With the economy in a major downward spiral, not-for-profit organizations are being hit in a major way. I recently received an e-mail from Rachel Lloyd, the Director and Founder of
Gems Girls. She stated, "I am writing this from my desk at 2 a.m."
She went on to share the following:
"Tonight we received a crisis phone call. A young woman, Stacey, was desperately trying to escape her pimp and had no one to turn to and nowhere to go. Stacey was recruited when she was 15 years old, and is now 21. Throughout her six years as a domestic trafficking victim, Stacey has experienced daily violence and abuse and tonight was simply tired. Tired of being scared, tired of being abused, tired of being sold. Several weeks ago, Stacey saw our film on Showtime, Very Young Girls, which helped her realize that there was a way out. Tonight, she came to GEMS with only the clothes on her back and asked us to help her."
Very Young Girls is a documentary about Lloyd's organization, which works to get teenage girls off the street and out of the life of prostitution. Currently being featured through March 1st on Showtime On Demand, it was a matter of luck that Stacey saw the film.
The average age of girls getting pulled into prostitution is thirteen. Lloyd knows the score, having been there herself.
I first met Lloyd at an event in downtown Manhattan. She spoke to those gathered about her experiences and her mission. The presentation showcased her dynamism, energy, and commitment to saving the lives of those that others have deemed marginal. Throughout the documentary, you follow her as she offers hope, help, and love to struggling teens, along with a strong dose of realism. Sometimes she is successful, other times...she isn't.
Several story threads make up the narrative. In a chilling sequence, we see a videotape made by two young men who filmed their exploits as rising pimps, with hopes of snaring a reality show. The streets of New York City have never looked bleaker.