In 2008, Shana Pederson’s friend, Bonnie Whitfield approached her about donating a painting to a small art auction at Bonnie’s Bushwick loft to raise funds for the fledgling non-profit Restore NYC. She did not know much about the cause, but after hearing Faith Huckel speak at the art auction about the lack of resources and housing for trafficked individuals in NYC Shana was horrified.

Shana began researching the issue, after which she felt compelled to use her ever expanding network of connections in both the art and legal world to make a difference and raise awareness and money any way she could.

Through her research and travels, Shana met some of the most beautiful people, including the people behind GEMS-Girls, and their survivors. Meeting these women became the catalyst for Shana forming Life Preservers Project.

We officially formed Life Preservers Inc a 501c3 in 2009 with a mission to use the arts to educate and entertain while raising awareness and much needed funds for the victims of Human Trafficking both locally and internationally.

Life Preservers Project
A Woman. A Prostitute. A Slave., November 27, 2010 by Nicholas Kristof

Since 2010, we have hosted several large fundraising events, which have helped us to raise over $60,000 for survivors of human trafficking. This has all been made possible with the help of Legal Industry groups including B-Discovery, PALS, NY City Paralegal Association, Women in eDiscovery and ECALSM as well as help from top service and technology providers in the legal industry.