JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Rethreaded, a social enterprise that employs survivors of human trafficking is launching an awareness and building funding campaign during Human Trafficking Awareness Month this January. The goal of this campaign is to finish raising funds for a brand new campus in historic Springfield.
Inside Rethreaded’s current workshop on Barnett Street, women are hard at work making scarves, handbags, jewelry, candles, etc. Every day, these women transform everyday items into works of art. Each finished piece symbolizes a survivor’s freedom. With a new building, Rethreaded’s founder, Kristin Keen, says it’ll be able to expand its mission.
“The Jacksonville community has been supportive of us since the day we opened our doors,” Keen said. “We’re so excited for this next step.”
To make this dream a reality, the community’s help is still needed. Keen says while almost all of the money for the new building has been raised, it still needs to be rehabilitated. That’s why Rethreaded launched its “Never Say No” campaign.
“What we’re really aiming for is the ability to never say no to a woman who is ready to start a new life,” Keen said. “This is the game-changer.”
Keen says the new building is 36,000 square feet. Rethreaded will take up 20,000, and the remaining square footage will be rented out. With the extra space, Rethreaded will eventually be able to hire at least 60 new survivors.
With your donations, you can have your name or company’s logo added to a brick that will eventually line the garden at the new building.
“We’re literally paving the way for women to have freedom,” Keen said as she showed the bricks to News4jax. “You can actually put three lines of text here. You can name it in honor of someone, your family, a fellow survivor.”
A single, 4x8 brick with the 3 lines of text is for a $125 donation. An 8x8 brick is for $250. Finally, a corporate logo brick is a $500 donation. Special key chains bearing the new building’s coordinates are for $40 donations.
As Keen explains, for these women, this is so much more than a new warehouse. She emotionally recalls the first time they saw the building.
“When we are in that building, they can clearly see all the work they’re doing in their life,” Keen said tearfully. “They’re paving the way for the woman behind them.”
Keen hopes to close on the new property by the end of January. From there, she says there will be roughly 8 weeks of hard labor, renovations, and beautification. The end goal is to have the new building open and running by May. She’s ready for the challenge.
“We’re raising enough money in the middle of a pandemic, we’ve hired 7 women in August,” Keen said. “I feel like everything we do at Rethreaded is impossible. So, we’re expecting nothing less now.”
To learn more about donating to help Rethreaded reach its May goal, visit its website: