Effect Change – Giving Tuesday 2023

EMAIL: October 17, 2023

Dear Devoted WARriors,

Giving Tuesday 2023 is around the corner, and Women At Risk, International (WAR, Int’l) is excited to join this global movement of generosity. This year, we invite you to be a part of something truly special and link arms with us to effect change in the lives of those in need.

For Giving Tuesday 2023, WAR, Int’l has set a goal of $40,000 for our 911 Rescue Fund. We are excited to have an anonymous matching gift, which means your contributions will have a greater impact to effect change.

At this very moment at our Headquarters, we are involved in four such rescue efforts. We receive emergency calls weekly from all over the country as well as from our global connections.

With your support, the contributions to the 911 Rescue Fund will allow us to provide emergency funding for housing, legal aid, medical assistance, food, transportation, and more in urgent situations, at a moment’s notice. This Fund allows WAR, Int’l and its partners to rush to the aid of those in imminent danger. We rely on this fund when we get an emergency call from a distressed woman trying to escape her trafficker, when a desperate partner calls about a crisis situation, and when life-saving intervention is crucially needed. When circumstances call for immediate action, there is no time to ask for donations.

Join us for #GivingTuesday2023 and be a part of something greater. Together, we can effect change as we make a difference in the lives of others, in their time of need. Over the next few weeks, leading up to November 28th, we will be sharing powerful and important stories of rescue to help you grasp the scope of your WAR Int’l Giving Tuesday 2023 donation and its impact to effect change.

Together, we can make this Giving Tuesday unforgettable.

Read Real Rescues here.

Want to start effecting change today?

Give online here.
Send a check to: Women At Risk, International, 2790 44th St. SW, Wyoming, MI 49519.

If you write a check, please be sure to note on the memo line that it is for our Giving Tuesday campaign so your contribution can be counted toward our goal!

Want other ways to effect change?

Share our posts on social media: Facebook & Instagram.
Talk about Giving Tuesday with friends and family.
Ask your company if they have a corporate donation policy.

Real Rescues

Working to raise donations for Women At Risk, International’s 911 Rescue Fund, we want to share the impact your contributions make in the lives of others, in their time of need. Here are stories of Real Rescues.


The Genesis of WAR, Int’l’s 911 Rescue Fund: Ellie

Mai cut the cooked egg into four sections, dividing it equally between her four hungry children. With another one on the way, there would soon be five hungry mouths to feed.

Two weeks after her new little one was born, Mai sold Ellie, her beautiful baby girl, to local traffickers. When our partnering safehouse heard about the situation, they tracked Ellie down and loaned Mai money to buy her back, despite threats from the traffickers.

Now adopted into a safe home, Ellie is blossoming under the love and care she receives.

Our 911 Rescue Fund grew out of this partner’s request in the dead of night to rescue this precious baby girl who had been sold to Thai traffickers for $200. Becky McDonald, founder and president of WAR, Int’l, was shocked they had to ask for the funding to rescue. Becky promised the money blindly, saying she would have a garage sale if necessary, and begged them to rescue the baby without delay!

We want WAR, Int’l and its partners to be empowered to immediately intervene in a rescue—not wait for the funding needed to save a life.


This Week’s Rescue Story: Margaret

Too many times, the trafficker is someone the victim knows. For Margaret, this was her story. Margaret’s boyfriend forced her to sleep with other men in order for him to secure drugs.

A moment in time allowed her, along with her teenage daughter (who WAR, Int’l was advised had thankfully not been trafficked), to escape. Like many others, they simply left with the clothes on their backs. It was during this time, when they were hiding in a hotel, that WAR, Int’l received Margaret’s call and was able to provide assistance.

Because of funding in our 911 Rescue Fund, we were able to provide food, clothing, and other basic essentials. To be reunited with family in another city, we also assisted with transportation needs.

It is through the generosity of the WAR Family that WAR, Int’l is able to effect change for the lives of those in need, in their time of need. Together … we rescue. #EffectChange


This Week’s Rescue Story: Angel

The day COVID-19 hit the U.S. in 2020, Rebecca McDonald, founder & president of WAR, Int’l, hid a young woman in her car.

