Over the past couple of years, I have become an advocate for human trafficking. I have a BA degree in Human Services and Counseling and am working toward a M.Ed. in Counseling and Human Development. In 2009, while working on my undergrad degree, we were given a presentation on human trafficking and the needs of the victims that have been rescued. I live in a small, rural town in Kentucky & remember thinking “How does this affect me? That kind of thing doesn’t happen here”. I was wrong, very wrong. Cases of human trafficking (sex & labor; child & adult) have been found in every county in our state, and in every state of this country. It is under reported and perpetrators are hard to catch. It is in my nature as a counselor to immediately think of the needs of the victims (protection, clothing, shelter) and I developed a business plan for a project I called The Lifeline Project which would provide housing for victims who had been rescued as well as give them access to community agencies and organizations to help them either establish a new life in our country or to be returned home, wherever home might be. I presented my plan as a class project and received overwhelming feedback. I have communicated with local human trafficking task forces and hope to someday see this plan become a reality.
In researching for this project, I came across two foundations that I became interested in. The first is a foundation established by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher called the DNA Foundation. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter. The second is an organization called SCTNow (Stop Child Trafficking Now). You can find them on Facebook and Twitter as well.
This second organization is the one I am currently involved with. They actually come at human trafficking from a different position. Instead of providing help for the victims, they go after the perpetrators. The idea is that if you rescue a victim, you’ve saved one person. If you catch a perpetrator you’ve saved countless victims from ever having to be perpetrated against. While it is my nature to want to help the victims, and that desire will never go away, I love the angle that SCTNow is coming from.
SCTNow is a grass roots organization based in New York. They literally started from the ground up working along with law enforcement to help where they couldn’t. Three years ago they began a National Walk Campaign. Last year I found out about this campaign about a week before the weekend of the event. The event closest to me was a 3-hour drive. So, I took it upon myself to find a way to get my community involved. I am now a Community Ambassador for SCTNow. I am now in a position to advocate for this wonderful organization and encourage community involvement. Of course, the largest event is the walk campaign. This year, I am coordinating a 5K Run/Walk to raise money and awareness for this issue. The walk will be in Columbia, KY at Lindsey Wilson College‘s Raider Field on Saturday October 1st.
I would love for as many of my friends and followers as possible to get involved, whether it be by volunteering your time, registering yourself and/or a team, or by becoming a sponsor. There is no registration fee and individuals and teams are encouraged to participate. Every participant who raises $100 will get a free t-shirt. There are other great prizes available as well. To register or make a donation, go to events.sctnow.org/columbia.
For more information regarding sponsorship opportunities or if you have any questions, please contact me via email email@example.com or on Facebook
I will add that it is a goal of mine to make this an annual event, bigger and better every year. I want everyone to know that this is a serious issue. This is my passion. I hope someday to make The Lifeline Project a reality. My dream is to present it to Demi & Ashton (so if you know anyone who can make that happen, I’d be forever indebted to you).