, flip flops, cotton swabs, face wash, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, eyebrow tweezers, brush/comb, nail clippers and file
      • Items that grant dignity and esteem to survivors
        • Cosmetics
          • Sephora gift cards, for example, can go a long way in helping a young woman see herself in a new light
        • Hair and skin care products
          • Gift cards to Mid-K Beauty Supply
        • Nail polish
        • Hair ties
        • Gift cards for clothing
  • New clothing/bras/underwear that are age appropriate
    • Note: Storage space at each agency is very limited. Be sure to check with the agency (or ideally, Giving Connection) before purchasing large quantities to confirm there is capacity to store items until survivors need them.
  • Outing/activities for survivors and/or staff
    • Youth need fun in their lives. What would a teenager/young adult in your life enjoy doing? You can donate that!
      • Ideas: OMSI passes, movie tickets, theater tickets, zoo passes, bowling, ice cream certificate, sporting events, outdoor activities, etc.


6. Skills or Corporate Donations

There are many ways individuals or corporations can provide incredibly impactful in-kind donations and services for the agencies doing the important work of partnering with survivors. Again, the list below is not exhaustive, but merely a launching point for creative ideas:

  • Video Production: many agencies could use help promoting the work they're doing for survivors in order to connect outside agencies for partnership, or to get donors connected to their program
  • Graphic Design: promotional materials are often in need of enhancement and could use an expert's talent
  • Grant Writing: many of these organizations rely heavily on grants for funding, experienced grant writers can make all the difference
  • Office Furnishing: most resources donated to agencies go directly to survivors. Because of this, staff often have access to limited materials/supplies/furniture to do their work. Providing quality furnishings so they can continue thriving in their work provides incredible support.
  • Printing: brochures, handouts, and various forms of media are frequently needed
  • Moving costs
  • Meals for events
  • Bring some fun to survivors and/or staff (i.e., ping pong table, air hockey, crafts, yoga membership passes)
  • Coffee and tea to keep staff going
  • Gifts for staff working tirelessly and wholeheartedly to support survivors
  • Vicarious trauma support for staff

7. Organize a Fundraiser

Sex trafficking organizations rely on the generosity of others to continue to provide the valuable services they do. People are frequently eager to give, they merely need to be connected to the need. Perhaps you're a gifted organizer, you could be the person to connect community members to the needs of various providers by hosting an event. If you have the time, space, and desire to throw a fundraiser, we welcome inquiries to our office for insight regarding current needs in the community and/or to request a speaker for your event.

Contact Giving Connection to learn more!

8. Become a Foster Parent / Support Foster Care Initiatives

Every Child connects potential foster parents with support and training. This can make all the difference in a youth's life. While you may or may not end up providing direct support for a sex trafficking survivor, this is a way to provide very tangible, very needed support to kids in our jurisdiction. A good foster home can quite literally change the trajectory of the life of an at-risk youth. If you have the means, this is one of the most impactful ways to get involved.

9. Legislation

Engage in legislative efforts around sex trafficking.