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Store battles child sex trafficking

Store battles child sex trafficking
Christy Shaw (right) and her mother Linda are the “C” and “L” in C&L Treasures, a new Wesson store that funds assistance for child sex trafficking victims.

At a unique downtown Wesson retailer, locals can acquire fleas, arts and crafts and boutique items, support home-operated businesses around town that make many of the special gift products it sells and help victims of child sex trafficking, all at the same time.


The new store marks the tangible expression of the mission of  Christy Shaw, Wesson’s first lady as the wife of Mayor Alton Shaw, at C&L Treasures -- the store front of Life View Ministries (LVM), a not-for-profit she and her husband started 12 years ago, “to help people view their lives and inform their life through Christ.” 


LVM started focusing on child sex trafficking after she learned about the issue at church-related conferences and the birth of her son Parker, now 11 years old, put a personal face on the disturbing data, facts and figures.  Eleven years ago, she started raising money for the cause in partnership with her mother, Linda, through yard sales, and the store grew out of them.  


“Five years ago, our yard sales started evolving into a store when we moved into a former salon located behind our current location,” Shaw relates.  “We grew as donors started give us items to resell; and at our store, we are now also selling items made by home-based businesses in the community -- many of them stay-at-home moms.  Our profits go to one home for child sex trafficking victims, and we hope our work can support other places where they can not only find a safe place, but get help in ongoing recovery.”


C&L (commemorating founders Christy and Linda) Treasures opened September 15, 2023.  It is renovating the second floor of the two-story building it occupies on Highway 51 off Spring Street to expand retail space, and Shaw plans to link the store to two Spring Street buildings in the rear to rent rooms for classes and meetings “where church and unchurched people can mingle.”


Shaw also wants to use the kitchen facility in the store to create a small coffee house where shoppers can relax and socialize.  Longer term, she envisions the blue house at the other end of Spring Street, where her mom now lives, as a larger not-for-profit coffee house that serves meals and offers entertainment.


A Rankin County native, Shaw started her career in healthcare, serving as a paramedic in the military, and then for fire and police departments.  She met her husband in an orientation program for ambulance service.


C&L Treasures is open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.  Shaw has a volunteer staff, but her plans call for hiring paid employees.


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