Informed Advocates

Empowering advocates who will work to end human trafficking through their personal and profession lives is the main goal of our volunteer program.

In the following video, recorded at our Perform for Freedom open mic on 9/13/17, Becca Robichaud talks about her volunteer experience and how she has developed as an advocate. (Recorded and produced by Sarah Balmilero)

NE GIFT Box

The NE GIFT Box is hitting the road this fall. We are looking forward to the opportunity to raise awareness and empower local communities to take action to end human trafficking through two upcoming campaigns.
 

Volunteers load the GIFT Box preparing for a summer campaign event!

Volunteers load the GIFT Box preparing for a summer campaign event!


In October the GIFT Box is heading up to Burlington, VT for an event at the University of Vermont. Student org, Chi Alpha Vermont will be hosting the campaign at UVM. Following the UVM program, the display will travel down to Plymouth State University for a campaign hosted by students participating in a Criminal Justice course.

GIFT BOX Campaigns are a great opportunity for collaboration. Many of our campaigns have brought 5-10 different organizations together as sponsors and volunteers. If you are would like to volunteer, sponsor or co-hosting one of these or another event, please let us know!

Check out the NE GIFT Box timeline of events and impact at http://thefreedomcafe.org/giftbox!

Coffee Guide & Online Store

We are excited to roll out a new Conscious Consumer Guide focused on coffee. The Coffee Guide, based on research gathered from the Free2Work Coffee Industry Trends Report, grades brands based upon their policies on sourcing and subcontracting, traceability and transparency, monitoring and training, and finally on their commitment to worker rights and providing living wages. You can pick up a copy in the café or order one on our new online shop.

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Here at The Freedom Café, we have a great relationship with the University of New Hampshire and benefit from numerous volunteers, career related internships and learning collaborations. We would like to thank professor Howland and students from the spring '17 Technical Writing class for assisting in the development of both the Coffee Guide and Online Shop!

Volunteer Spotlight - Sharissa

The Freedom Café has a vibrant volunteer program that connects individuals from a diverse range of ages and expertise. Over 75 individuals, including 50+ high school and college students, are equipped each year to be advocates. These volunteers help run the café counter, host community gatherings, plan awareness events, and manage the organization’s marketing, communication, research, and fundraising efforts. The Freedom Café educates volunteers on social justice issues and empowers them to take action, while helping them develop meaningful transferrable skills that carry over into their vocational endeavors. 

Shariss (Left) with members of The Freedom Café Student Outreach Team at our Fall 2016 Gala

Shariss (Left) with members of The Freedom Café Student Outreach Team at our Fall 2016 Gala

The journey of one of our UNH student volunteers, Sharissa, paints a great picture of how volunteers grow as advocates during their time at The Freedom Café. Sharissa connected with The Freedom Café in the fall 2014 and got excited about our project goal to fund the construction of a clinic for survivors of bonded slavery in Nepal. Sharissa went home over the Holiday break and started talking up the project with her friends and church community. When she returned for the UNH spring semester she had raised $250 that she wanted to donate. We opted to use the funds as a matching gift and hosted a special open mic night where everyone's donations were doubled. We raised $600 that night and by the end of the semester had raised the $3600 needed to build and stock the clinic.

As Sharissa's knowledge of the issue grew, so did her passion to help end human trafficking. Sharissa connected with another volunteer who was passionate to help spread the word and the two of them initiated a student outreach team. The Freedom Café provided speaking training and helped the group develop 3 accessible seminars. Two months later they had given 8 presentations in residence halls, class rooms and a 200+ lecture class. This spring, as a social work major, Sharissa was able to bring the knowledge she had gained at The Freedom Café to her senior year internship where she created and presented an awareness and prevention program about human trafficking for the High School students with whom she was working.

Guests and volunteer applicants continue to share how those presentations inspired their own further research and engagement with the issue. 

Join the The Freedom Café and be a part of the movement to end human trafficking today! 

Save the Date - NH Gives - June 6-7, 2017

We need YOUR help to make NHGives* a success for The Freedom Café!

On June 6-7, 2017 The Freedom Café is excited to be participating for the first time in a statewide giving movement: NH Gives!

During this 24-hour giving event, The Freedom Café is raising funds to support our fall educational programing including our weekly Perform for Freedom and NE GIFT Box events and to pay the printing cost for educational materials like our Consumer Guide Post Card series. [We are looking forward to sharing our new coffee buyers guide soon.]

Our goal is to raise $4200 during the #NHGives event!

#NHGIVES is hosting a series of cash prizes for orgs based on amount raised and most unique givers between various time frames. We would like to focus our giving on the Tuesday6 June 6, 6-9pm in hopes of winning the $500 prize for that session.

Mark your calendar and get ready to give back! On Tuesday June 6, starting at 6pm, visit our fundraising page https://www.nhgives.org/organizations/the-freedom-cafe. You will have 24 hours to make your donation. All giving will end at 6pm Wednesday June 7th.

*NH Gives - an initiative of the NH Center for Nonprofits – is designed to bring the state together as one community, raising as much money and awareness as possible for New Hampshire’s nonprofits within a 24-hour, flash-mob of giving.

CourageSpeaks NH

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The Freedom Cafe would like to thank to Cheri & Allison for being a part of the CourageSpeaksNH gallery and the YWCA, Haven, Deb Cram, Bags of Hope and Tabitha McElroy for collaborating on a fresh, compelling and hopeful project. 

We look forward to seeing CourageSpeaksNH continue to bring attention to the issues of domestic abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking and "offer hope for those who identify as victims and survivors of these crimes"!

Dialogue on Human Trafficking in NH

On Monday 3/27/2017, The Freedom Café hosted 3 members of the NH Human Trafficking Collaborative Task Force to speak and field questions concerning human trafficking in NH. 

- Kate D'Adamo, Project Manager
- Rebecca Ayling, Senior Case Manager, Child and Family Services
- Mike Posanka, Supervisory Special Agent, Homeland Security Investigations

We opened the event by showing a short film created for the task force by AccessNashua, "A Conversation About Trafficking in the Granite State" available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK7_0... 

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Each of presenter introduced their role in the task force and work that is or needs to be done to address the issue of Human Trafficking in NH. Following these presentations at about 18 min. the dialogue turned to audience questions.

We are please to present a recording of the event. Our camera shut down prior to the completion of Q&A and final action points.

To bring the program to a close each presenter offered an important next step. To paraphrase their responses, here are 3 things you can do to help end human trafficking:

Mike - Be a good witness (ie notice the people around you and also understand the issue in the event that you serve on a jury) 

Kate - Be a good client / consumer (tip service industry workers, chose known ethically sourced products as often as possible)

Rebecca - Learn and re-share - leak information about trafficking to those around you

The Freedom Café would like to thank event sponsor Josh and Leah Bourdon for making this program possible.

Make Fashion Traffick-Free!

Working to end human trafficking is something all of us can do everyday. Being intentional about what we purchase can support or undermine the mission. But where do we start?

I remember a few years ago attempting a diet change. Going to the grocery store was grueling. Reading labels and trying to find new staples that fit new goals… Eventually it became clear that focusing on changing one product a at a time was a sustainable strategy.

Changing a routine is rough and if we are going to do it, we need to know the change is actually going to help. 

That’s where things like our ethically sourced chocolate and clothing postcards come in. This fall, Kelsey, a research intern through the women studies program at UNH spent hours researching and calling companies to ensure that the recommendations we make in these resources are accurate. They do not cover every possible option, but they give us a place to start. And as we get more engaged in the process, we can learn what to look for ourselves.

You can pick up these and other resources at the café. Further details from this research will be added to our webpage soon.