AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– An Aurora teen is taking action after a traumatic event happened to someone she knows. Kyra Dooley has spent years donating to a variety of charities, and this year she’s helping two non-profits that focus on helping sex trafficking survivors.
“It just made such a big impact on me I just needed to do something about it,” said Kyra Dooley. “People shouldn’t have to go through those things because it’s just something so traumatizing.”
Since she was 9 years old, Dooley has forgone presents at Christmas and her birthday and instead gave to a worthy cause.
This year, Dooley has been gathering donations around Christmas of basic necessities and gift cards that survivors can use to get back on their feet. She’s working with Sarah’s Home and Covered Colorado. Both groups help women after sex trafficking. She’s holding an event on Jan. 11 to gather more donations.
“The hard thing about sex trafficking is that it’s a really uncomfortable topic so it’s really hard for people to get educated about it,” Dooley said.
“Many of these women coming out, it’s like you can’t just walk out of it one day and say, ‘Okay, I’m going to go to my new job and I have a paycheck and daycare for my child.’ You just can’t. Many women may need to change their names or need new documentation,” said Holly O’Berem, a “survivor lead” for Covered Colorado.
“I’ve been out of that life for about 15 years now and I’ve just become so much more educated about trafficking and what it looks like. A lot of survivors blame themselves, they have a lot of shame, they have just trauma that they’ve been through,” O’Berem said about surviving. “It can happen anywhere and it can happen to any family.”
O’Berem works with survivors and case managers to make sure a new life can be an easier. She knows just how much donations like Dooley’s help.
“To give someone the opportunity to be seen and to know that people care and that people are educating themselves around what is going on is so huge,” said O’Berem.
“Giving to other people is just a great feeling, it feels so amazing,” Dooley said.
The National Human trafficking Hotline has a 24/7 anonymous hotline where suspicious activity around trafficking can be reported. Anyone can call 1(888) 373-7888 or text 233733.