Restore One

Combating human trafficking and human exploitation by means of public awareness, practical prevention, restorative care and building domestic and international partnerships.


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Release: Stand For One gala to raise funds for nations first shelter for trafficked boys

GREENVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA—Over 500 local and national abolitionists will gather for the “Stand for One Gala” on Sep. 26 to raise $70,000 for the first shelter for trafficked males in the U.S. that will be spearheaded by local nonprofit, Restore One.
“The Stand for One gala is our biggest fundraiser of the year. Every dollar donated is a step closer to our goal to open doors to sex trafficked boys through The Anchor House,” said PR Director Persida Montanez.
The gala will begin at 7 p.m. and will be located at the Rock Spring Center in Greenville. It is the second gala that Restore One hosts. The first, which was held on Oct. 2014, was attended by over 400 guests. The gala will include dinner, live music, guest speakers and a silent auction.
Michael Cusick, they keynote speaker, is the Founder and President of Restoring the Soul Ministries, who serves as an adjunct professor at Denver Seminary and is the author of Surfing for God. Cusick’s personal testimony and heart for healing from sexual baggage and brokenness parallels with Restore One’s mission to restore sex trafficked boys and men.
Rebecca Bender, a former sex trafficking victim and founder of Rebecca Bender Ministries, will be the master of ceremonies. Bender is also an award winning, internationally recognized speaker, author and survivor leader in the movement to eradicate modern day slavery.
“Attendees and donors are as much a part of The Anchor House as the staff and the foundation upon which The Anchor House will be built. Those that will be in attendance are Restore One,” said Montanez.
Tickets are on-sale online.
For more information about the event visit the Restore One website: restoreonelife.org
Watch a video recap of last year’s gala.

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You are officially invited to our Stand For One gala!


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What about the boys?

By Nelli Agbulos, guest blogger.

(Photo caption: Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed, from Grace Brown’s Project Unbreakable)

(Photo caption: Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed, from Grace Brown’s Project Unbreakable)

While the above photo does not pertain to male trafficking, the reaction a male trafficking victim would get would be the same if someone knew a man had been raped. Males are typically perceived to be the “bad guy” “predator” “pimp” and “perpetrator” in the crime-scene world, and they are rarely recognized as victims. This has much to do with the gender construction in society.

According to the Polaris Project, the average age of entry into prostitution for boys is 11 to 13 years old. That age range has them considered as children, and about 50% of child sex trafficking victims are boys. They go from a path of poverty to prostitution to human trafficking. Lack of publicity and advocacy makes male sex trafficking attractive to criminal networks, to fill the demand and pages of pornography magazines.

Male victims of human trafficking are typically runaways or those who were thrown out of their homes. Many experience high rates of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse from family members, and that makes boys more vulnerable and susceptible to drugs and alcohol. In turn, drugs and alcohol becomes those boys’ coping mechanisms, which incidentally become one of the reasons they get sexually exploited so that they can fund their alcohol and drug supply. Seeking love is another reason runaway/homeless boys turn to sexual exploitation, to fill the longing and care not mutually given in previous experiences. Boys are often recruited by friends and peers, though some are known to have pimps (who keep most of their earnings).

Boys are not considered a “high risk group” to be included in research, outreach, and rehabilitation services for human trafficking. Male trafficking victims only get attention if the news breaks out as a local or national scandal – and again, this rarely happens. There is gender construction in being a victim, and that is attributed to the ideals of masculinity held by the general public. Since boys aren’t perceived to be victims, they aren’t encouraged to speak out when something happens; they are shunned because of the belief they are “stronger”, more self-efficient, and are capable of taking better care of themselves. These qualities of masculinity have become normalized to the point that they pressure men with unrealistic expectations. Men become afraid to speak up because of the shame and embarrassment associated with what happened to them. Even law enforcement officials have been known to doubt male victims. An ECPAT study revealed that boys are reluctant to declare themselves as victims or report incidents of exploitation to avoid the potential stigma associated with being viewed as gay. Undeniably, men are put under the cloak of invisibility regarding topics on male sexual exploitation (such as male rape, domestic violence, and human trafficking) that has them as victims.

