The below excerpt is from a passionate O.U.R. supporter who uses her story to inspire others. Read below and consider Hero Bands as a holiday gift for your family, friends or loved ones this season. Remember for every band sold, $2 will be donated directly to O.U.R. to assist in the rescue and rehabilitation of these children. www.herobands.com
“When I was younger, I seemed to have a perfect childhood. However, behind the scenes was a completely different story. I was a victim of sex trafficking beginning at the age of 4 continuing until my early 20’s. To read my entire story, go to my website www.herobands.com. I hope in sharing that I can bring a message of hope, that no matter what we go through in life, we can heal and life can be wonderful.
Hero Bands was started with the hope of bringing hope. I wore these bracelets for years as a reminder. A reminder to be strong, to find peace and to remember that I was loved. I partnered with Operation Underground Railroad, O.U.R., to make a bigger difference in the world. I now make these bands for the children they rescue, hand stamped with customers’ initials so that the survivors know that there is someone they don’t even know who is invested in their recovery. I call these bands Safe Bands and I sell them at cost so that every child can have a band of their own. I also sell bands for purchase for others that need encouragement. From these bands, I donate $2 per band, directly to O.U.R. so they can continue to do what they do.
Help me bring hope to others. Be someone’s hero. Be your own hero.”
O.U.R. recently added Mr. Alberto Puertas to their Board of Governors.
Alberto Puertas is a career/academic counselor for the University Advisement Center at Brigham Young University. His responsibilities include: serving as the International Advisement Specialist at BYU; teaching courses in career strategies, career exploration, and effective learning; mentoring students at risk, and assisting the University in promoting career development issues and objectives.
Alberto has a Master of Science in Counseling and Guidance from BYU. He has mentored many college students doing humanitarian work and internships abroad. He has presented workshops and seminars in the United States, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Bolivia and Peru. In his presentations and daily work, Alberto Puertas emphasizes the relationship between meaning, spirituality and career development. He also stresses the benefits and challenges globalization presents to vocational guidance in the international arena to this new millennium. …
O.U.R. PARTNERS WITH AGAPE INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS TO SAVE CHILDREN FROM TRAFFICKING IN CAMBODIA
Operation Underground Railroad is partnering with International NGO Agape International Missions to rescue more children from sex trafficking in Cambodia
CAMBODIA– Today Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) announced their partnership with International NGO Agape International Missions (AIM), a humanitarian organization focused on ending child sex slavery in Cambodia since 2005. AIM’s goal is to defeat the evil of sex trafficking. Their programs are stopping the cycle of exploitation by preventing trafficking, and rescuing, restoring and reintegrating survivors.
“O.U.R. is incredibly excited to partner with A.I.M., to share and learn new online investigation techniques and technology, and to help local police forces and governments catch such pedophiles that prey upon the young in Cambodia. With the spirit of the mission in mind, we believe that by combining forces we can help save more and more children from child sex slavery, ” said Founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard.
O.U.R. and AIM have partnered on missions in Cambodia in the past, and share a similar faith based approach to their work. O.U.R. looks forward to continued work with AIM as they rescue children from slavery and rebuild their lives and communities by working with local authorities.
“The opportunities to share skills, experiences, and technologies, which come from the O.U.R.-AIM partnership, will result in an exponential impact on child sex trafficking in Cambodia. Bottom-line, more children will be rescued, more traffickers imprisoned, and fewer children will experience the trauma of sexual exploitation,” said AIM’s CEO & Co-Founder of Anti Trafficking Initiatives Don Brewster.
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. -Ernest Hemingway-
One of the most important things a survivor of sexual abuse needs to know is they are not alone and that healing is possible.
The Kintsugi metaphor does just that. This metaphor derives from the Japanese art form of mending broken pottery with gold lacquer. The idea is that the breakage is part of the beauty of the piece. That it isn’t something that needs to be hidden, but can be both repaired and celebrated. This applies to the cracks in the lives of survivors. Sexual abuse is a shattering experience. You can repair your broken places. You can heal. You can become whole once more. It doesn’t erase the past, but it allows you to move forward, intact instead of in pieces.
Currently, 1 in 5 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18, according to the Center for Disease Control. It’s a silent epidemic that harms everyone it touches.
One of our partners, The Younique Foundation, works to give adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse the tools they need to find healing and hope. Many have been unseen and unheard for years. We want them to know that they are not alone and that healing is possible.Whether you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse or someone who wants to help, please find more information at www.youniquefoundation.org/hope.
Last week, Operation Underground Railroad added a new member to their Board of Governors, Dr. Jorge Luis Romero Castro. Dr. Romero is a member of the Andean Parliament and is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights and Social Affairs for the Andean Region. He heard about O.U.R. through current board member, Alberto Puertas and quickly flew to the United States to meet the O.U.R. team. Dr. Romero intends to open more doors for Operation Underground Railroad throughout the Andean Countries (Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador) as an active board member. Given his impressive background, endless recognitions and key connections, O.U.R. is honored to have Dr. Romero join their team in this fight.
