S.L.A.V.E.R.Y.

Lying in bed on a late February evening in 2007, I picked up a magazine that I’d begun reading a few days before. On what I remember being close to the last page, I learned something that has altered my life — Human trafficking is a global problem. I could not wrap my head around what I was reading; human trafficking is modern-day slavery; slavery has been abolished — so I thought. We are living in the 21st century — how have we allowed this to happen?

Trafficking is the 2nd largest crime worldwide!

Unfortunately, thousands of individuals are trapped in various forms of enslavement, right here in our country and in our backyard (our cities and neighborhoods). Oftentimes young women are caught up in prostitution and children are forced in both sex and labor against their will.

Culturally, we ought to identify with every individual’s humanity and appreciate that we all are created for a very distinct purpose. Slavery is not tied to any man, woman or child’s purpose, in any way.

The good news: we can make a difference. There are several ways we can link arms and take action against this atrocity.

Here are some things you can do to make a difference:

  • Become an abolitionist
  • Spread the word – get to know the statistics
  • Support local and global campaigns
  • Become aware of what’s happening in your neighborhood
  • Start an awareness group

Below are a few websites that I am affiliated with:
The Central Texas Coalition Against Human Trafficking
What’s Your Response
The A21 Campaign
The Pearl Alliance
Stop Child Trafficking Now

Question:  How informed are you on the issue of human trafficking?

Social Change

I had the opportunity to hear the owner of TOMS Shoes speak about social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurs recognize a social problem and use business principles to organize, create, and manage ventures to bring social change.

Understanding that countless children around our world have never owned a single pair of shoes, TOMS Shoes was founded on this fundamental principle: For every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS will provide a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One.

Picture this: If the world were a village of 100 people, 1 has AIDS, 3 are slaves, 14 are illiterate, 20 are malnourished, 23 drink polluted water, 25 have no shelter, 30 are unemployed and 40 have no shoes.

TOMS One for One business model allows the customer to become the contributor.

Below is a list of 4 things that are foundational to TOMS Shoes :

  • Sustainability is critical. You must have something in place in order to sustain your mission.
  • Giving is essential. It not only feels good but is a good business and life strategy.
  • People want to be part of something bigger than themselves.
  • There is value in partnership.

I thoroughly enjoyed this session. It was powerful and informative. The speaker was down to earth and approachable. It was short and simple, yet very sensible. And his name isn’t Tom, it’s Blake!

Please visit www.toms.com to find out more about TOMS shoes or to purchase and become a part of the One for One movement.