Below are stories of how individuals in our community are using their skills, time and influence to make a difference.
The problem of Human Trafficking is so big. It is a human tragedy that cries out for justice and action. We have the desire to help, but often struggle with the question, how? A small local church took that question coupled with their desire and worked on answering it.
Macungie Christian Community had been hearing about the horrors of human trafficking and wanted to do something. An idea emerged to hold a chicken pot pie dinner, with the theme “Stopping Traffick”, to raise funds for VAST to help in the fight against sex trafficking; but they also wanted to raise awareness on the topic, shine light into it’s darkness and provide some education to their community. The idea of a few people, soon became the vision of many, and before long, each member, working together, using their unique God given gifts and talents, put together an event offering a meal and an informative presentation.
Drawing on the resources and connections they had, they set to work inviting the community, gathering donations from local grocery stores (to defray the cost of supplies), setting up a speaker from VAST, (who graciously worked with them, giving her time to help understand this horrendous crime and what they can do to stand against it.), shopping, decorating, cooking and serving the delicious pot pie dinner to all who came. With everyone working together, The evening was a huge success and many eyes and hearts were opened to the far reaching effects of human trafficking. Afterwards, many guests expressed their thanks for putting this event together because they had no idea the scope of the problem, its effects and dangers, or the tactics sex traffickers use to lure victims. They left feeling better equipped to protect the children in their lives. Whether big or small, young or old and everywhere in between, when we learn and work together, we CAN make a difference!
Heart’s for Healing
My name is Mary, I am a 40 something wife and mother. I work as a cleaning lady and care taker to the elderly. I love Jesus and I so very much desire to make a difference for Him. The horror of sex trafficking cuts me to the core, and everything in me wants to see it eradicated and to help those trapped in it, but I could never figure out how or where to start. I felt so small and insignificant and jumping in to do something seemed too big, too scary and too daunting. But I did do something and it all started with an idea. I wanted to share my experience in case you too really want to do something but maybe think you can’t. I want to encourage you that you definitely can. The only requirement needed is willingness.
Here’s my story:
One day at the end of January(which is Human Trafficking Awareness month), just before the Super Bowl, I was sitting in my living room, praying about how I could help in the fight against sex trafficking, specifically it’s victims, because it has been a burden on my heart for a long long time. Then, an idea popped in my head, what if I were to make heart shaped chocolate lollipops and sell them during the month of February? I could ask $1 donation, which seemed affordable, and each dollar could be donated to help in the healing journey of trafficking victim/ survivors. I decided to call the fundraiser “Heart’s 4 Healing”. The idea was born and began to take shape.
Excited by the prospect of being able to DO something, I went out and bought everything I needed to start. I actually had no clue how this would all go as I had never held a fundraiser or made lollipops before but I step by step, i just kept moving forward with it. I let my friends and my church know what I was up to, and support began flooding in. I got to work making the lollipops and boxes to hold them. I asked some local businesses and churches in my community to host a box for the month and just kept on making and refilling the boxes. I was also given the opportunity to take my pops on the road to a large wrestling event on Valentine’s Day, and what better day to offer heart shaped lolipops! I even got an order through a Facebook post to see if I could send a box of lollipops to a woman’s out of state son as a Valentine’s gift. During this time God allowed me many opportunities to talk about the epidemic of sex trafficking, about the work VAST does, and the aftercare needs of trafficking victims. I was surprised that so many people were unaware of the scope of the problem. At every turn God opened doors and hearts, and by the end of the month and over 800 lollipops later, with the help of community, I was able to give a check from sales and donations for $1000.00 to VAST to help with victim services. I never in my wildest dreams imagined such a generous response from the community but God had other plans, He far exceeded my small vision for this project. It was so well received, I plan to make “Hearts 4 Healing” lollipops an every February event.
The reason I’m sharing my story is to encourage you to use the unique gifts God has given you and just be willing to step out in faith when an idea comes. This will look different for everyone because we all have different gifts, talents and ideas but everyone has something to contribute and when we do, the impact it has, is dramatic, far reaching, and contagious. Together we CAN make a difference!