Some of Dr. Romero’s accomplishments include:
*He was recognized with the Degree of DOCTOR HONORIS CAUSA by the GRENDAL UNIVERSITY OF U.S.A. for his unstoppable career of 15 years in the service of Personal Development in 9 Countries.
*He was recognized with the Global Leadership Award by Midwest University St. Louis Missouri for his trajectory in the field of World Leadership.
*He was recognized as the most influential Coach in Peru by the magazine Etiqueta Negra for his successful and successful presence in various business, social and political segments, in wealth-generating companies and for having led to several candidates for Political Power.
*He was recognized as one of the 5 Coaches and lecturers of the most sought after Personnel in Latin America, by the prestigious Journal GESTIÓN.
*He was awarded in the Congress of the Republic as the most influential Coach in Peru.
We are so grateful for those of you that continue to help with getting practical items to our beloved children in aftercare homes around the world! Maybe you can recall your favorite bedtime story as a child? These are simple items we sometimes forget how much they mean to us and others. Last week we were able to bring items to two of our homes we partner with. Whether it’s a warm towel to rap up in or reading a bedtime story to our children, these things bring so much COMFORT in life.
Thank you to our faithful aftercare supporters!
doTERRA Offers Hope To Survivors of Sex Trafficking
Placing hope in the hands of a child can save lives, literally. Essential oils company doTERRA and their Healing Hands Foundation are doing all they can to help those enslaved by human trafficking with a unique product called “Hope”.
Years ago DoTERRA began producing Certified Pure Therapeutic-Grade essential oils. After seeing the incredible benefits from using the oils, doTERRA organized “a group of health-care and business professionals to provide the oils to the world.” The newly invented special essential oil called “Hope”, serves an even higher purpose.
DoTERRA is donating “Hope” oil to Operation Underground Railroad, who then distributes it to children and young adults around the world with O.U.R.’s logo and the human trafficking hotline number printed on the inside of the label. It can only be found by pulling the label back.
O.U.R. Director of Corporate Partnerships, Doug Osmond, explains how the “Hope” oil uniquely aids trafficking victims. “The traffickers won’t take it away because it smells good, but it gives the victims a tool to get out,” Osmond says. “It’s amazing what a difference a simple ‘tool’ such as this can make!”
The doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation mission statement explains that the organization is “committed to improving lives through partnering with organizations that offer hope to millions around the world. Healing Hands seeks to bring healing and hope to the world, for lives free of disease and poverty, and to ultimately empower impoverished communities with the tools needed to become self-reliant. doTERRA provides for all overhead and administrative costs of the Healing Hands Foundation, ensuring that 100 percent of all donations go directly to those receiving aid.”
A Latin derivative meaning “Gift of the Earth”, doTERRA has always had a mission centered on impacting the world. The partnership formed with Operation Underground Railroad only furthers that purpose. Osmond says doTERRA’s Healing Hands Foundation has been involved with the operation since the beginning. “Back in January 2014, I called Rob Young about contributing to O.U.R.’s mission,” Osmond said. “doTERRA immediately responded with a basket of their product to auction off as a means to fund O.U.R. Operations.”
Since that first interaction, doTERRA has continued to show support to O.U.R. in unique and essential ways. Osmond says that the Healing Hands Foundation has raised $500,000 for O.U.R., connected with three million wellness advocates to spread awareness, and recently had employees participate in a “Day of Giving” to assemble a 1,000 kits for aftercare programs around the globe. doTERRA’s founding executive and CEO, David Sterling, even joined jump team members on an undercover domestic operation, observing from a safe distance.
Osmond sees doTERRA’s support as vital. “They [doTERRA] often do things that they want to remain anonymous about. We are just so grateful to have their support and be able to work alongside them.”
Osmond feels their motivation is purely selfless. “They want to help save kids and they’ve got an ability to help us do that. So they are stepping up to make a difference. They’re not doing it for glory or fame, they are doing it because they know they can help.”
doTERRA and the Healing Hands Foundation partnership with O.U.R. is extremely important for several reasons, but Osmond highlighted two main functions. “First, the financial contributions donated allow us to organize operations, fund aftercare programs and conduct rescue operations we couldn’t otherwise accomplish. And second, through their vast network of wellness advocates, they have been able to promote awareness to over three million people and educate them on human trafficking. It’s a game-changer for O.U.R. and child trafficking in general.”
doTERRA is now making a special offer to O.U.R.’s supporters. From now until November 30th, if you make a donation to the doTerra Healing Hands Foundation on their website and choose O.U.R., they will match the donation!
This partnership allows O.U.R. to extend its reach further into the fight against child sex trafficking. “If they continue to contribute and grow with us, we will be able to fund more aftercare programs, rescue missions and get more people aware of the child trafficking issue,” Osmond says. “We are very grateful this partnership has become a reality.”
