Shop for a cause Thursday

A central-Iowa nonprofit is hosting a fundraiser to benefit a home for women rescued from human trafficking.

Wings of Refuge, a recently formed organization, will hold a night of casual shopping, snacks and social time on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Jane Young House in Webster City. The Shop for a Cause event will host several lines of clothing and accessories. All of the money raised from the event will go to Wings of Refuge and other groups whose aim is to rescue and help those who were taken into the sex trade.

Joy Fopma, co-director of Wings of Refuge, said she became aware of the issue after hosting a showing of the film “Nefarious” in Webster City. Through more research, she found human trafficking occurs across the United States and in Iowa. Fopma found others concerned about trafficking and they later became Wings of Refuge.

“A group of people got together and began to pray and to ask what we can do to bring the light to a very dark issue,” Fopma said.

That prayer and reflection led the group to be called to restoration and help those women who are coerced or forced into the sex trade.

To do that, Wings of Refuge has opened a home at an undisclosed location where female survivors of trafficking from the ages of 11 to 22 can find shelter after being rescued. Fopma said the home, which plans to eventually shelter up to 15 women, will offer a family setting where restoration can begin.

“It’s a very in depth process,” Fopma said. “These girls have been exploited for a long time and exhaustive efforts are needed to bring help to these girls emotionally, physically and spiritually.”

More about the organization can be found online at wingsofrefuge.net.