Friday, May 18, 2012
In an earlier post this year, I mentioned my interest in the subject of human trafficking in the USA. I was aware that trafficking was an issue in other countries but was surprised that it had such a presence at a national and local level. I began researching the subject and discovered Polaris Project. Polaris Project is named after the North Star which guided slaves on the underground railroad to freedom. The organization provides excellent resource information at international, national and state levels. the video below gives an overview of the Polaris Project effort and how it came into existence.
Visit Polaris Project at polarisproject.org
It was through information I read on Polaris Project that I learned that human trafficking was a current and growing nightmare right in my own state. My heart aches at the thought of little girls, teenagers, or women being forced into any type of slavery. I wish I could save them all. I really do. Where to even begin? It is such a huge problem with so many different organizations claiming to provide aid. I wanted to do more than write a check. I decided to focus my efforts domestically, in my own backyard. Cleveland, Ohio. I began calling local organizations that I found on the Polaris Project state resource list and became involved. I also began thinking of how I could use some of my talents to help.The biggest motivation for me to create Fe++ Butterfly Creations was to turn my crafts into cash so that I could help contribute some of my profits to help victims. Other than the fact that we are stronger than we think, there is also beauty and strength in hope and truth. The hope of rescue and healing in any circumstance and the truth that those things do exist for everyone without blame or judgement. I found there are other ways to help too. There are hot lines to man, communities to educate and many other volunteer opportunities. Below, view how you may be able to help by simply recognizing a problem and calling the hot line.
I am blessed to have a safe environment that I can enjoy "a flair for the domestic" and share fun projects, recipes, tips and a story or two with all of you. I would like to pay my good fortune forward and I encourage all of you to do the same. There are so many people who need help. Some need just a little, others need a lot. What ever cause you have a passion for, no act is too small. Whether it is joining a community-based effort, a large organization, checking in on an elderly neighbor or ensuring a safe environment for your own family, there are many ways to help make a difference. This brings up an important subject. If you should choose to support an organization, how do you know that it is legitimate? If you donate money, how do you know how much of your contribution goes to actual program support and how much goes to payroll and fundraising? The answer is research and more research. One really good tool I have found helpful is Charity Navigator.
Go to www.charitynavigator.org to search organizations and see how they rank in the responsible use of donations.
So, while we enjoy a great summer of fun projects, vacations and get-togethers, let's lend a hand where we can! It matters to someone. Maybe someone you don't even know.
Posted by Lisa Lebovitz at 11:30 AM