LIVE: Purses with a Purpose

It's a way to make a purse-onal difference.

There aren’t a lot of objects a woman or girl carries that are much more personal than her purse.

And this morning, you can use one to make a difference in the life of a human trafficking victim — a crime that dis-proportionally affects girls and women, right here in the Red River Valley.

It’s an event called “Purses with a Purpose,” and it’s going on this month in Fargo.

It got started three years ago through the work of The Next Step’s Lisa Hanson, who discovered, to her horror, that human trafficking wasn’t just something that happened in other communities.

There are kids and women and men who are victims right here in the region, usually exploited through the internet, so it’s hidden in plain sight, Hanson said.

You can give a donated purse, along with financial donations, or just buy a ticket to go to the March 31 event at the Avalon Center.

The fundraiser raises awareness about human trafficking, and it goes to get resources into the hands of victims, who often come out of their situation with nothing much more than what fits in a backpack.

Clothes, toiletries, furniture and other supplies go a long way to getting them started over in a new life away from their traffickers, Hanson said.

But just as important is knowing the purse came from someone who cares, she said.

Hanson sat down with the Morning Show’s Emily Welker to talk about why human trafficking is so easy to hide, and what victims tell her about what your help means to them when they finally emerge from the darkness.

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