Trey Gass looks like a fun-loving teen who seems like a great friend with an entrepreneurial spirit. He is all of that, and much more. He is a young man who has become passionate about stopping the horrendous crime of child sex-slavery, and he is willing to literally “put his money where his mouth is” to make a difference.
For close to a year, Trey has been running a business of buying and selling wristbands with the inscription, “Save a Life”, just like the famed bands Lance Armstrong started encouraging people to “LIVESTRONG”. As a high school junior in Gilbert, Arizona, Gass is committed to sharing his earnings with StreetLight Phoenix, a residential safe house for girls who have come out of a lifestyle of forced prostitution.
Interview with Trey Gass
- How did you hear about StreetLight?
About 2 years ago during Christmas time my church took an extra offering to help Streetlight. I read the little article they had in there (the church bulletin) about it, and it was very interesting. I had always wanted to learn more about it. Last January I got to take a private tour of the campus with a friend, and it just hit home. I knew after that tour that I had to do something to help Streetlight.
- What about the story grabbed your heart and determination to make a difference?
It was not a story that really grabbed my heart it was more of the idea and image of just child sex slavery in general. At the time of the tour my sister was 13. Just like the average entrance is 13. This hit me in a huge way. I love my sister and I care about her so much. When I found out that girls like my sister were getting raped I had to do something.
- Tell about the wristbands–why that avenue instead of T-shirts or something else?
I chose wristbands because they were cheap and easy to selll. I used 100 dollars I had left over from christmas to design and purchase the wristbands. Eventually as Save A Life gets bigger we wiill move onto shirts and other things like that.
- Talk about the success of your endeavor.
My youth group did a series called I Care. Every week [we looked at] a different problem in the world. One week happened to be child sex slavery. I talked to my pastor and she let me sell the bands that week during youth group and at a Branded screening we had that month, too. Within 2 weeks we had sold all 200 wristbands for a total of over 600 dollars. Eventually they moved me up to the adult service in church and I got to speak there sell wristbands. We raised $1,200 there. It has just taken off and more and more events are being scheduled each month.
- Your facebook page is called Save a Life. Do you also have a website where people can buy the bracelets?
I started the facebook page as a place where people could connect and learn more about the problem and schedule events. I don’t have a website yet because I’m not to the point yet where I need a full on website for people to connect too.
- You mentioned you donate 50% of the earning to S/L and the rest to buy more wristbands. How many do you typically buy in one order and how fast do you sell out?
First time I ordered 200 bands and we did 2 events and sold all of them within 2 weeks of buying them. My last purchase was 500 wristbands and they last [a while] depending on how many events and people attend the events.
- Are you seeing an increase in the sales per week? Could this become an endeavor that is bigger than the time you have to put into it?
I have seen an increase in sales. Each time I do an event we get more contacts. My goal in life is to change the world and I hope this can be an avenue in which I can help do that no matter how much time must be given. It is looking like it could take off and become a big thing that I have to work harder at.
- How are you marketing the wristbands?
When I set out my business plan I chose the wristbands because they market themselves. They are what you call an ice breaker, I guess. People ask about them and become interested and want to buy them. So in a way business itself is generating the marketing just through the product.
- Do you offer a variety of colors?
As of this moment I only have white and black. But in my next order im planning on purchasing blue ones. The more money that comes in, the more we can expand and grow the product.
- What is the price for one wristband? $3.00
- How much have you donated to Streetlight so far?
I only started this about 6 months ago and officially we have donated $1,500 so far but I still have left over money from events that has not been sorted, and the 50/50 taken out but by this next order it would be up to 2,000 dollars.
- How can people order the wristbands?
Contact Trey Gass by email
Trey and another teen, Brianna Lopez,spoke last week at an ASU Sorority, Theta Nu Xi. They fielded questions about child sex trafficking and their personal commitment to eradicating it from 45 men and women college students. If you are interested in having Trey speak or sell his wristbands at your event, send him a message. He would love to share his passion about stopping child rape for profit, and get you excited about the cause, too.
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(c) 2011 Holly Craw. All rights reserved. You may link to this article or take an excerpt with due attribution to the author and a link back to this original article. Mention your link below to get a shoutout.