Locally made gift basket helps victims of human trafficking

Gift baskets at Eden House in New Orleans, Louisiana August 10, 2017.

NEW ORLEANS — Human trafficking victims in New Orleans are being given a second chance at life with a new gift basket program called “Especially Eden,” aimed at providing them with marketable career skills.

The primary objective of the enterprise is to provide the residents of Eden House the opportunity to gain marketable skills, job training and work experience to move toward financial independence and economic self-sufficiency.

Founded in 2011, Eden House is the only recovery home for adult female victims of human trafficking and commercial exploitation in the Greater New Orleans area.

Since opening its doors, the confidentially located residence has housed more than 40 women and has assisted more than 200 victims with resources and referrals.

Kara Van de Carr, founder and board president explains, “There are many facets to our rehabilitation program and a key challenge has been assisting graduates with job placement once they are ready to become independent. Many of the women who come to us were forced into prostitution as teenagers and thus have few marketable skills, lack successful job histories and often have complex legal histories that keep employers from hiring them.”

The “Especially Eden” gift basket program hopes to change that.

Through the program, victims will be trained in computer literacy, website development, sales and marketing, customer service, accounting and assembly. Income generated by the baskets will go towards residents’ salaries and eventually support Eden House operations.

There are three gift baskets available for purchase on the Eden House website: Healer ($35.00), Believer ($55.00) and Dreamer ($75.00-$100.00).

Especially Eden is partnering with 13 local businesses for basket items including Busters Homemade Pecan Candy, Cocktail & Sons, Jambalaya Girl, Louisiana Sisters, Native Polish, Nola Lip and Soap Company, Orleans Coffee, Gay Marie, Purple Monkey, Alexa Pulitzer, Emma Fick and Frances Rodriguez, along with bracelets assembled by Eden House residents.

For more information and to purchase, visit the Eden House website.