When you help a woman escape exploitation, you see the painfully high cost of freedom. While she leaves abuse behind, in many cases she’s also leaving everything she’s ever known. She may never see family again if they were the root problem. Starting over is exhausting, let alone while navigating trauma and healing as well. Freedom is not free but painfully expensive in a thousand different ways.

For hours, Angel had run barefoot from her traffickers before she got WAR, Int’l’s number from a national hotline. Thankfully, she called us and we were able to assist her. As Angel was running from her trafficker, Becky hid Angel in her car as we arranged safe housing.

Today, Angel is flourishing as a legal secretary; pro bono lawyers have cleared the crimes claimed against her; she has visitation with her kiddos again; and thanks to the WAR family, she was able to get a car. Her lawyers had told her she needed a car so the judge would take her seriously because her only mode of transportation at the time had been a bicycle.

Your WAR, Int’l GT ‘23 gift immediately empowers rescue and intervention.


This Week’s Rescue Story: Ramona

Overcoming unimaginable circumstances, Ramona found the strength to be a witness against her traffickers in court. There is great importance in shedding light on the realities of human trafficking and bringing perpetrators to justice.

Having received a call from a federal agency, WAR, Int’l was asked to take Ramona shopping for clothes she could wear to court. We went into overdrive to “outfit” this courageous survivor to be the key witness against a trafficking ring. We ignored the attention we attracted by shopping under armed guard, and instead, rejoiced as we watched Ramona’s countenance transform from fear to confidence!

She whispered, “Why do you care for me when you don’t even know me?”

We love that question! The 911 Rescue Fund allows us to immediately engage in the moment of danger and empowers us to love in the name of Christ. We applauded Ramona’s resilience and were honored to be a part of her story.

GT ‘23 is fast approaching, benefitting the 911 Rescue Fund that allows us to respond, inform, and reach into lives with action. A matching gift doubles its impact.

Please consider donating today as the need for our 911 Rescue Fund is very real.


This Week’s Rescue Story: Moses

At four months old, Moses was an adorable baby—but his family offered to sell him to anyone who wanted him. In this situation, he came to the notice of a group of our partners who took turns watching him. Fortunately for Moses, we found him before a trafficker did. While the law tied our hands, we were able to use money from the 911 Rescue Fund to pay for his immediate needs.

Consider donating today to start making an impact as your gift immediately empowers rescue and intervention.


Want to start effecting change today?

Give online here.

Send a check to: Women At Risk, International, 2790 44th St. SW, Wyoming, MI 49519.

If you write a check, please be sure to note on the memo line that it is for our Giving Tuesday campaign so your contribution can be counted toward our goal!

Want other ways to effect change?

1. Share our posts on social media: Facebook & Instagram.
2. Talk about Giving Tuesday with friends and family.
3. Ask your company if they have a corporate donation policy.

Sound of Freedom – a child survivor’s input

Intro: Rebecca McDonald, founder & president of WAR, Int’l
Author: Pearl, a child survivor


As of mid-August, over 1,000 people have watched our “Sound of Freedom Movie Review,” the 4th movie we’ve done a private screening for. It’s unprecedented We listed praises & cautionary tales. Good news? Americans really care about the horror of child trafficking in the Land of the Free.

A child survivor, Pearl, the real expert… wrote:

“I’ve seen the movie 2 times & knew it’d stir up memories/emotions I haven’t been able to deal with. When I watched Rebecca (Founder & President of WAR), the tiny child in me started weeping. I just wanted to reach out to her & really any of you! Ya’ll seem to “get it.” I’ve never had that “vibe” from anyone. Thank you. Also, I appreciated the positive & negative aspects presented.

As a survivor, I want to say a couple things. I know you are a safe place to do that. Coming from an era where NO one cared about child trafficking (in my world anyway), it really, finally is sinking in that some men CAN care, ARE doing something to help children & not just sadistically use them for their own perversion. What a revelation! I hadn’t realized I’d feel so strongly about that!

