The Philadelphia Phillies held their annual Phillies Charities, Inc. Christmas party this past Thursday. Rhys Hoskins and Gabe Kapler were among those from the Fightins in attendance. But the real stars of the show were the men and women of local nonprofit organizations honored throughout the evening. One of those men was Daniel Emr, executive director and founder of Worthwhile Wear.
“It was an honor. It was just a really cool and humbling experience to be a part of that,” Emr reminisced. “Hanging out with the upper echelon – the owners and managers and some of the players.”
At one point during the evening, Emr even ran into Phillies owner John Middleton at the event’s bar. “One of the things that was neat was the accessibility of John Middleton. He wasn’t managed by guards or bodyguards. He’s the second wealthiest man in Pennsylvania, but I just went up and talked to him,” Emr mentioned. “He asked me what we’re up to these days, what does Worthwhile Wear do? So I shared with him how we work locally, as well as overseas and globally. It was neat, and to me, it was something I really respect. Here’s someone who has every reason to brush you off, but he took the time to just hear what it is we’re doing.”
Over thirty charities were represented at this year’s Christmas party, more than any year in the past. While all of them got recognized in one way or another, Emr was one of only two charity representatives to be invited to speak during the party. “That was a very special honor to do that. We got really good feedback. A lot of people were very receptive to what I had to share at the event.”
What Is Worthwhile Wear?
Founded and still primarily functioning in the greater Philadelphia region, Worthwhile Wear is a nonprofit started to reach and restore women affected by human trafficking both in the USA and overseas. Internationally, they provide employment to women through the making of Worthwhile Wear blank t-shirts. Companies, schools, churches, and organizations here in America can then use those blank t-shirts through their typical screen printer. This time, however, as they promote themselves, they are also promoting freedom from today’s modern slavery. The sales of the shirts provide employment to the women abroad and funding for their US-based programs.
In the USA, they have a long-term housing program called The Well. It’s located on an 82 acre property just outside of Philadelphia and offers women a safe place to heal. Women are welcome to stay in the program for up to two years.
Sadly, the issue of human trafficking is growing, and their housing program can’t keep up with the great need. For that reason, Worthwhile Wear launched a new community based outreach and empowerment program called Worth It. This new program exists for survivors of sexual exploitation and forced prostitution. Having seen a significant response to the program already, they are now seeking funding to expand it to 9 counties surrounding the Philadelphia area.
“I am learning that I have a voice and I AM ENOUGH! My past no longer defines me, and I am forever grateful for this program and all the people involved!”H.B., a woman recently involved in Worth It
The annual cost to run the Worth It program in each county is $180,000. Needless to say, Worthwhile Wear needs the community to join in with them in helping provide greater services to more women. The Phillies Charities, Inc. has stepped up and presented Worthwhile Wear with a generous $15,000 grant to work towards helping these many victims of human trafficking.
If you would like to stand with Worthwhile Wear in the understanding that all people are of equal value, then you can also give to this necessary work. It is a registered nonprofit, so all gifts are tax deductible. Individuals or businesses can give online via their website, www.worthwhilewear.org. On top of that, businesses are encouraged to consider using the Worthwhile Wear blank t-shirts as they print their own company shirts. “We honestly could not do this if we didn’t have the support from the community and others,” Emr said. “I honestly believe that; it’s not just lip service.”
What Truly Matters?
So while the Phillies GM Matt Klentak and others continue burning up the hot stove in pursuit of Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, and other major free agent targets to bolster the Phils squad for this upcoming season, owner John Middleton, the Phillies Charities, and others have been helping bolster and improve the fight against slavery here in the Philadelphia region. There are many reasons to love our Fightin Phils, but their concern for and commitment to the community is right at the top of the list.
To be surrounded by other women who have faced similar obstacles, endured the same mental prison, and to be able to come together – learn, share, and grow together. This program offered me healing in a way I’ll never be able to fully express.”K.F. on the impact of the Worth It program
This past Thursday at the Phillies Charities, Inc. Christmas party was yet another reminder of what truly matters in life. During this season of giving, let’s not get too distracted by our desire to just get the new shiny toy who may happen to play third base or right field. Instead, join the Phillies, Worthwhile Wear, and Philly Front Office in helping end human trafficking. You can make a difference.