Our Team

Now what? That is the question we found ourselves asking back in late 2011. Ronda Grace and I had been friends for over 10 years, both with a heart and passion for women and children experiencing exploitation, oppression and marginalization, and both having been involved in various efforts to help. We were ready to be more intentional, to bring together a community of like-minded individuals and seek out meaningful and effective ways to make a difference. Human trafficking as an international issue and the reality of the slavery that millions were experiencing – in the 21st century – was an issue that we were aware of but it soon became clear that this was not just an international situation. It was happening in the United States – and in our own backyard.

In early 2012 we decided it was time. We gathered a group of committed, faithful women to pray with us and invested in our education, training and trafficking resources. Later that year we began to seek opportunities to raise awareness about human trafficking happening here in New Hampshire. We shared, through a variety of events and individually, with anyone who would listen: friends, churches, youth groups, schools, civic organizations, and even the person at the grocery store. Since that time, we have presented to as few as five people and to as many as 200 or more. We realized early on that change begins with helping people learn about the issue – and that it is indeed happening here. But nothing happens just because we are aware…

As Real Life Giving grew, we expanded our efforts to include discipline-specific human trafficking training for medical professionals, service providers, educators, churches and youth organizations. In 2016 we began a street outreach to exploited and at-risk women and youth in Manchester, NH and have now added a craft class at a local organization which serves lunch and offers other programming to the homeless. Both serve as opportunities to make connections and build relationships with some of the most vulnerable in the city.

We completed our first 10-week mentoring program with trafficking survivors in 2017. Walking alongside women on their journey to renewed hope, restoration and purpose has been a tremendous blessing – and a huge motivator. There is much need – and also much reason for hope. Our dream is to open a daycenter for women where we can continue to help meet tangible needs and further expand upon the services we have available.

This is our story, to be continued…

Our Team

Donna Plourde

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Donna Plourde is the Executive Director of Real Life Giving. She is a long-time advocate for helping women understand their innate value through fighting objectification and gender bias. Donna is committed to combating sex trafficking and exploitation in our communities through education, prevention and outreach. A certified trainer with the Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking with more than 10 years of experience, she has presented at workshops and conferences providing training to educators, social service and healthcare providers. Donna also believes an informed community is key to the effort and works to bring awareness and prevention events to community and civic groups, youth organizations, churches and schools.

Donna is a New Hampshire native who enjoys exploring the region with her husband Rick. She loves creating word art, reading a good book from her ever-growing pile and enjoying a thought-provoking conversation with her family and friends.

Rachel Smith

Director of Communications

Rachel Smith is the Director of Communications at Real Life Giving. She brings a dedication to seeing every woman have the chance to thrive, especially those being exploited. After earning a BA in Political Science and years of working with various non-profits in Boston and Washington, DC, she has found a place to dedicate her talents and skills to improving the lives of women in her community.

Rachel has lived in NH for most of her life and enjoys talking about big ideas, creating cards for her friends and family, and the pursuit to find the best mac and cheese in New England. In a different life, she would be a stand-up comedian.

Ronda Grace