Giving Thanks Celebration Honors

October 18, 2023 | Duquesne University Power Center | Refuge for Women Pittsburgh and Duquesne University present “Need to Know: Sex Trafficking in Pittsburgh,” a free community event featuring an expert panel with representatives from the FBI, Pittsburgh Law Enforcement, a Survivor, a Therapist, and Refuge for Women.

Refuge for Women Pittsburgh will honor local heroes who are fighting sex trafficking and exploitation at its first annual Giving Thanks Celebration on Thursday, November 16th from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Sheraton Station Square.

“So many amazing people have been working to help women who are being sex trafficked and exploited in this area,”  said Theresa Golden, Refuge for Women Pittsburgh’s Executive Director.  “By focusing on their incredible efforts, we can raise awareness of this issue in our region, the work that is being done, and what survivors still need from our community.”

This year’s award recipients include:

Humanitarian Award

The Humanitarian Award is given to an individual or family, who has been affected — either directly or indirectly — by sex trafficking or exploitation and demonstrated outstanding compassion and dedication to serving the needs of survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation.

Rocco Magnelli is the recipient of the 2023 Humanitarian Award.

Hope Award

The Hope Award is presented to a nonprofit organization as recognition for its exceptional dedication and impactful work in the field of crisis services for women. This award celebrates the nonprofit’s unwavering commitment to providing vital support, resources, and safe spaces for women that aligns with Refuge for Women Pittsburgh’s mission to help women live lives of freedom. The Guardian of Hope Award stands as a symbol of gratitude for the nonprofit’s remarkable contributions, which have made a significant difference in the lives of countless women on their journey towards reclaiming their lives and finding hope.

Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh is the recipient of the 2023 Hope Award.

Sanctuary Award

The Sanctuary Award is given to a church or faith-based organization in recognition of their unwavering dedication to serving as a steadfast refuge and source of strength for the survivors of sex trafficking who seek solace at Refuge for Women Pittsburgh. This award celebrates the heartfelt prayers, compassionate service, and commitment to nurturing the spiritual well-being of survivors on their path to healing and restoration and the invaluable support they have provided to Refuge for Women Pittsburgh.

Crossroads North River and Crossroads Christian Church are the recipients of the 2023 Sanctuary Awards.

Ally Award

The Ally Award is given to an individual or organization that has recognized and responded to the needs of survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation by making a significant in-kind, monetary, or other donation to Refuge for Women Pittsburgh.

This year, we are giving the Ally Award to “The Building Team” – six companies that dedicated time, services, and materials so that Refuge for Women Pittsburgh could receive the zoning approval and an occupancy permit needed to open the Emergency Home.

The companies receiving the Ally Awards are:

A. Martini & Co.
Margittai Architects
R3A Architects
Nova Environmental Services, Inc.
Hanlon Electric Company
Cuccaro Plumbing

Special tributes will be given to each of the awardees at the Giving Thanks Celebration, where friends, family, colleagues, and the general community can celebrate their contributions.
To learn more about how you can join us for the Giving Thanks Celebration, please visit

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