At MY SISTER we’re thankful to partner with amazing organizations here in the Twin Cities who give us concrete, actionable steps to take to work against the commercial sexual exploitation of women in the USA.
One of these organizations is The Link. The Link is dedicated to providing education, advocacy, housing and a dynamic network of social services to exploited youth in the Twin Cities, Minnesota community.
When our friends at The Link MN told us about a need at their organization to provide more hours for one of their staff, Aiyana, we knew that there was something we could do.
Today through Wednesday, November 16th, we’re holding a huge sale and donating 100% of the proceeds from each marked down tee to The Link to fund Aiyana’s job. Tees are only $15 and sweatshirts are only $25! Each shirt sold will help The Link provide over an hour of work for Aiyana.
Here’s Aiyana’s story, in her own words:
I am Aiyana. I recently began a new job at The Link, a program that works with sexually exploited youth.
When I first met with Beth, the Executive Director for The Link, and the youth advisory committee, I knew that this was the place for me. I felt like I would finally be accepted for who I am without being judged or made to feel less than for being Native American.
Beth told us about a shelter they were opening up for youth that had similar experiences as me and asked for our help in opening it. At the second meeting she gave us a task of coming up with a name for this shelter; so I went home that night and really thought about it. This shelter could potentially save young people’s lives and it surely deserves a great name, so I started thinking about Harriet Tubman and how she built an underground Passageway for the slaves to lead them to freedom and a better life.
Everyone liked my idea so that’s what we named it - Passageways. I was so proud of this and grateful to be a part of it. After that, I tried working as a Youth Specialist there twice but due to my trauma and PTSD I eventually left.
In December 2015, I had finally gotten into a home with my children but 5 days after we moved in, it burned down due to a grease fire. Since then, we have been renting a room with friends and I began working at The Link again. I was nervous at first as this is my first office job. However, my team at The Link is supportive, welcoming and have given me the chance to learn business skills and continue to heal from my trauma.
Being able to work extra hours at The Link would allow me to get my little ones into their own home again. I feel blessed to be appreciated and have the community thinking of me and helping me work towards giving me and my children a hopeful future.
Shop all of our #TeesForAiyana here and in-store at MY SISTER, 1616 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408. Follow the progress of our campaign on Facebook and Instagram!