ZONTA CLUB NEWS: Zonta to hold holiday fundraiser, Free the Girls event

2021 was another busy year for the Zonta Club of the Adirondacks. Despite challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, the unifying mission of empowering women and girls locally and around the world remains the steadfast focus of its committed members, including financial donations to charities that support women in crisis, as well as service projects for like-minded organizations.

Zonta ADK is excited to announce its holiday fundraiser: Local Adirondack artisan Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten has once again created beautiful cuff bracelets for sale to benefit the club’s work. Available in sterling silver or copper, each cuff bracelet is stamped ZONTA ADK inside and helps the club raise money for the work helping women and girls in this community and beyond. The following phrases are available on the bracelets: GIRL BOSS, FEMINIST AF, and YOU ARE ENOUGH. Bracelets may be purchased only until Wednesday, Dec. 1 online at www.zontaadk.org/current, or by contacting any member. Shipping is available.

The club will once again hold its annual Free the Girls bra drive on Saturday, Dec. 4. From noon to 2 p.m., the club will collect gently used and new bras of all sizes and styles at Wildwood on the Lake Motel, Saranac Avenue, Lake Placid, to help women rescued from sex trafficking who seek to reintegrate into “normal” life. (The event was originally scheduled at the Adirondack Community Church but was changed to Wildwood on the Lake.) With the bras collected, women in countries such as El Salvador, Mozambique and Costa Rica will start their own businesses selling the bras in the second-hand market with the help of the nonprofit Free the Girls. For those who cannot make the event, bras can be left at the Wildwood on the Lake Motel.

Free the Girls is known for their important work reintegrating women who are victims of sex trafficking by providing them with economic opportunities and financial independence. Sex trafficking is a modern day form of slavery that particularly impacts women and girls by forcing victims to engage in the commercial sex trade through force, fraud, and coercion. Mozambique, El Salvador and Costa Rica are countries with high numbers of sex trafficking victims; however, the problem exists in communities all over the world, including here in the northeast United States.

You can learn more about Free the Girls at www.freethegirls.org.

Zonta Club of the Adirondacks is a charitable organization with the mission of advancing gender equality. To learn more about the Zonta Club of the Adirondacks, visit www.zontaadk.org or the club’s Facebook page. New members are always welcome.

(Amy Quinn is a founding member of the Zonta Club of the Adirondacks.)