This past fall on college campuses across the US, students updated their wardrobes while raising an incredible $30,000 to rescue people enslaved around the world.
Threads, a pop-up thrift shop initiative, gives IJM supporters a fun way to rally their community and raise funds to fight modern day slavery. For college campuses across the country this past fall, hosting a Threads event meant that IJM supporters and campus chapters collected clothing donations, set up a temporary shop, and then donated the proceeds to support IJM’s work.
With the affects of the pandemic, campus life has yet to truly return to normal, but students entered this school year passionate about finding ways to join together in making an impact. Supporters worked hard to collect clothing and promote the event.
With over two dozen campuses hosting an event, students raised an incredible $30,000 to end violence against people in poverty – enough to fund over three rescue missions.
An outpouring of community support and encouragement
Zoe Heemstra, the IJM chapter president at Northwestern College in Iowa shared, “There were so many [clothing] donations we didn't even get close to sorting it all and were super panicked at our set-up the night before.” But Zoe and her team not only exceeded the financial goal they set for their fundraiser, they received additional donations from members of the community who heard about the event. With still more clothes to sell, they plan on hosting the event again in the spring semester.
The IJM chapter at Anderson University in South Carolina hosted their event at an art gallery on campus. Caroline Mason, the IJM chapter president, said, “We had incredible support from our campus community. I will never forget looking out the door on the day of Threads to see about 40 people lined up, just waiting for our thrift shop to open. Our chapter had never seen so much excitement for an IJM event before. Over the course of a few hours, more than 200 people stopped by the shop.”
Amid ever-changing COVID guidelines, student leaders saw possibilities, rather than restrictions and their communities responded with overwhelming generosity. From posting on TikTok to partnering with local coffee shops, IJM chapters and student leaders flexed their creativity and leadership to host Threads and brought awareness to the issue of modern day slavery in a fun and meaningful way.