Stop, Collaborate and Listen
That’s right. Most of you will now have that song stuck in your head for at least 2 days. You’re welcome. Now that I have your attention, I have something quite serious to share today. According to UNICEF, over 2 million children are annually affected by the world’s third largest enterprise, child trafficking. Studies have shown that the children caught specifically within sex trafficking are victimized by, wait for it…. 100–1500 perpetrators each year. Let that marinade. Are you an American that doesn’t think it can happen in the US? Here are some stats just for you, courtesy of The Covering House:
- Human trafficking generates $9.5 billion yearly in the United States. (United Nations)
- Approximately 300,000 children are at risk of being prostituted in the United States. (U.S. Department of Justice)
- The average age of entry into prostitution for a child victim in the United States is 13-14 years old. (U.S. Department of Justice)
- A pimp can make $150,000-$200,000 per child each year and the average pimp has 4 to 6 girls. (U.S. Justice Department, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
- The average victim may be forced to have sex up to 20-48 times a day. (Polaris Project)
- Fewer than 100 beds are available in the United States for underage victims. (Health and Human Services)
- Department Of Justice has identified the top twenty human trafficking jurisdictions in the country:” Houston • El Paso • Los Angeles • Atlanta • Chicago • Charlotte • Miami • Las Vegas • New York • Long Island • New Orleans • Washington, D.C. • Philadelphia • Phoenix • Richmond • San Diego• San Francisco • St Louis • Seattle • Tampa (Department of Justice)
- One in three teens on the street will be lured toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. (National Runaway Hotline)
Just got real, yeah? I agree. I was always under the impression that these things happen, mostly in other third-world countries. I never really thought about it in depth; probably because I subconsciously didn’t want to. And as elusive of a crime as it is, there has historically been a lack of awareness of the subject. Even the stats I just shared with you are low-balling reality. Once you really get into just how common this is, even in America, how can you not help but develop an instant passion?
I certainly am not able to do much financially with a lot of things I wish I could. I am sure many, but not all, of y’all reading this are in the same boat. So when I learned about an organization called the Fly Fishing Collaborative, I knew I would like them. Their mission is to be able to do help children through their passion of fly fishing. Genious. Check out this excerpt taken from their site: “The Fly Fishing Collaborative is offering professionally guided fly fishing trips and selling custom-made leather fly wallets. The money raised will be given to orphanages and caregivers around the world. This will go towards creating sustainable livelihoods and economic support to rescue and prevent more children from being sold into the sex slave industry. Every $10,000 we raise will provide a totally sustainable tilapia farm that will be built for an orphanage in order to provide them with food, income, water, and fresh produce. Additionally, this will empower their leaders to care for more children that would otherwise be sold into slavery.”
That’s what you call a class act folks. To say these people have hearts of gold is a serious understatement. When I saw this, I took it as a sign from God (I Peter 4:10). You don’t have to be a Christian fly fisherman to feel the need to get involved in this stuff. Do it for whatever reasons you wish. Do it because you are, or know someone who is, a survivor. Do it because you feel sympathy for the affected children and their families. Do it because you are a parent and start having anxiety attacks at the thought of this happening to your innocent safe child. Do it because you have the money to spend. Whatever your reason, get involved. Even if you are not a professional and can’t donate a trip or tie some flies to give away, you can help. Donate money. Donate a sellable item. At the least, share this post through email and social media. These are things you can do even if you don’t know the difference between a glass and bamboo rod. All it takes is for you to share this and one person that can help in one of these ways sees it. That one person.