Volunteers needed to fill comfort bags for human trafficking victims

Volunteers needed to fill comfort bags for human trafficking victims
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Liz Gotthelf, Publisher

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Rotary Club of Saco Bay Sunset – Rising Stars is looking for volunteers to help fill comfort bags on Tuesday night for victims of human sex trafficking.

The volunteer opportunity will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Old Orchard Beach Recreation Department office at The Ballpark. To get to The Ballpark, turn onto Ballpark Way at 16 E. Emerson Cummings Boulevard and follow Ballpark Way to the end.

The comfort bags will be filled with personal care items, a supportive message and a warm cozy blanket. Bags for children of survivors will contain fidget toys, markers, activities books and stuffed animals.


The Rising Stars is a project of the Saco Bay Sunset Rotary Club and is committed to helping stop human sex trafficking. Rising Stars has created a website that has information on human sex trafficking and resources for victims.

A study by Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc. completed in 2015 estimated that there were 300 to 400 victims of sex trafficking a year in the state of Maine. The typical profile of a sex trafficking victim in Maine is a white female between the ages of 14 and 30, living in either a rural or urban area, with a history of sexual abuse or domestic violence, absence of a caregiver, and strong possibility of drug use, according to the study.

Sex traffickers frequently target victims and use forms of control or manipulation including violence, threats, lies, false promises and debt bondage to keep victims in the sex industry for their own profit, according to information from Polaris, a nonprofit organization committed to prevent human trafficking.

Publisher Liz Gotthelf can be reached at [email protected].