I’m not saying female human trafficking should be held in any less regard to male trafficking. There is still so much to be done to combat female trafficking and its equally nuanced layers. However, an alarming statistic produced by the United States State Department reports that between 2006 and 2008, the percentage of adult trafficking male victims jumped from 6% to 45%. If that 39% increase isn’t a cause for concern, then maybe this issue is being blown out of proportion. Human trafficking is as an issue that happens to both genders. Men are just as affected by human trafficking and require the same attention as females.


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RO Apparel Instagram Contest

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It is here. Our first ever IG contest. There’s three prizes for: co-founder favorite, most creative and most likes. You can enter on June 30 through August 6  until 11:59 p.m.  We’ll even allow two entries for the contest. Here’s how to enter:

1. Purchase a shirt from our RO Apparel, or use one you have bought previously.

2. Post a pic on Instagram with your RO Apparel shirt. Follow/tag RO Apparel on Instagram and use the hashtag #ROcontest in the description.

That’s it.

Contact press@restoreonelife.org if you have any questions (: Luck!


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Q& A with intern & digital media maven, Zach Pomeroy

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You will be seeing a lot of multimedia coming from Restore One in the following months. Zach Pomeroy, who specializes in digital media is the man behind camera. Pomeroy will come alongside RO for a whole year too! Here’s a little about him, Q&A-style:

 What did you do previously when you volunteered with RO?I began volunteering at RO last summer. I started just by coming to the office hours that RO had every Friday. As I became more involved, I designed and put together the Email and Print Newsletters for RO. I continued designing the Newsletters throughout my senior year at UNCW.

What has happened in your life in the past year/since you were last in Greenville?Since last summer, I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a Specialization in Digital Media and a minor in Spanish. During my senior year, I co-led a Bible with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, I traveled to Swansea, Wales to shoot a promotional video for the Office of International Programs at UNCW

What will you be doing with RO this year? Have any goals? What are you most excited about?This year at RO, I will be a Communication Intern. I will shoot video updates from the staff, design email and print newsletters, manage the social media handles, and assisting with the BOY$ Documentary. Some of my goals include working with the BOY$ Documentary and learning how to make videos and run social media for a non-profit. I am most excited about working with such an incredible team.

 Fun facts? I love to travel and have been to three different countries Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Wales. Playing music is my favorite thing to do when I want to relax. I can’t stop listening to my favorite band Johnnyswim.


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Words from Genny. Summer intern.

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Guest post by intern Genevieve Parshely 

It is this kind of purposeful action in people in my generation that gives me courage and a hope that we will address and act on the things the Lord has placed on our hearts for our good and His glory. I am SO beyond excited to unofficially officially start my internship with Restore One! I am so thankful for how the Lord has brought me here and am already so inspired and grateful for the work my brothers and sisters have done through Christ as they work towards the goal of seeing sexual exploitation and trafficking eradicated!

I will admit, I am still nervous! Working for an organization like RO has been a dream of mine for quite some time now and I really don’t want to disappoint anyone. I am fearful that I won’t be good at or have the gifts for this thing that I profess to want to do with my entire life. What if I fail? What if I can’t think creatively enough, work hard enough, do enough, be…well, better?

And then I think, well, Genny, that’s not the kind of questions God created you to ask. In fact, I would wager He wants you to not ask any questions like that but to say with confidence that through Him all things are possible.

I am a daughter of a King! We are all children of a great kingdom. WHAT? I’M SORRY! To live in freedom is our birth right. To live without fear, abuse, slavery, hurt, or doubt is in our spiritual DNA. I have to believe this – I need to believe it. And the more I utter these truths to my self, I know that my soul with grow stronger and I can walk with more certainty and fearlessness will echo in every stride.

With this in mind, I will do everything I can, with all the gifts God has given me, to do His will on this earth and work towards a world no one has to fear for the safety of body, mind and soul – a world of complete freedom. My desire to pursue this isn’t because it’s a “cool thing to do.” It is not because it is a hot topic right now. This is NOT about me or any single person. I will run this race set before me because it is the Lord’s heart and because of that, it is mine too. Ours.

Will you join in the fight? Come on y’all – let’s do it.