I wanted to do something to give back. That is what prompted me to go out and search for organizations that I could participate in, support, and share with others. There are so many charities out there. Many barely give any proceeds of what they raise to the actual cause, while some give over 90% of the money raised to the subject of their purpose. As I find organizations that I can get behind I will share them here. I encourage all of you to pick an organization or cause you believe in and do what you can to support them. It isn’t always about giving money. It can be a gift of your time, your assistance to spread awareness or even just an increased empathy towards others.
Since my book Remembering Lauren had to do with a missing teen, I decided to start with a children’s organization. Lord knows, there are a ton of them to choose from. I picked Love146.Org because it really grabbed my attention. Let me tell you what I learned.
In 2002, the co-founders of Love146 traveled to Southeast Asia on an exploratory trip to determine how they could serve in the fight against child sex trafficking. In one experience, a couple of our co-founders were taken undercover with investigators to a brothel where they witnessed children being sold for sex. The experience made such an impression on them, they began this organization to provide holistic care to children who have survived exploitation, enforced labor, abuse and even slavery.
- Survivor Care:
- They have a home in the Philippines for Girls called The Round House. It is designed to facilitate the restoration and holistic health of every child entering its doors. A tree house is used for therapy sessions. A volleyball court is available to play on. There’s even a punching bag for children to work out their aggression.
- They have another home for Boys in the Philippines called The White House. It has cared for exploited boys, providing them with holistic therapy, food, tuition, and medications, all to help them walk toward recovery and prevent any commercial sexual exploitation in the future.
- Care is also offered in the United States, currently in Connecticut. They call it a Rapid Response Program. They get a call about a youth who has been identified as trafficked, exploited, or at high risk, meet with them to provide an urgent response to the dangers they could be facing. They talk with them: about the grooming process traffickers use, internet safety, healthy relationships, and solutions to potentially unsafe situations. In addition, they provide the child with a backpack filled with a range of items children and service providers have identified as being critical for this population: a blanket, a journal, a rain poncho, a teddy bear, toiletries, hotline numbers, an emergency phone, and much more.
- In the UK, they provide social workers case-specific supervision, information on best-practices for case management, and professional support for working with trafficked young people. They work with foster carers to ensure they’re equipped and supported in providing the best care possible to the young person.
- Education programs were provided in Connecticut in 2010, and in 2013 they opened and office in Houston, Texas.
- If you are interested in using their educational curriculum in your community, you can find more information about it here: U-S Preventive Education
- They provide professional training to aftercare workers and law enforcement, including juvenile probation officers, to identify and respond to threats facing children.
I checked a number of charity watchdog sites and did not see any bad reviews of this organization. If you’d like to do a little research on your own, or learn about ways you can assist them in their mission, you can go to their main site: Love146.org