GIFTED: Empowering Survivors of Domestic Violence Through Entrepreneurship

GIFTED: Empowering Survivors of Domestic Violence Through Entrepreneurship

FreeFrom’s GIFTED program provides financial independence and healing for survivors of domestic violence

Relationship abuse, encompassing emotional, physical, and financial abuse, is more prevalent than we realize. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this issue, leading to a surge in cases known as the shadow pandemic. Ana Zimmermann, the director of GIFTED, the online store of FreeFrom, experienced firsthand the devastating effects of domestic violence. After leaving an abusive relationship, she found solace in creating thank you cards and letters in a shelter. Recognizing her talent, others encouraged her to turn her passion into a business. Through FreeFrom’s entrepreneurship program, Zimmermann and other survivors have been given the tools and support to rebuild their lives and create successful businesses. GIFTED not only offers a range of beautiful products but also serves as a gateway to financial independence for survivors.

A Path to Healing and Empowerment

Ana Zimmermann’s journey from a shelter to entrepreneurship represents the transformative power of FreeFrom’s program. The organization provides survivors with the financial tools, resources, and collective support they need to thrive in business and in life. Zimmermann’s experience with FreeFrom taught her about entrepreneurship, business models, and goal-setting. The program’s success led to the creation of GIFTED, an online shop that showcases the products of survivors, including Zimmermann’s ELLI Greetings cards.

GIFTED: More Than Just Products

GIFTED offers a diverse range of products, including soaps, body butters, scrubs, oils, body soufflés, and candles. These ethically-sourced products are not only beautiful but also provide aromatherapy, relaxation, and peace of mind. The shop also features gift boxes and seasonal collections, making it a go-to destination for thoughtful and meaningful gifts. What sets GIFTED apart is its commitment to providing survivors with a living wage. Workers who create, package, and ship the products receive a fair wage of $38.46 per hour, ensuring their financial security.

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The Allstate Foundation’s Support

The Allstate Foundation is a strong supporter of FreeFrom’s mission. Committed to empowering survivors financially, the foundation contributes to cash assistance, matching savings, credit rebuilding programs, and social entrepreneurship endeavors like GIFTED. This holiday season, The Allstate Foundation is donating $250,000 to FreeFrom, furthering their goal of supporting survivors’ financial security and long-term safety. The products from GIFTED not only support self-care and wellness but also serve as a reminder for advocates to take care of themselves.

A Circle of Support

GIFTED’s impact goes beyond financial benefits. The shop fosters a community of survivor-entrepreneurs who support and uplift one another. Through shared experiences and collaboration, survivors find healing and empowerment. The story of a survivor who fractured both hands but continued to guide and teach others in the creation of body soufflés exemplifies the strength and resilience within this community.

Conclusion:

GIFTED, FreeFrom’s online shop, is more than just a platform for survivors to sell their products. It represents a lifeline for survivors of domestic violence, offering financial independence, healing, and a supportive community. Through the program, survivors like Ana Zimmermann have been able to rebuild their lives and create successful businesses. The generous support from The Allstate Foundation and loyal customers further amplifies the impact of GIFTED. As we navigate the holiday season, let us remember the importance of supporting initiatives like GIFTED, which empower survivors and provide them with the tools to create a brighter future.