Human Trafficking in Rochester – Two Ways to Help The Kids That Are Rescued
A powerful voice and a request for help; that is what Annie Mack shared on her Facebook page the other day...and you can play a part in the recovery for kids who are rescued from human trafficking - right here in Rochester, Minnesota.
I have always joked with Annie that I would be her backup singer. I know her songs by heart because we were neighbors for many years...and her jam sessions in the garage ended up with me sitting on my deck singing along to her gorgeous voice. She is a diva with force and also a great friend (with a much better voice than myself!).
Earlier this week she was getting ready for a concert at Forager Brewery and I caught this message she put on her pages:
"It has come to my attention that our Chapter of Mission 21 needs our help. Mission 21 is a place where victims of Human Trafficking can go and be safe and reclaim their freedom and start the process of healing. These children have had their innocence taken away. They are sexually assaulted on a daily/ hourly basis and physically and mentally abused to keep them in fear of their lives so they don't leave. They are broken. Alone and hurting and far from home. My heart is heavy as I write this I think about my daughter and her friends just being kids."
My heart hurts reading this message. As a community...and as a human...it is our time to step up and not only help stop this but help those who have been rescued.
Annie shared that Mission 21 is putting together care packages for the survivors and donation boxes are located all over town (see the list below). This is one way where you can help these kids...many who are 7, 10, 12 or 15 years old...or in other words, just children.
Items needed are really just basic necessities...some which you might have extra of at home:
- small bottles of shampoo
- lip balm
- hand wipes
- Individually wrapped snacks
To give you a glimpse of why these items are so important, check out this message from Mission 21's Facebook event page for these donations:
I'm sure you could imagine that after you have been recovered from this type of violent act or after you are able to escape you leave with absolutely nothing to your name. Even if you do have somewhere to go to, it becomes really hard to take care of yourself.
The first season after they are able to leave can be the hardest. You're in another type of survivor mode with no real physical or sexual threat. You're just trying to survive your memories, your anxiety, your nightmares.
This month, on National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month we are asking for items to make survivors self-care kits. In partnership with the Human Trafficking Awareness Committee at Assisi Heights, these items will be distributed to survivors when we respond to them during stings, hospital visits, 1st referral meetings, and as needed.
Dropoff Locations during the month of January:
- Townsquare Media with attn: Jessica Williams, I will take these for you directly to Mission 21. Our address is 122 4th Street SW, Rochester, MN 55902 (This isn't on the list from Mission 21...just something extra we will make sure happens if you stop by)
- Agape Chiropractic - 275 37th St NE, Rochester, MN 55906
- City Auto Glass - 845 38th St NW, Rochester, MN 55901
- Forager Brewing Company - 1005 6th St NW, Rochester, MN 55901 (During Annie Mack's performance on Saturday, January 6th, 2018)
- Rochester Chiropractic and Wellness - 510 8th St NW #100, Rochester, MN 55901
- Sacred Heart Studios - 821 North Broadway, Rochester, MN 55906
- Walmart North - 3400 55th St NW, Rochester, MN 55901
- Workforce Development Center - 2070 College View Rd E, Rochester, MN 55904
If money is more your thing, Mission 21 is happy to accept that as well. They are a non-profit and you can make a donation on their website: Mission 21
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