Have you heard the whole story behind Stories Foundation? It all started with a Minnesota woman, her mama, and a book. When our co-founder, Stephanie Page, read Passport Through Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith, her eyes were opened to the horrors of human trafficking that were happening in her world, in her city. She thought, “This just isn’t okay. Why aren’t we doing something about this? I thought…it’s because we don’t know.”
And so began her journey to creating Stories Foundation and the Freedom Truck. She said the more she learned, the more shocked she became. Through the stories she read, she came to the realization that “this really could happen to anybody, and our culture is grooming people for it to happen”. And she had to do something about it.
After taking the next right step for many years, the Freedom Truck finally came to be. It’s a mission on wheels serving the best falafel in town! Everywhere it goes, it spreads education and awareness around the problem of human trafficking in our city AND raises funds to provide micro-grants to other local non-profits doing the work of fighting human trafficking.
What’s next for Stories? Stephanie shares, “Right now we are trying to raise 100,000 to get a building. When we have a building, we will have more of an ability to bring survivors in to train them in job skills in the food industry.” When you join the Run Toward Restoration fundraiser on Facebook or register for the Superhero 5K (coming up on August 4th in Bloomington!), you will be linking arms with survivors to provide them with jobs and job training in order to cover exploited vulnerabilities like homelessness, joblessness, and poverty. Join us in saying “this, the way our culture is exploiting people for money, is just NOT okay!”
Listen to the rest of Stephanie’s story of moving forward into this hard work despite imperfect conditions on Tony Loyd’s podcast, “The Social Entrepreneur” this week. We think you will be inspired to move into your hard, needed spaces…because in the end, Stephanie tells us, “the hard things are often the best things.”
Written By : Betsy Saine