Emily Abramson will be celebrating her 15th birthday this week, but unlike most teenagers Emily isn’t asking for gifts. When Emily was asked what she wanted for her birthday this year she couldn’t think of anything she wanted or needed. This got her thinking and she asked her parents if it would be okay to have friends and family donate money towards a good cause rather than give her gifts. Her parents agreed and asked her what cause she wanted to have everyone donate to. Emily wanted to find a way to help stop human trafficking, with her parents advice she looked into local charities and organizations that would help victims in that area.
Emily remembered that when she was in eighth grade she was a teacher's assistant for Mrs. Martell at the Weiser Middle School. In her class often students were working on projects to help a local organization. The ROSE Advocates came and spoke to the students when they came to pick up the donations the students had worked on. Emily remembered this and decided that this would be where she wanted her birthday donations to go, “I liked what ROSE Advocates stands for.” This organization fit what she was looking for.
Emily’s parents, Laura and Doug, are the owners of D & L Coffee Company and every month they collect donations that help out different organizations and charities locally. Emily asked her parents if they could have the shop help donate to her birthday cause, “I asked if we could do a donation at the shop to help raise money, because I wasn’t sure how well it would go with just me raising money.” Laura and Doug wanted to help with more than just adding a donation jar, they decided to take one day of sales and donate a portion of the sale for that day towards Emilys birthday cause.
This Wednesday, October 18th at D & L Coffee Company a portion of the day's sales will be donated, along with any birthday money, to the ROSE Advocates. The Director of ROSE Advocates, Dolores Larsen, shared “I am so impressed with this young lady. My passion is so much with the kids. In our organization we “Band-aid” a lot of things with our adults, but with our youth, that is where we can make a change.” The Rose Advocates tries to help victims get back on their feet and Larsen shared it can be difficult in an area like ours where job availability and public transportation is limited, “There are a lot of roadblocks. It’s not as simple as just leaving their situation. It is more of figuring out what is keeping them there and how to help them. We try to work with the situation and keep people as safe as we can.” Larsen plans to use the money raised for projects and education for Middle and High School aged children, “This tells me how important it is to speak at our schools. We made an impression on this young lady. It had to be a pretty big impression because she is going to give up her birthday gifts. I just think it is awesome, because if we are going to change that cycle we are going to have to work with and educate our kids.”
Emily’s goal is to raise two hundred dollars for Rose Advocates. Emily shared that she liked the organization because it does more for the victims, like help with everyday needs, “They do a lot to help people who are struggling. It’s not just gifts for Christmas. They are trying to do things to help stop domestic violence and help those who are victims of it. Last year in Middle School we held a fundraiser for ROSE Advocates to help collect living supplies for victims. We collected things like toothpaste and even took empty Kleenex boxes and filled them with little toys for children. I thought that was something that was really cool.” Emily hopes people will turn out for her event and help, “I just think it’s important that people know there are people out there who need help. You don’t have to do anything big, but just help out a little where you can.”