On the negative, it upsets me when it appears that once children are rescued, their hell is over, no trauma & baggage. It feeds the lie others try to get me to accept that we SHOULD just be able to let it all go, get over our sweet self & quit acting like it affected us negatively. PTSD, trauma brain, reactions, relationship issues, dissociative identity disorders, etc. are all weaknesses we should just be able to control. So, it’s our weakness & fault that we don’t. I’m not trying to imply healing isn’t possible. I KNOW it is. My life is in a better place than I’d ever realistically imagined. It’s just getting started. I’m excited to see where it’s going. But it takes more time & work than people realize & don’t want to know.

Nowadays, with places like WAR, good therapists & therapies…it DOES happen easier & quicker. No doubt I’ll have some regret once I hit “send.” Thank you WAR, for the support. It makes such a difference to feel as if I’m heard & respected by good people!”

Hidden In Plain Sight

March 2023


Imagine for a moment, working long hours into the night, your back hurting, your lungs stinging from the spicy dust of a well-known chip the factory you’re employed with is producing. Imagine enduring this while also being a minor, still in high school.

People often forget that human trafficking is more than sex trafficking; it is also labor trafficking, and often exists in plain sight.

West Michigan is currently under the microscope for a local food production factory violating child labor laws.

In late February, the New York Times (The Times) published an article highlighting labor trafficking here in West Michigan. WOOD TV also published an article locally.

This matter was brought to the attention of Women At Risk, International (WAR, Int’l) when Rebecca McDonald, WAR, Int’l founder & president, received an email from a local employment placement firm, detailing their applicant screening practices and policies. Understandably, this firm wanted to disclose that their processes met legal guidelines which would help their clients meet legal guidelines too.

An Illinois-based food manufacturer that has production sites in Grand Rapids, MI hired a local employment agency, who allegedly hired the underage workers. The manufacturer has now hired an agency to conduct an independent review of staffing policies and plant conditions. This review is expected to take 60 days.

What can you do to make a difference? #CircleOfProtection

1) To better understand the risks, learn more here.

2) For additional resources, find them here.

3) To receive training as a Civilian First Responder (CFR), read more here.

Create An Impact

March 8th is celebrated globally as International Women’s Day.

Yes, celebrate the women in your life! However, International Women’s Day is more than what we have done in the past. It is a day to come together and continue making life better for one another.

The history of this day

This sense of solidarity and need for change is what inspired the first Women’s Day. It began in 1908 with suffragettes marching on the streets of New York City protesting for equal rights, and the following year, National Women’s Day was declared in the United States. It gained international recognition in 1910, with women from over seventeen countries agreeing to observe a day to emphasize the fight for equal rights. In 1975, March 8 was officially designated by The United Nations as International Women’s Day.

This year’s theme

Organizers have selected yearly themes since 1996, ranging from ending hunger for rural women to ending violence against women. This year’s theme is about embracing equity in the world. This year’s slogan encourages us to do something in the name of women around the world—especially something we might not usually do.

The International Women’s Day website suggests actions such as calling out instances when women are excluded, reinforcing and supporting women’s triumphs, and encouraging women to further their education.

At Women At Risk, International

We are working to support and empower women every day of the year. Our partnering safehouses, both international and here in the United States, rescue and restore at-risk and wounded women by giving them a safe place to heal while providing counseling, education, skills training, and more.

Our vocational training and microenterprise partners give at-risk women the opportunity to earn an income with dignity, empowering them to safely support themselves and avoid exploitation. Educational and outreach programs in the United States and abroad offer women who desire to better their situation the power to do so.

Create An Impact

As you consider what you can do to help women around the world, here are three ways:

1. Link arms with your friends to co-host a WAR Chest Pop Up Boutique!

Learn more here or simply email party@warinternational.org today.

2. Volunteer at our headquarters or at events!

Sign up here or simply email volunteer@warinternational.org today.

3. Donate to our 911 Rescue Fund to help facillitate rescues!

Read stories of rescue here.

We wish all women around the world a very happy International Women’s Day!