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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue

       

Women of Wichita grant helps victims of human trafficking
reclaim their lives


John See
Karen Countryman-Roswurm, right, director of the Center for Combating Human Trafficking, describes the center’s work at a recent event.
Women working together to make a difference. That’s how Sue Dower describes the nonprofit organization called Women of Wichita, which recently donated $20,000 to the Center for Combating Human Trafficking at Wichita State.

It seems only natural that the group would be interested in helping the Center implement its newest program, called Pathway to Prosperity. The program strives to help trafficking survivors recover their lives through employment, education and sharing their unique experiences to further the anti-trafficking movement.

“I think our members saw this as a way to help other women in Wichita,” Dower said. “But our group tries to help many groups in addition to women – senior citizens, children and the homeless. Our mission is across the board.”
Wilson K. Cadman
Helen Galloway, left, and Sue Dower, of Women of Wichita.


The $20,000 grant to the Center for Combating Human Trafficking will be used to help leverage a $150,000 matching grant made by an anonymous donor for the Pathway to Prosperity program. The new program helps trafficking survivors by employing them as part-time interns and assisting with their college tuition. Those selected for the program share valuable insight on anti-trafficking strategies.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the support of Women of Wichita,” said CCHT executive director Karen Countryman-Roswurm. “With their help, we will be able to provide survivors of trafficking with the resources they need not only to overcome a history of exploitation but also to thrive as leaders in their chosen fields.”

Women of Wichita got its start almost 20 years ago when Helen Galloway, owner of The First Place gift shop in Wichita, tried to help a local organization raise money for a project by asking mostly female friends to donate $1,000 each to it. The fundraising drive was successful.

“She said, ‘We’re on to something. Women want to be involved in this way,’ ” recalled Dower, who works with Galloway at the store.

The next year, Galloway founded Women of Wichita, inviting women to contribute $1,000 a year to create a large enough pool of money to help Wichita-area nonprofits achieve their goals each year. Organizations apply for grants each fall and the members of Women of Wichita vote on which ones to fund.

Since 2000, Women of Wichita has awarded grants totaling more than $1 million, Dower said.

For more information

If you’d like to make a difference by donating to the Center for Combating Human Trafficking, contact Keith Pickus, WSU Foundation vice president for corporate and foundation relations, at 316-978-7791 or keith.pickus@wichita.edu.

Joseph Hunter