Silicone molds, essential oils, oxide colorants, micas and pigments lurk in every spare corner of the room. Transfer pipettes, digital thermometers, clays, and seeds befriend them.
Other companions include a heat gun, crinkle cutter, loaf cutter, and beveller. The list concludes with 20-pound blocks of soap base in three classifications: goat’s milk, clear glycerin and ultra clear.
The question is… what storm blew through this home? How and why is it being transformed from something ordinary and orderly into a business born from passion and focus based on the saving operations of Operation Underground Railroad?
The mother of this industrious family, Tracey Carsner, explains how it all began…
I always thought soap making would be fun to try. I knew nothing about it other than what I’d seen at boutiques and farmers’ markets. I bought a beginner kit at a craft store and read the directions repeatedly before starting. Well, my soaps turned out pretty ugly, but I was patient and kept practicing. Then my mom sent me a sample of a watermelon-inspired soap. I was determined to branch out from the kit directions and do my own thing. It turned out fabulous and I was hooked!
Days and weeks after reading many blogs and pinning hundreds of pictures, my collection grew. I began giving my creations as gifts. Along with the stunned realization that I made something that was cool, my friends encouraged me to make them available for purchase. Having been in business before, I knew what an undertaking that path could be. I shied away from the idea, just enjoying the compliments and the process of designing the next soap.
At this point, Tracey’s two teenage boys, Gabe and Adam, jumped into this project.
The boys were giving me design advice and mentioning to their friends that I was making these cool soaps. They even showed the products off to their friends when they came over. Gabe and Adam used the bars and gave feedback on fragrance blends and lather consistency. It has been pretty hilarious to see that they have opinions on something that I would normally consider amore feminine interest. I’m especially grateful for their input on the masculine bars I make. I know what women like for men, but it’s not always what men would choose for themselves.
With these two talented cheerleaders in her corner, Tracey thought bringing these products to market might be a little easier. But it still wasn’t enough to push her into the business venture. What tipped the scales was deciding to benefit Operation Underground Railroad.
Tracey explains, “I love this organization and all it stands for. O.U.R. Founder Tim Ballard and his helpers and volunteers are performing an act that the mainstream population cannot carry out. Most of us can only contribute with finances or volunteer our time. This venture allows our family to do both!”
Saving Soap is now an official creative soap shop, donating 40% of their profits directly to Operation Underground Railroad. They especially hope fans will “like” and “share” Saving Soap’s social media sites so that they can continue to stay busy manufacturing unusual products and contributing profits to O.U.R.
Tracey is direct about her supporting staff when she states, “Without Gabe and Adam, I would definitely not be doing this. I design and make the soap, handle purchasing, and the business office.”
Photography and graphic design responsibilities fall to 17-year-old Gabe. “My passion for photography and design are now combined with supporting the cause of O.U.R. Anything I can do to help them succeed with their goals makes me feel like I can make a difference. Sex trafficking is an unspeakable evil. I’m also learning the complexities of business processes and all the individual details it involves.” Gabe adds, “Buying our soap is a win-win situation. We provide beautiful, unique gift products and contribute 40% to O.U.R. for their rescue missions.”
Fifteen-year-old Adam is the social media manager, fragrance/design consultant, and order fulfillment director. He admits, “My favorite part of the business is being creative and developing new products. There is a never-ending assortment of molds and scents to experiment with. I also love knowing I’m helping such a worthwhile cause.”
Saving Soap has definitely mushroomed into a family affair. They are focused on creating beautiful soaps and rescuing children. What could be better?
Donors come in all shapes and sizes from individuals, to small family companies, to major corporations. One newcomer to the Operation Underground Railroad donor family is “Netpure,” a company that has created a home protection device for families. Specifically, Netpure is a child-safe internet router with parental controls, time management and alerts.
As a parent, you take control of the internet for your children with Netpure. You can schedule when it is available to them as well as what content they can see. It is a child-safe WiFi network in your home for your children, while the parent WiFi remains the same. It’s a win/win situation and several of O.U.R.’s employees, including O.U.R.’s founder and CEO, Tim Ballard, are using it in their homes now.
This is a great way to protect your children from the darker side while giving them the freedom to search the Internet for homework or even fun and games. But Netpure is doing much more than just protecting children from certain elements of the Internet. They are donating to Operation Underground Railroad as well, thus helping to rescue children as well as protect them. That only happens if you help though.
Nepture has provided a special code for our O.U.R. supporters. Right now, if you order the Netpure router using the code: OURGIVER, you will receive $5 off the router and Netpure will donate $20 to O.U.R. Another win/win! How great is that?
The makers of Netpure have been developing security Internet systems for the FBI, the Pentagon and the Navy SEALS over the last 20 years. Now they’ve put that knowledge and experience to work to protect families, so you know it will be effective.
We are looking forward to collaborating on future projects with Tony Robbins and his foundation. Together we can all make a difference and save these children. Please help us continue the fight. Thank you!