The Elizabeth Smart Foundation has become part of the Nibley-based Malouf Foundation, according to a press release. The partnership was announced during a press conference on Wednesday.
“I could not be more confident in this decision. Together, the Malouf Foundation and the Elizabeth Smart Foundation will be a strong, unified voice both against exploitation and in support of victims and survivors,” Smart said in the press release.
Smart became acquainted with Sam and Kacie Malouf through both of their organizations, according to the statement.
“Elizabeth opened my mind to a much broader perspective. Understanding what ESF was doing to educate on and prevent sexual assault and violence showed us that we could deepen our impact by addressing more of the cycle of exploitation,” Kacie said in the press release. “Elizabeth made us start thinking bigger.”
The press release indicates Smart and her foundation were exploring opportunities to expand their impact while better utilizing Smart’s strengths and “realized that they could accomplish more if they joined a larger organization and saw many connections to the mission of the Malouf Foundation.”
“I am thrilled that the Malouf Foundation and Elizabeth Smart Foundation are joining forces. As I have worked with Kacie, Sam, and the Malouf Foundation, I have been continually impressed by how they tackle sexual exploitation in so many innovative and necessary ways. And once I learned more about the full team we would be joining at Malouf Companies, it was an even easier decision,” Smart said in the statement.
Smart was abducted in 2002 and held captive for nine months.
“During that time, she repeatedly endured daily sexual assault, starvation and abuse at the hands of her captors. Thanks to public awareness surrounding her disappearance, and a watchful community in her hometown of Salt Lake City, Smart was identified by a bystander and able to return home,” the press release states. “In the years since her kidnapping, in addition to testifying against and seeing the conviction of her captors, Smart has used her experience for good. She began the Elizabeth Smart Foundation in 2011 to bring hope and end the victimization of sexual assault and abuse through prevention, healing, and advocacy.”
Sam and Kacie founded the Malouf Foundation — the nonprofit charity arm of Cache Valley-based Malouf Companies — in 2016 to address child sexual exploitation, according to the press release.
“Our whole company is thrilled to have Elizabeth and her team as our co-workers, not only for the value and perspectives they will bring to our programs, but also for how we can contribute to theirs,” Sam said in the press release.