A fundraiser for Wings of Refuge, a recently formed central-Iowa nonprofit, will hold a night of casual shopping, snacks and social time today at 6 p.m. at the Jane Young House in Webster City.
The Shop for a Cause event will feature clothing from Elegant Tees, designed by Iowa native Katie Martinez. The clothing is made by survivors of human trafficking and the proceeds go to pay those women and help others in need.
The event will begin with time for event-goers to meet and talk. Joy Fopma, co-director of Wings of Refuge, will give a presentation at 6:15 p.m. to talk about human trafficking awareness and the restoration of rescued women through the organization.
Following her presentation, a fashion show will feature local women of all ages modeling the clothing. A quarter of the money raised from the clothing sales will go to Wings of Refuge.
With those funds, Wings of Refuge is hoping to open a house that can shelter women rescued from the sex trade. Fopma said her plans for the shelter, which will be at an anonymous location due to its nature, including having married couples and lay persons there to help the rescued women physically, mentally and spiritually.
"It's a very in depth process," Fopma said. "These girls have been exploited for a long time."
To prepare to advocate for victims of human trafficking, Fopma and others in Wings of Refuge attended several presentations featuring law enforcement officials and victims' advocates. Fopma said abductions and trafficking occurs across the United States and in Iowa, citing the kidnapping of the Evansdale girls.
There is no cost to attend the Shop for a Cause event. Freewill donations will be accepted.
More about the organization can be found online at wingsofrefuge.net.