COLORADO SPRINGS — FOX21 News and Loving Living Local are teaming up to host a donation drive for Reclaiming Hope, a nonprofit that serves and cares for survivors of sex trafficking “at the point of recovery, during restoration and reintegration by addressing their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.”

The donation drive for Reclaiming Hope is set to take place outside the FOX21 News studio in Colorado Springs (560 Wooten Road) from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. on Friday, August 26.

Sues Hess, Executive Director of Reclaiming Hope, said they are in need of several items to fill the organization’s ‘Hope Bags,’ which are given to the survivors of sex trafficking.

“When law enforcement recovers victims, they need the clothing those survivors are wearing for DNA testing. Reclaiming Hope provides Hope Bags so that the survivors have something to wear,” said Hess.

According to Hess, the Hope Bags were recently used to support FBI task forces in Operation Cross Country, a nationwide sex trafficking initiative in August.

“Nationally, 225 people were rescued through this operation. That includes 84 minors and 141 adults, and 37 were listed as missing children,” said Hess. “In Colorado alone, 11 children were rescued… this number includes a three-month-old baby with its mother.”

Hess tells FOX21 that because Reclaiming Hope sent 498 Hope Bags to support Operation Cross Country and law enforcement nationally, their shelves are now bare. Sixty more Hope Bags have also been requested to be sent out by the end of August, so Hess said the need to restock supplies for the bags continues to increase.

“These survivors are starting over with nothing. With the help of individuals (at the donation drive and beyond), anyone can take a positive stand against trafficking by providing any of the items Reclaiming Hope includes in Hope Bags,” said Hess. 

A full list of donations needed can be found below:

  • Fleece blankets (one-layer, 50 inches x 60 inches)
  • Blank journals
  • Deodorant (travel size)
  • Hand Sanitizer (travel size)
  • Shampoo and conditioner (travel size)
  • Hair picks
  • Blister bandages
  • Adult-sized hoodies (M, L, XL, XXL)
  • Adult-sized athletic pants (M, L, XL, XXL)
  • Adult-sized t-shirts (blank is best, all sizes needed)
  • Adult-sized cotton briefs (all sizes needed)
  • Adult-sized sports bras (all sizes needed)

*Only new items will be accepted as donations; used or opened items will not be accepted.

“The most vital items to provide right now include: 3-ounce sized deodorant, 3-ounce conditioner, journals, 50 x 60-inch fleece blankets, and athletic clothing in all adult sizes,” said Hess.

Hess said the Hope Bags are sent out to support law enforcement throughout the U.S. and include “a full set of clothing, comfort items and a hygiene kit, given to people rescued from sex trafficking.” Hess said they pack the bags for children and adults, ranging in sizes from “2T-2XL (male, female and universal).”

Hess said the average value per Hope Bag is $150, and anything people can donate from the list above will help support the mission of Reclaiming Hope.

If people are unable to make the donation drive on Friday, Reclaiming Hope also accepts monetary donations, and donations can be made here.