The Grateful Garment project is collecting backpacks stuffed with clothing and hygiene items for women and men who may become victims of sex trafficking during Super Bowl 50.
The FBI and local law enforcement agencies are on high alert as many believe the big game may become a magnet for human traffickers.
The “Pack it Forward” initiative has so far collected over 170 bags.
"The backpack is a symbol to us of being able to move forward," said Barbara Otto, Board President of the Grateful Garment Project. "We're hoping it's a catalyst that when somebody who has been exploited receives this gift, that they can think about themselves a little differently and that this gift can help them find their way home."
Each backpack includes a sweatsuit, a blanket, flip flops, and snacks. Every donated items is newly purchased for each victim. No used items are accepted. Each backpack contains an estimated $100 worth of items.
The backpacks are separated by size and gender thanks to the help of volunteers, who have been stuffing backpacks and organizing donated items for weeks.
Law enforcement and trafficking organizations across Santa Clara County will receive the backpacks and give them directly to victims. Agencies as far as Alameda and San Francisco counties have requested packs as well.
The project is still collecting backpacks and items to stuff inside. To donate, visit gratefulgarment.org.