Shop for a Cause | Child Trafficking | Beverly Gurganus Fine Art
I have talked about my burden for children, and more specifically those who are victims of trafficking in past blog posts, but I’m ashamed to say that my voice has been quiet lately. Life has a way of sneaking up on us and distracting us from some really important issues (not that all distractions aren’t equally important, but they can demand more of our attention than we need to give).
So, imagine the convicting blow to my heart when I opened social media on a recent Monday morning just to see an article that broke me. Even if the accusations in the article are not true (and I pray they aren’t), it was non the less a wake up call equivalent to being woken abruptly from a deep sleep. I have failed these children, and the thought of them in a dark room praying for someone to come and free them is unbearable. I was reminded how urgent this issue is and how I CAN NOT stay silent…I need to do better.
My children, your children, our children are in danger, and it is time for us to stand together to protect them. Human trafficking is everywhere, and it is something that is hard to think about and hard to talk about, but it is a reality for so many children. As a mother of 3 girls, and a grandmother to 2 granddaughters, I want a world that is better than this. A world that respects all life and loves equally.
I recently came upon the podcast titled “Man Up Already” where a young girl Abigale Howard was being interviewed. BTW, I highly recommend you listening to this podcast because this young girl in her early 20’s is a blessing and she will wow you with her big heart. Some staggering statistics were mentioned, and I want to share some of the ones I made note of.
- Human trafficking has increased over 846% in the last five years.
- 100,000 plus victims are here in the USA.
- Every 2 ½ hours a child is trafficked.
- 5 times a day a child is purchased.
- Only 1% of trafficked victims are rescued.
A few more from www.arkofhopeforchildren.org
- Average age a victim enters trafficking is 11 to 14 years old.
- Approx 80% are women and children and imprisoned in the underground sex service industry.
- Average life span of a victim is reported to be 7 years (found dead from attack, abuse, HIV and other STD’s, malnutrition, overdose, or suicide).
I know this is scary and like I said, hard to think about, but please hang in here with me for a bit longer because my purpose with this post isn’t to focus on the horrors of trafficking, but rather how we can make a difference and promote change.
I am not trained to be on the front lines raiding trafficking rings and rescuing children from their captors, and I do not expect you are either. There are many other ways we can be active in abolishing this modern day slavery.
- Educate yourself and then others. Awareness is an powerful tool towards prevention.
- Pray for the victims and those on the frontlines.
- Provide funds through donations to a non-profit who is on the frontlines rescuing, housing, and providing resources to rescued victims.
I have teamed up with three other small shops to launch a fundraiser event to raise money for The Butterfly House. (The Butterfly House is a non-profit faith based long term housing for rescued minor aged girls. They provide resources such as counseling, art, music, agriculture, equestrian therapy as well as medical and dental care. Learn more about The Butterfly House’s mission.) The face behind each of these small shops is a mother who has a heart to end trafficking because we understand how precious every child is and how important it is to protect them. We each have intentionally selected beautiful and meaningful product/s to make available for purchase, and every sale will earn money to help provide healing to these girls.
This event will take place starting July 30th (World Day Against Trafficking in Persons) and will go thru August 2nd. Please, mark your calendar and help us raise money to Save the Children. I will follow this post up with an introduction of each small shop owner and the products that will be available during the event so keep your eye out for that.
Thank you in advance for your support!