Southern Ill. boutique uses profits to help fight human trafficking

Harrisburg boutique fights against human trafficking.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 9:50 PM CDT|Updated: May. 22, 2023 at 10:17 PM CDT
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HARRISBURG, Ill. (KFVS) - Shopping with a purpose is one southern Illinois boutique’s motto. And that purpose is to fight against human trafficking.

Restoration 61 is a non-profit organization that engages communities and their stakeholders through education to develop strategies that disrupt the cycle of human trafficking and directly serve the individuals impacted by exploitation.

Leaders with the group opened up a boutique in Saline County, Ill., to help victims of human trafficking.

R61 Resale and Boutique in Harrisburg, Ill., operates as a regular retail store. Inside you’ll find clothes, accessories and toys. But, the profits benefit those in need.

“All of the proceeds besides everything to keep the lights on go towards our life-saving programs, that goes towards victims of human trafficking,” said Community Impact Specialist Sarah Kiecana.

Kiecana also said they offer a voucher system where members who are in need in the community can shop for free. Even if you are not in the state of Illinois, leaders at Restoration 61 said they can still help you.

The proceeds from what’s sold inside R61 go towards crisis intervention, housing advocacy, therapy and more.

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, since 2007 in Illinois, they have identified 2,237 cases of human trafficking with 4,817 victims identified.

Leaders at Restoration 61 say human trafficking is an issue in our region.

“Our number one biggest question that we get when we do outreach events here in the southern part of the state is, does this actually happen down here? Yes it does. It absolutely does happen. Anywhere where there’s the internet or where there’s people, human trafficking will happen,” Kiecana said.

While the R61 boutique just opened on May 19, the group has been working the last 18 months across southern Ill., helping more than 50 victims.

Store leaders said the fight to stop human trafficking never ends.

“It’s just giving back to the community and knowing that every hour of the day that I put into work, I know that I’m helping someone,” Kiecana said.

The resale boutique, located at 1001 N. Main Street, is open on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you are looking to donate, you can drop off items during store hours or contact them via email or social media.

For more information on Restoration 61, or if you or a loved one needs help, you can find check out their website. Restoration 61 offers help 24/7.