The Zonta Club of Cleveland was one of 62 clubs to receive a Zonta International Centennial Anniversary Grant. The club’s US$5,000 grant went to support a community street outreach program run by the Renee Jones Empowerment Center in East Cleveland, a high-incident suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.
Renee Jones Empowerment Center is devoted to preventing human trafficking and sexual exploitation by actively engaging the community in anti-trafficking efforts and educating service professionals, law enforcement, educators, students, parents, and the community on the realities of this growing crime.
Project Red Cord Night Out is a call to action. The main goals and objectives are to make trafficking victims aware of the broad spectrum of services which are available, to involve neighbors and community agencies and make them aware of the nature of the trafficking problem.
By partnering with Renee Jones Empowerment Center, the Zonta Club of Cleveland fulfilled the first objective of Zonta International: improving the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women through service and advocacy.
Members of the Zonta Club of Cleveland participated in the street outreach in September, October, November and December. Club members filled 200 Zonta bags with essential hygiene items such as body wash, shampoo and conditioner, and provided them to women who stopped by. They also handed out non-perishable food items such as cans of chicken noodle soup and tuna fish, boxes of macaroni and cheese, and healthy snacks.