Since May, BEST has received several grants totaling over $60,000 to enable us to expand our work throughout Washington state. BEST is extremely grateful to Stolen Youth, The Seattle Foundation, Carlson and Carlson Family Foundation, and a community foundation in Tacoma for their generous grants in support of trafficking prevention efforts. BEST is a nimble organization with low overhead and the ability to make a sizeable impact with limited funding. Here’s what these grants will accomplish:
Inhospitable to Human Trafficking Training in Pierce County. This funding enabled us to complete the Inhospitable to Trafficking project in Pierce County in September. We are also on schedule to replicate this project in Yakima County, Snohomish County, and Spokane County. In addition, we will be providing a second training for King County hoteliers. We’ll do all of this by June 2014!
Second, BEST is very excited to work with a researcher to measure and evaluate the real impact of our work. A research evaluation will set us up to scale our work beyond Washington state by quantifying the social change and impact of this model. BEST is already receiving requests from cities like Portland and others who want to see us scale our project. We are currently seeking grants and donations for scaling the project beyond Washington state.
Third, the grants have enabled us to hire a new Program Manager, Cressida Slote. Cressida first encountered victims of trafficking while working for USAID in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina. She has an MBA from University of Maryland and deep passion for business sustainability and human rights.
Fourth, our board is extremely pleased that a portion of the grant funding we received this year has enabled our Finance Committee to create operational reserves. Building up our reserves is essential to ensuring that the programs of BEST will be sustainable for the long term.
Thank you to those foundations and individuals who have donated toward our work!
We are also grateful to training sponsors including the Seattle Hotel Association, the Pierce County Lodging Association, The Hotel Group, the Zonta Club of Yakima Valley, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Sunrise Dental, The Plumbing and Drain Company, Whitman Global Carpet and Floor Care, WMS Aquatics, Cairncross & Hemplemann, PSAV, Red Lion Hotel on 5th Avenue in Seattle, and Red Lion Hotel Tacoma.
Special thanks to Marjorie Chadsey for her advocacy and support of the Inhospitable to Trafficking pilot project and subsequent expansion.