One of my favorite scenes from a movie this year comes from Logan, the darkly dystopian X-Men road movie. Regarding a family in need of help on the side of the road, Logan (played by Hugh Jackman) says to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, “Someone will come along.”
“Someone has come along,” replies Xavier.
I’ve thought about this scene often during the last month. Our organization is currently experiencing the growing pains that come from the transition from friendraising to fundraising. When I left Northpark Church to take over at Central Valley Justice Coalition, I relied on the support of people I’d known for a long time to help make the transition and raise the support necessary. Jessica, Kelly and Melissa had done the same before I got here.
At this point, we are now in need of people who will come along, basically out of nowhere. People who see the dire situation of human trafficking and don’t turn away. People who will step up for the cause and take a leap of faith on the people who are running point for the battle.
I’ve had a number of people tell me that they would rather not know about the realities of human trafficking in our valley. Ignorance of the situation allowed them to have a naive comfort in the midst of the struggle and pain of others. I don’t think this is because they don’t have a heart. I think it’s because they feel like nothing can be done in the face of such overwhelming evil and exploitation.
But it isn’t true. Something can be done! And someone has come along. You are here now, reading this blog entry. What’s next?
We are excited that word is spreading during our 50/50 Challenge, and local businesses are jumping on board to prevent trafficking in partnership with the Justice Coalition.
Jeb’s Blueberry Hill, a diner located on Saginaw and Blackstone, just a parking lot away from the Justice Coalition’s office, was the first to take the Challenge! Then, at our event last week, Sno Cafe caught the vision and is now a monthly partner as well!
We are so grateful for them taking a stand with us and investing in prevention work in OUR COMMUNITY that changes people’s lives and brings freedom. We encourage you to check them out, and if you do, tell them thanks on behalf of the Justice Coalition!
Do you run a business or know of a business that needs to hear about our work?
We need MANY MORE business partners to come on board, take the 50/50 Challenge and commit at least $50 a month (or whatever one can start with, monthly or annually). Will you join personally, or even ask a business on our behalf? (We can provide a request letter (complete with tax credit information), a script for you to use, and even do the follow up work.) Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call / message us today! 559.227.8001 (office)
As part of our new data-gathering focus, we are proud to have partnered with Fresno Pacific University’s Center For Community Transformation to submit a formal report to the new mayoral administration’s far-reaching Fresno Public Policy Initiative.
This data will provide a basis for the initiation of a larger scale, comprehensive study in this geographic area to encourage a cooperative sharing of organizational data among anti-human trafficking entities.
Chaired by Dr. Randy White and Jessica Pittman, the paper is the result of a working group established to advise the city on a key issue related to public safety: human trafficking.
Using data from 16 different anti-trafficking organizations, the report highlights best practices and makes recommendations for future city involvement and organization in partnership with Community Benefit Organizations and faith groups. Most importantly, this report recognizes the need to find uniform terminology and data collection methods that can allow for comprehensive data of the problem of trafficking. Solutions will be achievable as the scope of the problem becomes clear.
Last week, as we sat down to celebrate Thanksgiving, I was struck by the enormity of what we are attempting. We are taking on the world’s fastest-growing criminal enterprise … in so many ways, that is a crazy thing to do!
But I’m thankful. For you all. That’s what I thought as I sat down to eat turkey. We are not alone in this fight. We set out to raise $30,000 in 30 days, and thanks to your generosity we did it. Even more, we raised nearly $35,000. Around our office, we are celebrating this significant victory! But we are also planning for next year. December will fly by and in January, Human Trafficking Prevention Awareness Month, we have multiple opportunities to get educated, to serve and to advocate for those who aren’t yet free.
So a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made this year possible! Let’s keep moving the ball forward, together.
Great News from the California State Assembly: AB 1761 Affirmative Defense for Human Trafficking Victims passed out of the Assembly today with a 68-2 vote! On to the Senate!
More to be done:
We need one final push to make sure the legislature votes to support the $15 million budget request for specialized services to trafficking victims and sends this item to the Governor for signature.
To help the legislature know how important this request is we would like to send one final letter with signatures to show the overwhelming support for this measure. To sign onto this letter please click here. We need your help then inviting friends and family to do the same!
•not getting paid for their labor
•not free to change employers
•being controlled by someone else
•being forced to do something they don't want to do
•has been cheated into payment of debt upon arrival
You, he, or she may be a victim of human trafficking and eligible for free assistance.
Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888.373.7888 for more information. Or, text INFO or HELP to BEFREE (233733)
Contact us at 559.725.1865 for support, resources, and consultation. You can also contact the Fresno Police Tip Line at 559. 621.5950.