January Raises Awareness, Dollars
It was our most ambitious Human Trafficking Awareness Month yet.
And you came through big time.
Even though organizations like Call to Freedom mark human trafficking awareness every month, the nationally recognized effort comes each January.
Call to Freedom staff outlined several ways to commemorate the effort beginning with January 11, the date set aside each year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign for folks to wear blue as a sign of their commitment to fighting the problem in their communities.
The following day, CTF co-hosted a self-defense workshop with Fallout Shelter Ministries. Those in attendance learned practical ways to manage their fear and habits to prepare them for an attack. The workshop wrapped up with a hands-on demonstration and interactive practice of defensive moves.
Human Trafficking Awareness Month culminated with CTF’s biggest event of January: a concert headlined by Bethel Music Artists Kristene DiMarco and Hunter Thompson. Just shy of 1,000 men, women, and even children gathered for a high-energy evening of praise and worship. Throughout the concert area pastors led prayer for an aspect of the trafficking cycle — from traffickers to purchasers to victims to aftercare providers, each member of the cycle was lifted up.
Several thousand dollars were raised from the concert to support Marissa’s Project, Call to Freedom’s supportive housing program for survivors of human trafficking. CTF is working with Lloyd Companies and the South Dakota Department of Housing to build a new location that will expand the program from seven efficiency apartments to 12. CTF needs to raise $500,000 before it can break ground, hopefully sometime in 2020.
For the survivors CTF serves, stable housing is no small thing.
“Call to Freedom gave me my choices back. Coming from a world where I was always being told what to do and when to do it, I now have the freedom to make my own choices,” says one survivor who currently lives in Marissa’s Project.
If you would like to support the expansion of Marissa’s Project, give online through our website or contact our office at (605) 221-4857 for more information.