Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Girls Giving Grants awards grant to help fellow teens find life after sex trafficking

Nicole Villalpando
Girls Giving Grants from Impact Austin is awarding The Refuge for DMST (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) a $8,800 grant to help girls served by the Refuge go on educational field trips. 

Girls Giving Grants President Haley Justiz led 88 girls to pick the grantee and co-chair of Impact Austin Sue Breland advised the group. [Laura Skelding]

What can 88 high school girls do? Impact Austin's Girls Giving Grants program, which has each participant raise $100 for charity, is giving $8,800 to help fellow girls go on educational field trips.

The recipients are all at The Refuge for DMST (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking)'s new Refuge Ranch, a long-term, live-in rehabilitation facility that helps deal with the trauma of being trafficked.

RELATED: How one woman started Austin 20 to help child sex trafficking victims

Each year Girls Giving Grants participants do the research on what causes their money should go toward and then vote as a group to support one program at one nonprofit organization. Girls Giving Grants has given more than $80,000 to local charities since 2006.

RELATED: Girls Giving Grants helps kids get therapy dog for court visits

On Monday, Girls Giving Grants will present their check at City Hall. Impact Austin, a women's philanthropy group, will also present their grants in the amount of $100,000 each to four local nonprofit organizations:

Austin Bat Cave will get support for the ABC Bat Mobile classroom on wheels. Austin Bat Cave helps teach writing to children in Title I schools as well as holds free writing workshops and summer camps for kids of all ages.

Con Mi Madre will be able to help lift an additional 180 mother-daughter teams out of proverty through education.

American Gateways helps people navigate the immigration system. The grant will fund a development coordinator, grants and operations manager, and a communications and pro bono coordinator.

Half Helen Foundation will be able to screen an additional 10,000 students for vision problems.

Each member of Impact Austin gives $1,250 and can participate in the grant-giving process.

This year Impact Austin is creating a new Social Innovation Grant, which will be given to a collaboration of two or more organizations who are working on a project that focuses on equity among women and girls of color. The grant will be $110,000. Impact Austin is seeking grantees, and people can email to learn how to apply.

Find more information on

RELATED: Austin boy trying to raise $1 million for Batten disease