Maryland Teen Raises More Than $700 for Catherine’s Cottage
After Catherine’s Cottage opened its doors May 12 in Baltimore, 16- year-old Reilly Claxton of Kent Island, Maryland, was among the many individuals who reached out to support the organization’s fight against human trafficking.
Reilly is a member of 100 Teens Who Care Annapolis, a youth volunteer group that generates funds to support charitable organizations in their community. Reilly’s drive to raise awareness of human trafficking among her peers led to a donation of over $700 for Catherine’s Cottage.
These women deserve support, said Reilly of the survivors residing at the 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year emergency housing facility operated by The Salvation Army of Central Maryland.
Reilly has always been passionate about fighting human trafficking. Consistent with one of the most common misconceptions of the practice, Reilly initially believed it occurred only in other countries. Upon further Maryland teen lends strong support to Catherine’s Cottage research, Reilly discovered that innocent people were being trafficked in her own community.
On various occasions, Reilly encountered women at local gas stations who displayed warning signs of trafficking victims, including signs of intimidation and restricted communication.
She started posting the National Human Trafficking Hotline in gas station restrooms, encouraging people to call for help, but she inevitably grew more determined to find resources for survivors.
“I knew The Salvation Army was a reputable organization that offered a lot of services,” Reilly said. “So I visited my local Salvation Army website, and that’s how I discovered Catherine’s Cottage.”
“Catherine’s Cottage seemed like a respectful way of helping survivors because the program incorporated spiritual healing and provided hope and love to survivors.”
She also admired a program that avoided insensitive images of trafficking, such as women in shackles, and instead focused on empowering survivors.
Currently, Reilly is spearheading a drive to collect essentials for those staying at Catherine’s Cottage. These essentials include clothing, toiletries and first aid items. To collect as many items as possible, Reilly created flyers and reached out to family members, neighbors and local churches for support.
Her determination to educate the community and support the residents of Catherine’s Cottage is a prime example that you’re never too young to make a difference. To learn how you can join The Salvation Army of Central Maryland’s fight against human trafficking, please visit www. SalvationArmyCM.org