Help Fight The World’s Fastest Growing Crime

Are you a poet? A writer? Do you know one?

Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world. Criminals buy, sell and trade human beings into the commercial sex industry and forced labor. Take up your pen to help combat this horrific form of modern-day slavery. Submit a poem to the Poetry For Their Freedom Contest.

Poetry For Their Freedom

First prize includes $100, a live reading at The A21 Campaign – U.S. East Coast office’s Be Their Freedom annual benefit to be held on Sept. 19th in Charleston, SC. Additionally, the winning poem will be printed in the Be Their Freedom event program and posted on The global A21 Campaign’s Instagram feed.

For submission guidelines and more information, please visit Poetry For Their Freedom at www.poetryfortheirfreedom.com

Please forward to any poet you think would be interested in becoming an active voice for freedom!

Down To The Wire

Why do weBe Her Freedom tend to wait? I’m asking myself this question as much as I’m asking you.

This past weekend, The A21 Campaign, which fights human trafficking, held its BE HER FREEDOM fundraising event and celebrated the opening of its first east coast office–located right here in Charleston, SC. I’m a volunteer for the organization and yet, when did I buy my tickets? Yep. The week prior. I knew I was going. I knew my plans. But my habit to register for things last-minute was not especially helpful for those trying to get a good head count. Food and such had to be ordered a lot earlier. Now, give me a task and I’m on it. But sign-ups and ticket purchases? I suddenly turn procrastinator. It’s true, being part of the volunteer core staff, it was known I was coming, but until that ticket’s bought, nothing’s absolutely certain. I think we’ve all experienced the frustration of people dropping out at the last minute.

Now, we were BEYOND blessed that BE HER FREEDOM sold out! Yay! But earlier that week, it wasn’t even close. A big percentage of the tickets were sold in the hours right up to the event. Why do we do this? Why do we make the planners sweat it out? Are we just that busy that we’re unwilling to commit until the last second or is it something else?

Anyone ever planned a wedding and wondered why it was so hard to get people to check a box and send back the RSVP that has already been stamped and addressed? I remember before my own wedding, thinking, “What do we need to do for you people? Have someone there to lick the envelope?” I swore from then on, when I got wedding invitations, I’d reply quickly. And, I do. But now, I realize I need to extend this courtesy to important fundraisers, too. They have enough stress in their lives, trying to make the world a better place.

Are you quick to sign up for things? (I applaud you, if you are.) What personal experiences have affected you enough to change YOUR habits in order to benefit others?  

Two Reasons Why We Raise Our Hands

Photo By Elmira College

For Loved ones. We’re going along on our merry way and then one day it hits. Someone we love is diagnosed with cancer or some other heartbreaking disease. Suddenly, finding that cure, being part of that cause, becomes important. It becomes personal.

Nancy Goodman Brinker promised her older sister she’d help end breast cancer. Her sister was Susan G. Komen, who later died from the disease at age 36. Nancy, through her grief and determination to fulfill her promise, founded the eponymous breast cancer foundation, now known as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Think she has made an impact? She is keeping her promise; keeping her sister’s memory alive; and helping prevent a mind-boggling number of others from going through what her sister did.

I think it’s important we’re sensitive to what particular causes matter to our friends and family…and more importantly, WHY. We’d want others to feel the same sense of urgency if we were in their shoes, wouldn’t we? **Oh…and for those involved in a cause, remember to thank the people who support you. There are so many good causes out there to choose from; these people didn’t have to pick yours, but they did. Be grateful.

When Disgusted and Compelled: Some things are so unjust and horrific, you feel like you have to do something about it, whether you know someone involved or not. For me, that happened after hearing Christine Caine speak at Seacoast on the issue of human trafficking. Human what? Until then, I had no idea human trafficking was such a huge problem. Modern-day slavery? Huh? Well, organized crime certainly knows what it is; it’s second only to their drug trafficking activity. 27,000,000 people forced into hard labor and sexual slavery worldwide. So now, I write for A21 Carolinas, an affiliate of the A21 Campaign to Abolish Injustice in the 21st Century.

These are only two of many many many reasons people raise their hands. What causes are important to you? And why do you volunteer for them?