I’m so happy!
This month, like I’ve explained so many times it is National Human Trafficking month. So I’m sharing things on Facebook, telling people about an organization that they probably don’t know about, WAR (Women at Risk) International. It is literally a 5 minutes walk from the main campus and not many have heard of it. I didn’t even know about it until the last term of my third year of college and I passed it every week on my way to Noodles & Co. or Subway!
Before I continue, you can click this link here if you want to know more about National Human Trafficking Month or just want links to various organizations for more information. I have links there for Shared Hope International, WAR International along with their stores, Free2Work and more.
While I was in Goshen, Indiana staying with a friend at her college, I saw on Facebook that the WAR Chest Boutique (the store for WAR International) was collecting clothes to give to women who have been rescued and have nothing. They will either be donated to the safe house in Michigan or Chicago. She and one of her other friends just happened to be giving away close to The Depot, a nonprofit thrift store, but I asked if I could keep them to give to WAR and they both said yes. I was so excited!! My first set of donations! I couldn’t wait to get home to go through my own closet.
And that is exactly what I did. Unfortunately, only found a few things. I had gone through my closet in April and had pulled out bags and bags of clothes which I gave some to my family in various parts of the country and the rest we gave to AmVets (check them out if you’re interested), and organization that supports our amazingly brave veterans and we always try to donate to as often as we can.
Back to WAR, I posted a status about the donations, where they could go and I offered to pick up donations if they couldn’t make it. Then I sent out a bunch of personal emails to close friends and family.
The response was so positive. One friend commented on my status saying she would and was excited. She knits hats and slippers for kids in under developed countries. I also received several emails! So far, with my clothes, the items from Goshen and from one other friend, I had two full garbage bags and one small bag. This weekend im picking up clothes from 2 more people and expecting 2 more. Not only that, my piano professor said she just went through her closet and has things to donate and some of my co-workers might have items for me to drop off!
It makes me so happy, how excited people get about donating. I know it’s hard sometimes to drive all the way to a location to drop clothes or toys off and it is easier when someone offers to pick up your donations. Places like AmVets though, they will come to your house! There is always something you can do for someone else, even if it’s giving them a compliment. Remember, everything you do will always affect someone else, so affect them in a positive way. Even if you can’t donate, spread the word. Organizations like WAR aren’t only in the United States, they are world-wide, located in 31 different countries and could use anyones support. Problems like trafficking affect every single person, even if WAR isn’t in your country, your country is still affected by trafficking. Check out some of the products, from jewelry made with real stones or beautiful scarves or purses, skirts, they have so many beautiful things and you are making a difference.
Always remember, just because you don’t see something happening, doesn’t mean it’s not happening where you live. Naperville, Illinois, for example, a 6 figure neighborhood, beautiful, college town with restaurants and bars, high-end clothes, that neighborhood has human trafficking victims. It’s not just a problem of women from less affluent countries being brought to more affluent countries, it happens here, in the U.S. and stays here too.
We are only half way through January, so I challenge you to do something. Go to WAR International’s Facebook Page (Click here), like it and share it with friends. Do you like animals? Share information about a no kill rescue shelter in your area. Maybe you think you should help children in underdeveloped countries, share information, spread the word and make a difference. Do you know a cancer survivor, remind everyone how brave that person is and that cancer affects people more than just in the month we raise awareness for it.
Always do your research as to how the organization accomplishes its goals, whether it is sustainable if they leave a country and make sure you know about them, the more information you have, the more power you have to make a difference.
For those of you who wish to join the fight in Human Trafficking, you can post this on your Facebook page or use it as your profile picture, that’s what I did.
If you accept my challenge, tell me what you do, whether it is posting a status or tweet about WAR, donating clothing to your local church, fostering a dog or cat, whatever you do, whatever your interests let me know! I’d love to hear about new organizations and see what everyone loves to do!