The votes have been calculated and the results of the third CultureMap Charity Challenge — a two-week online contest in which readers were asked to recognize the good work of a dozen local non-profit organizations — are in.
Garnering 30 percent of the more than 17,000 total votes, Freedom Place is the 2016 grand prize recipient and will receive an exclusive promotion and advertising package from CultureMap valued at $10,000.
Freedom Place is a Christian-oriented care and recovery center for underage female victims of domestic child sex trafficking. It's the first long-term, comprehensive care facility in Texas for underage victims of domestic child sex trafficking, and is one of only five such facilities in the country.
The organization's mission is to offer a successful path to freedom for American children who have suffered as victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
“The benefit of the CultureMap Charity Challenge has been huge. It’s helped unite and unify us for a movement we believe is great,” Debi Tengler, national development director of Arrow Child & Family Ministries, told CultureMap. “It’s been exciting to see our national organization, donors and the community step up and root for us.”
K9s4COPS came in a close second with 28 percent of the votes. Founded in 2010 by Kristi Schiller, K9s4COPS is a non-profit foundation whose mission is to ensure that every law enforcement agency be provided a well-trained K9 to accompany officers on duty, ready for action.
The other worthy local the charities that took in this year's challenge are:
- Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation
- Houston SPCA
- Texas Children's Hospital Food Allergy Program
- Crime Stoppers of Houston
- Heroes for Children
- Dress for Success Houston
- Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston
- Citizens for Animal Protection
- The Center
- Recipe for Success