Written by Gabriel Dillard
PINC (Philanthropy Inspired by the Needs of our Community), a local nonprofit that raises funds to benefit other nonprofits, has selected its 2019 beneficiary — Breaking the Chains.
Founded in 2014, Breaking the Chains is a Fresno-based organization that provides services to the victims of human trafficking. As Fresno is a hotspot for such activity, Ashley Webster, president of PINC, said the decision to support Breaking the Chains was a natural one for the organization.
“The Central Valley has become an active hub for human trafficking in California,” Webster said. “Breaking The Chains is an organization that is trying to put a stop it. We look forward to sharing their mission and educating the rest of our community on how important it is to support an organization like this.”
Breaking the Chains founder Debra Rush knows the problem firsthand, as she was a victim of sex trafficking starting at age 19. Cofounder Tiffany Apodaca is also a sexual abuse survivor.
Breaking the Chains provides and connects victims with services including case management, counseling, group therapy and more. It also assists law enforcement with rescue intervention services, and also runs a safehouse for victims of human trafficking.
The organization is 100-percent funded through private grants, foundations and community partners.
“We are completely overwhelmed,” Rush said of the announcement. “It’s organizations like PINC that really allow us to do what we do.”
Rush said the contribution from PINC would be used as seed funding to build Fresno’s first rescue center for victims of human trafficking geared toward the minor population. Construction is expected to begin in October.
PINC hosted its 10th annual fundraising party in June, raising a record $120,000 for its annual beneficiary, Valley Children’s Healthcare Oncology/Social Services Family Help Fund.