Mary Jackson has made the journey from victim to survivor.
And she keeps making it.
The first time was through her own trauma and abuse, but now, decades later, Jackson travels the well-worn path as a mentor to women striving to build a new life after human trafficking.
“The women I work with need mercy and grace and someone who understands,” Jackson says. “I pray for them constantly.”
And it’s her faith — even more than her trauma — that led her to volunteer with Call to Freedom. At any given time, Jackson has around five — and sometimes more — of CTF’s clients under her wing. Her volunteerism goes a long way toward building a family around each client, many of whom either don’t have family or have families who aren’t supportive.
That sense of belonging and readily available support is key to each woman’s success.
“If they need someone to take them out to dinner and just listen, I do it. If they need a tank of gas or some furniture, I’ll find it. If they call at 1 a.m. because they’re anxious and afraid, they know I’ll answer,” Jackson says. “Trust is huge, so it’s important for me to be someone they can depend on.”
Jackson, who’s a manager at Cimarron Label, got involved with CTF almost as soon as it opened its doors in 2016. Because of her past experiences, she immediately recognized the value of an organization like Call to Freedom.
“My specific trauma was different, but the effects were similar to what CTF’s clients are going through,” says Jackson. “There was nowhere for me to turn at the time. Now there’s a place, and I love being a part of it!”