OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Rotary Club of Saco Bay Sunset in Old Orchard Beach received a Rotary District 7780 grant to inform and educate the public about human trafficking in Maine and help survivors with not only meeting their basic needs but also letting them know that people care about them and the issue of human trafficking in the state.

The group is using the grant funding to provide personal care items for survivors of human trafficking and their children. This project brought together 20 people from four communities who met recently at the Ballpark at Old Orchard Beach and filled 200 “comfort bags” with personal health items, a cozy blanket, and a motivational note. Children’s bags contained toys, personal items, and books.

Rotary Club of Saco Bay Sunset is coordinating with CourageLIVES, a branch of St. Andre Home, to help distribute the bags to survivors and their family members. CourageLIVES provides support and services for survivors of human trafficking, exploitation and related sexual and domestic violence, including support for their family members and loved ones. The comfort bags, so far, have been distributed to the residents at the CourageLIVES home, survivors across the state, and to four recovery homes.

President of Rotary Club Saco Bay Sunset Carol Marcotte said, “we are incredibly thankful for this grant and the opportunity to partner with CourageLIVES to help survivors of trafficking and their children in Maine. People often think human trafficking isn’t here, but it is, and that’s why it was important for our Rotary Club to take action.”

To learn more about the work of CourageLIVES, visit www.couragelivesme.org. For information about Saco Bay Sunset Rotary, visit their website: www.sacobaysunsetrotary.org.