Thursday, February 4, 2016

Anyone Can Fight Human Trafficking

Last weekend, pinstripers came from all over the country to participate in raising funds for Every ONE Free, an anti-trafficking group in Pomona, California. Over three days, at the 2016 Grand National Roadsters Show. they raised $35,000.

These guys might not have known much about modern-day slavery, but they knew enough to want to contribute. So they flew in at their own expense and used their talents painting art objects of all kinds--a surfboard, signs, skateboards, a megaphone, a bike and on and on. Then Richard Westlake and his wife, Janice from Westlake Auction Services auctioned off the items to the highest bidder. Not only did the audience win pieces from notable pinstripers, they put their money to work to fight modern-day slavery.
 
Every ONE Free is grateful. The pinstripers raised enough money to make a tremendous difference, a difference that will change lives. The artists demonstrated how any one can use their profession in a way that matters. Health care workers and teachers are often the first line of defense in identifying victims. YWCA/YMCA and Boys and Girls Club volunteers can help lower the risk for those kids most apt to be groomed by traffickers. Business people of all types can supply goods and services. The businessman who owns the Grand National Roadsters Show chose Every ONE Free to be the recipient of this charity auction.

And now Every ONE Free can develop a strategy to renovate a building located on Holt Blvd just west of Garey Avenue. The goal is for this care center to be used for victims who need services and help to leave "the life." Once construction crews, landscapers, and many others get to work, this property will become a safe place for law enforcement to bring victims to interview them and refer them to appropriate services. Most of all this community center will be a place where people care. Isn't that really what this fight is all about? To tell girls and boys that they are valuable and not to be sold in a way that uses them up and puts them in mortal danger.

There are an endless number of creative ways to get involved--and it can even be fun. Our team had a blast. Even better we know our efforts will improve our community and save those young people being brutalized. With efforts like these, everyone wins.


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