MFLCares about Garden Gate Ranch

Kelly Bergquist, Development Coordinator for Garden Gate Ranch, accepts a donation from Charlie Chedester, Loan originator for Midwest Family Lending. Charlie nominated GGR as our December MFLCares charity.

Des Moines, Iowa – Garden Gate Ranch is Midwest Family Lending’s December charity and has received a $1500 donation.

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending team members have the opportunity to nominate a charity they’d like to support. Charlie Chedester nominated Garden Gate Ranch because he was blown away with their mission of helping women and families impacted by human trafficking.

“Garden Gate Ranch is helping fill the huge void human trafficking has created,” says Charlie.  “The people & families GGR serves have very specific needs that make help hard to find.  I look forward to helping support GGR so they can continue to help victims and families affected by human trafficking.”

Their Mission:

Garden Gate Ranch is a faith-based Christian organization providing safe housing and restorative and transitional services for sexually-exploited women and their children.

The need:

The numbers indicating the need for organizations like Garden Gate Ranch are staggering. According to, in 2021 there were 10,359 situations of human trafficking reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline involving 16,554 individual victims. While these are the reported numbers, the actual number of survivors and those being trafficked is likely exponentially higher.

Bringing the lens closer to home, according to the 2022 Safe House Project’s “An Evaluation of Survivor Identification & Safe Housing by State,” only 1% of trafficking victims are identified. In Iowa there are an estimated 8,600 victims.

Even when a survivor is identified and wants to enter a restorative residential program, this process may be complicated when she has a child. Without homes available that can accommodate children, mothers may remain in a trafficking situation without restorative care for fear of losing their children to the system or the trafficker. According to the National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance’s “National Practices Survey Report of 2017,” the #1 reason among participating agencies for a woman to be declined from their program was that she had children in her custody. This accounted for 61.7% of the surveyed declines.

Their purpose:

THIS is why Garden Gate Ranch exists and why they serve survivors of exploitation who are pregnant or are mothers with infants. It is a safe home for survivors to start a new life and enter into healing that they desperately need. At GGR, they can rest safely, their basic needs are met, their children are cared for, and healing can begin.

How can YOU help GGR?


Volunteer – There are a variety of ways you can volunteer your time and talents. Check them out!

Coordinate a Passion Project – organize an event meant to spread awareness and raise funds for GGR

Spread the word! Share this post to your personal and professional networks. You just may be saving the life of a woman caught in the snare of human trafficking.

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending, a local mortgage company committed to creating customers for life and making positive community impact. Through MFLCares, we support and promote central Iowa charities. Check out our calendar to learn about the incredible organizations that are making a positive impact in our communities!

“To be nominated as a MFLCares charity speaks volumes about Charlie and about Midwest Family Lending. It says to GGR and to the women that we serve that you see them, you value them and you want to be part of their life change! It sheds light on very dark places and ushers in hope from our community when businesses (and the people behind the businesses) step into partnership with us. Our organization is fully funded by donations, so we truly could not serve without these partnerships. What a blessing!”

Kelly Bergquist, Development Coordinator Garden Gate Ranch
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