By Stacie BallardOn April 29th, customers found shopping took on a new purpose. Dahlia’s in downtown Fishers motivated their shoppers with unique finds and gave a percentage of all sales to Ascent 121. The gift shop is co-operated by mother and daughter team Susan Levering and Zoa Hackman. Guests were greeted with smiles, beverages, tasty treats and information about Ascent 121’s efforts to provide resources for minor survivors of human trafficking.
“I thought the event was very successful! For a special event the sales and traffic were similar to what would have happened during a holiday sale. In fact, I think all of the wall art was sold! Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, as who doesn’t like to shop for a cause?” said Zoa about the evening.
Dahlia’s, which opened in May 2013 in response to a need Zoa saw in the community, felt that it is crucial to give back locally and support important causes. “We had talked about the issue of human trafficking before, and we knew it was a problem but we didn’t know about Ascent 121 or how to really engage in the topic.”
When Sara Graziano, a volunteer for Ascent 121 and friend of Dahlia’s, suggested a fundraising event the owners were excited. “As a female it is scary to think that human trafficking can happen, and that it does happen! In Fishers people are trusting, and yet you never know what is going on next door even in your neighborhood. I hear a lot from people that this issue must not be in Indiana, but it is here –right next door.”
“I grew up in a small town, so there was always a lot of community involvement with businesses jumping into whatever was going on. I wanted to get to know the people in community, as that is really important. Plus it is a lot of fun! Growing up my parents had a booth at the county fair, and I remember we were always engaged in things which it seemed was the way everyone was in my town. I think supporting your community is just the way to go,” Zoa commented.
This event “made a lot of people aware, which was a big part of the purpose. We had a customer earlier in the day who returned during the event when she heard about Ascent 121. She even brought some of her friends who were from another area. Her story is great example of how one person who attended then spread the awareness to others.”
Dahlia’s has already scheduled another fundraising event on November 11, 2017 with Ascent 121, so plan to join us then! Dahlia’s at 11631 Maple St, Fishers, Indiana.
Stacie Ballard is the project manager at Ascent 121. She has worked overseas in anti trafficking for many years and has a heart for survivors. Stacie lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband.