“I’ve traveled to places abroad where trafficking is well known, but you don’t have to go that far to find it,” said Ginny Holt. “There are traffickers right here in Cook County.”
Ginny began supporting CAASE after learning about its End Demand Illinois (EDI) campaign. She attended an EDI panel discussion that included Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and survivors of the sex trade, and it sparked her interest in the issue of sex trafficking. “It showed me that CAASE really has an important role and is able to engage change-makers.”
Ginny and her husband have four children, and they created the Full Circle Family Foundation in 1998 to formalize the family’s commitment to giving. Ginny hoped that her children would be influenced by the foundation during their formative years.
Since the foundation has started to support work to end sexual exploitation, Ginny said she’s more aware of how prostitution is portrayed in the media. When men in the Secret Service were caught buying sex in Columbia, Ginny was disturbed by how the media covered the issue. “They didn’t treat the act as someone using power over a woman.Instead, their attitude seemed to be, ‘Boys will be boys.’” These inequities drive Ginny to do more and raise awareness about demand. “We’re punishing the wrong people, but it is really hard to talk about it,” she said. “You have to first get people to understand the problem.”
Much of Ginny’s other charitable giving has focused on direct services, including ways of helping women and girls. She said learning about and supporting CAASE’s advocacy through End Demand Illinois has been rewarding. “The progress and the success of CAASE is so tangible,” Ginny said. “End Demand is helping to get laws passed, sometimes unanimously. If you’re going to give money, it’s important to give to an organization that shows results.”