(CBSDFW.COM) – The pandemic has brought so many industries to an abrupt halt, but one that hasn’t slowed is sex trafficking. One local nonprofit working to combat it says the public’s help is needed now more than ever.

“The National Human Trafficking Hotline, which is based in Washington DC, has actually reported a 40% increase of calls,” New Friends New Life Chief Programs Officer Jessica Brazeal said. “In addition to that, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has reported a 90% increase of calls to their cyber hotline around child sex trafficking concerns. With people being at home more there’s less to do, they’re not able to go out.. isolation, wanting someone there as a companion and this is the means to which they can make that happen.”

As law enforcement works to rescue women and children victims, New Friends News Life helps them transition back into society though support programs, education and job training.

In recent months because of COVID-19 strains, resources and opportunities have been stretched thin.

“All the progress that women were able to make.. it’s being changed, diminished,” Brazeal said. “We’re just needing to have that much more support from organizations that are able to help.”

“We partnered with New Friends New Life because of the incredible work that they do,” Ashlee Kleinert said.

The Kleinert Foundation and Marie Mae Company are working up to help. They’ve created gift sets they’re now selling online.

“Several of these organizations that are represented in this bag work with women that specifically have been trafficked,” Kleinert said.

All of the proceeds go towards helping the women and children. On top of this, New Friends New Life is also looking for monetary donations, food, toiletries and cleaning products.

“It’s incredibly important to come together during this time, coming together as a united team of support to find ways to get individuals who may not have everything that they need to survive with” Brazeal said.

They’re confident their efforts can make a difference.

Erin Jones