Working together to fight local trafficking makes sense. This article reminds the reader that…Every person has the power to offer hope…
If we watch plenty of TV, we are sure to eventually see a story based on human trafficking. Sometimes they are difficult to watch as they reveal forms of modern-day slavery that traps people–often very young ones–into forced labor or sex work. But when the program ends, too often the topic is out of sight; out of mind. But while it may be out of your mind, it never really goes away. It is a huge and ugly issue around the world and even in our own back yards. Laura Saufley of Greenville, N.C. is involved with a group called Restore One. It is an organization working to open a safe house for young male victims of sex trafficking. Laura’s eyes were opened to the problem when she ran a 5K to benefit the Eastern North Carolina Stop Human Trafficking Now. “Until then, it was an unseen problem for me. It happened in ‘other places’ but not here.” But one of the speakers got through to her. “I realized that it is happening everywhere, including our own community,” she explains.
The fundraising for this project has been a community effort with everyone working together. One event, Stand for One Gala was attended by many locals. The money raised was not just for the home, called Anchor House, but also funds trafficking awareness initiatives. The group had a local construction company pitch in by giving many of the needed kitchen appliances. Anonymous donors were encouraged to match some of the grants.
Anna Smith is one of the founders of Restore One. She said, “I started Restore One because I believe every life matters, and I believe that when given a chance, one life can change the world.” Once people see that human trafficking is everyone’s problem and that the threat is right in their own communities, they begin to see they have a role in the fight.
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