The Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club (DGJWC) presented $10,000 to their 2020 charity partner, Reclaim13 earlier this month. Reclaim13 is a local non-profit devoted to ending the exploitation of children and focuses on community awareness and engagement.

Colleen Schaefer, President of the Downers Grove Juniors Woman’s Club said, “The DGJWC has been very impressed with the work that Reclaim13 is doing locally to end the cycle of sexual exploitation. To support their efforts, DGJWC chose to partner with Reclaim13 for our 2019/2020 club year and donate a portion of our fundraising proceeds to the organization. In the past we have supported Reclaim13 through Therapy Bags and as a Love>Fear 5k Sponsor. We are honored to be in a position to provide this level of donation and look forward to continuing to partner in the future.”

Executive Director of Reclaim13, Dr. Cassandra Ma, noted that in addition to continuing, and doing a better job of, reaching out to the vulnerable in the community; this donation would be a tremendous support in creating a home for the soon to be opened Young Adult home.

Adequate housing has been identified as the greatest resource lacking in the fight to combat sex trafficking. To address this need, Reclaim13 opened Cherish House which serves trafficked girls between the ages of 10-17. Our years of experience working with trafficked youth have shown us that milestones achieved often regress without extensive ongoing support once the girls leave Cherish House.

Young adults (18-24) who have experienced the trauma of sexual exploitation as children are statistically more likely to struggle with homelessness, completing education (diploma or GED), joblessness and reduced lifetime earning potential (less than half), early pregnancy and even involvement in the criminal justice system. The vision of Reclaim13’s Young Adult program is to be a trauma-informed, therapeutic program to address the specialized needs of sexually exploited children transitioning into young adulthood.

The program will include trauma-informed individual and group therapies, vocational and life skills development, and opportunities for continuing educational pursuits. The living environment will allow young adults to maintain their own living space, while healing in community with others in a structured environment to facilitate their next steps in development and reclaiming their paths of hope and healing. You can find more information about Reclaim13 here:

You can also check out our virtual check presentation to Reclaim13 here: