Team Kirk is the #3 Exodus Road Fundraiser!

Did you know we are the #3 Exodus Road fundraising team now? Fifteen of you have joined me in raising nearly $700. Thank you!

We have one week to raise the other half. I blogged here about my commitment to help this non-profit raise $1400 to raid a brothel selling imprisoned children for sex. The Exodus Road is taking two of its top fundraising bloggers back to SE Asia to see the operation firsthand. That could be me!

Here’s why this work matters:

1. There are more human slaves now than at any other time in human history.

2. An estimated 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked over international borders, including into the US, each year. Seventy percent are female and half are children.

3. Human trafficking is the third largest organized crime after guns and drugs.

Ugh, thanks Erin, I really needed more bad news.

Don’t despair! It is easy to help and you don’t have to solve the whole problem, you just have to refuse to do nothing. Your contribution matters to rescued sex slaves like Sarah.

So here is not one, but two options for fighting sexual slavery.

Donate to The Exodus Road coalition and support the people performing covert surveillance and organizing raids on SE Asian brothels.

dream_centerDonate to The LA Dream Center, which operates the United States’ largest transitional care and recovery center for victims of human trafficking. Even though I was at the Dream Center in November, I know little about this program, because security for it is super high. In LA that is expensive.

As Chris Caine, founder of the A21 Campaign says, no one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

Tomorrow, I’m bringing the noise from Sweden – a nation which sex traffickers consider “inhospitable for business.” Solutions abound y’all. Be a part!

Five Ways You Can Feel Better Fast.

I sat in the drive-thru at McDonald’s yesterday, hoping an order of hot, salty fries would make me feel better about Sandy Hook.

Photo Credit: wikipedia

I’d already tried three Ferrero Roche chocolate balls, prosciutto and Havarti on crackers, grapes, cookies, a glass of wine, and mining my RSS feeds to ease my agitated crankiness.

As I pulled up to the window this popped into my head:

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

I had been looking to other limited, sad, confused and clueless humans to explain the unexplainable, and stuffing my face. Neither were working. But how do I square the need to decorate my cute little Christmas tree and shop for knick-knacks when a bunch of families in Connecticut are now indelibly marked with grief? The Apostle Paul says, strike a blow right here in Texas.

“I’d like to pay for the car behind me,” I told the girl working the register. I’d heard of people doing that before, but I’d never done it myself.

“It’s like nine dollars and there’s a happy meal, is that ok?” she said.

“Oh yah, I don’t care. I just want you to tell them a stranger said Merry Christmas.”

“You don’t know them?”

“No.”

The girl smiled widely.

See! Paul was right, that silly, little act of kindness absolutely did make me feel better. It also made the McDonalds worker smile and I wonder if some kid eating a happy meal felt better about the world too. That’s at least four people. It’s so simple and sometimes it even makes the news.

So are you feeling flat, bleak and defeated? Here are five ideas for overcoming evil with good:

christmas tree

(Photo credit: peminumkopi)

1. When you drive thru this week (and you know you will) pay for the person behind you. Say something kind to pass along to them. Watch it infect the person taking your order too.

2. When purchasing something at the mall, tell the cashier she has beautiful hair, skin, smile or that she is fast and good at her job. Christmas is brutal on retail workers. Making them feel good is free.

3. Buy a handful of $10 grocery gift cards and when you get panhandled, give one; then look them in the eyes and tell them their lives matter.

4. Donate $20 to a charity you care about. Oh you can’t think of one? How about The Exodus Road a coalition of investigators kicking in brothel doors in SE Asia. How about the LA Dream Center, which is running the nation’s largest recovery center for victims of human trafficking.  Here’s a place to donate to Sandy Hook families.

5. Pick up your bible. Yep. We need to reflect on the big picture asap. Our nation and our world is getting sicker and sicker, but it is not unprecedented – read I and II Samuel. The Bible says the answer is to change our minds, and look to God for guidance and salvation. When I look to my friends or myself, I just get confused. When I practice what Jesus said, I get smiles in the drive thru.

Here’s to a Merrier Christmas my friends.

How To Free A Sex Slave – Part II

Yesterday I posted about Sarah – a 15-year-old victim of sexual slavery in SE Asia. It was our second highest page-view day Online fundraising for Erin Kirk fundraising for The Exodus Roadever, and we are almost halfway to funding a raid on a brothel with The Exodus Road partners. Thank you!

Twenties are the denomination of the day. Will you take one out of your pocket and help us fight the fact that every 60 seconds a child is sold for sex worldwide?

Which brings me to a question that has been bugging me since we started this.

Q – Why is there a supply of child sex slaves to begin with?

A – Because there is a demand for sex with children.

Aaaaaarrgggggghhhhhhhhhh.

So, is anybody prosecuting men who solicit prostitution? Why do some people decry that, as unnecessary government intrusion into commodity transaction between consenting adults? But who ensures the consenting part? Who ensures the adult part? Is this really a “victimless crime?” What’s the relationship between prostitution and human trafficking of women and children?

Tomorrow’s post will get a little sticky, especially for those fellas who believe prostitutes happily trade their bodies for money. Do you believe that? Tune in tomorrow.

Sarah’s Rescue…

Several weeks ago, the team of investigators The Exodus Road helps fund, engaged the local government in Cambodia to raid Sarah’s brothel.

It was a collective effort of several NGO’s, two of which work with The Exodus Road, and several government and police agencies. It was a professional operation, spearheaded chiefly by our lead investigator. It took three days and resulted in the discovery of 8 underage victims and the arrests of the brothel owners.

After weeks of waiting, Sarah’s door was kicked in. The note she scribbled to the investigator on a piece of currency which said, “Please rescue me,” finally got answered.

And while it did require more time, money, and manpower than first assumed, the team pursued Sarah’s freedom with tenacity.

After her rescue, Sarah was transferred to a government facility, but The Exodus Road coalition kept lobbying for her. Now, Sarah and other victims rescued from the brothel, are being transferred to an after-care facility in The Exodus Road network. There, they will receive counseling, rehabilitation, education and therapy. They are welcome to stay there while they decide whether or not to return to their home countries….

So yes people, it’s painstaking. It can be slow. It’s expensive and it’s heartbreaking, but it’s working. Sarah by Sarah, it’s working.

Will you help rescue more Sarahs today?