Throughout 2018, East Texas Moms Blog will be spotlighting one local nonprofit each month. Our goal is to bring awareness to our readers with nonprofit organizations that are making an impact in East Texas through their connection and work in the community.
There are a lot of issues out there that are difficult to talk about. Or maybe it’s that we’d rather not believe that something so unsettling could be happening in our communities. Or even the fear of what might be found, how big a problem might really be….. if we start looking. One local entity here in East Texas is helping face one such issue, sex trafficking, head on.
For the Silent was initially founded in 2007 to combat sex trafficking and exploitation in an supportive role throughout Asia by raising funding for projects to come alongside anti-trafficking organizations in Thailand and Cambodia. These projects have continued to operate and serve victims even today. A few short years later, in 2011, the focus was shifted stateside through street outreach to highly targeted areas by traffickers such as motels, strip clubs, juvenile detention centers, and online. As the notable prevalence of trafficking here in East Texas was uncovered, FTS developed programs to work jointly with other local entities to provide the earliest interventions possible. The crisis intervention program for victims and the prevention education program for high risk youth developed by FTS, along with these local partnerships, works to educate, empower, and mentor girls who are high risk or have already experienced exploitation, giving them the tools they need to leave exploitive situations.
Having a voice is a mighty thing.
If you visit the FTS homepage, the first graphic you see states aptly “Until her voice is heard”. No better words could convey the mission, the purpose, the drive of For the Silent, that the work will continue until this vulnerable population of teen girls and all survivors of exploitation are empowered to reclaim their voices.
If this mission speaks to you and you desire to be a part of what they are doing at FTS, they offer a variety of opportunities to serve that can be found here. There are lots of ways to volunteer, no matter your skill set, and FTS will get to know you in order to match you with the best fitting opportunity. Training will be provided to help you understand the issue of commercial sexual exploitation. FTS relies heavily on volunteers in order to keep funds directly supporting programs and offices in Tyler.
One of the events FTS uses for fundraising is the Nightwalk for Hope coming up on April 14th. This is a family-friendly event concluding in the evening with a 2 mile walk on the Rose Rudman trails in Tyler, with participants carrying lanterns to symbolize “hope in the darkness”. Registration and more info can be found at www.nightwalkforhope.org.
As parents, moms of girls, as fellow East Texans, we can help raise awareness to this issue by supporting For the Silent…..so that every voice will be heard.