Some of you may know me, and some may not. This is my story…
I first really heard about human trafficking in 2007, while helping on the set of a music video called, Constance. This music video opened my eyes to the reality of how the sexual exploitation was so very real, was very close to home and was connected to things like pornography, prostitution, and labor work. After this video it sunk into my heart like nothing else ever had. I often quote William Wilberforce, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” I didn’t want to act like I didn’t just experience this. I knew in that moment that we all had a part to play, and I was determined to figure out what mine was. When I learned about how people were being exploited, I knew no human, should ever have to experience that. We were all created for so much more than we can ever imagine. I researched, I went into brothels, strip clubs, the streets and porn conventions to do my best to love. That’s it, just love. Lots of life and experience has happened between that moment and now.
Fast forward 12 years, and I have the honor of working with Stories Foundation. What a perfect fit. STORIES Foundation. Peoples stories, including my own, are so very important to me. It makes us who we are. It gives perspective on why we, and others do what we do. Every, Single, Story, is important and is valuable. I have known Stephanie, the creator of Stories Foundation for a few years. We would show up at the same anti trafficking things, hear each others stories and encourage each other to keep up the fight. Timing, timing is everything. We sat down 2 months ago and shared our hearts, passions and dreams for fighting human exploitation. If you know Stephanie, you know she has a beautiful heart. I knew talking to her that day, that there was more for us to do together. How could we collaborate, to use our own gifts, ideas and dreams to work together in this fight. We could preach all day how everyone has a part….but I wont do that today J Lets just say, we share big dreams, that WILL happen.
Now fast forward to today. Today, I sit here with a passion that burns inside my blood. The same one that was put in me 12 years ago. It still burns just as strong, because nothing has changed. Things have gotten worse, and that’s not ok with me. I want to share with you my take on Stories Foundation, and their dream. They currently have so many options for individuals to get involved. I want to share about the goal to build a building. You guys, a building with a café that is safe, and that provides jobs for individuals to have a safe and sustainable work environment. Another part of the building is a space for individuals who have exited out of the life, with a space to create. Create things like jewelry, candles, makeup (to name some ideas) to sell as profit for themselves. Social enterprise….it seriously is so empowering. It creates jobs, awareness, and new life. I didn’t just “buy in” to what Stories is doing because this has always been my dream, I “bought in” because its desperately needed. These are humans…the stories we hear are actual people. Not people far away, ones down the street. Let me never forget, that I don’t do this for any other reason but to work towards restoring honor to people who have been created free and are so intensely loved. What I do know, is that even though this may be a dream a few of us have…we don’t want to do it alone. Collaboration is key. In any scenario, when we can all do it together it becomes bigger than us. That’s always my goal. That any dream I have, would turn out bigger because its not about me. We all have a job in this. Yours doesn’t look like mine, its not supposed to. It is unique to you, because you were created with different gifts than me. I’m urging you to find where you fit, because you do fit somewhere…we all do.