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JANUARY IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS MONTH

JANUARY IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS MONTH

4 Ways You Can Help #EndHumanTrafficking 

In 2010, President Barack Obama declared January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Since its founding in 2014 Operation Underground Railroad has celebrated this month as a way to bring justice and awareness to our cause, to end human trafficking worldwide. This January we’d like you to help us!

We’ve provided a few resources, and A CALENDAR, that you can post on your refrigerator, which you can use to help us drive awareness for human trafficking. We encourage you to share your activities using the hashtag #EndHumanTrafficking to help us raise awareness for this cause. Here’s how you can help!

Week 1 (January 1-7): Become an Abolitionist!

The first week of January we’d like you to become an Abolitionist! Becoming an abolitionist is simple. Simply download THIS SIGN, print it out, and write out why you’re an abolitionist! Then share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the social network of your choosing using the hashtag #EndHumanTrafficking. We’ll share our favorites on our social media channels!

If you want to really devote yourself to the cause, please make a donation on the OURrescue.org website or wear one of the T-shirts or other merchandise from the O.U.R. Store (which also supports the efforts of Operation Underground Railroad!). We’ve made some special T-shirts just for this month which will be available next week!

Week 2 (January 8-14): Create a Facebook Fundraiser

We’ve launched a new way on our Facebook Page for you to create your own fundraisers right inside Facebook, and it’s really easy to do! We’d like to encourage you to come up with your own creative way to raise funds with your friends.

To create your fundraiser, on the left of Facebook, click “Fundraisers” (you might have to click “See More” under “Explore”). Click “Create Fundraiser”, and in the box to select a non-profit select “Operation Underground Railroad”. Set a goal for how much you want to raise for the week and see what type of creative fundraiser you can share with your friends on Facebook! Use #EndHumanTrafficking to share your progress!

Week 3 (January 15-21): Support the O.U.R. Store

We’d like your help in raising funds and awareness by buying clothing and merchandise you can wear around the house, office, with your friends, and elsewhere to bring awareness to this cause. During the week we’ll have plenty of giveaways. Watch the O.U.R. social media channels for discount codes and more. Check out the O.U.R. Store and purchase your #EndHumanTrafficking merchandise. Then share the merchandise you’ve bought with the hashtag!

Also, on January 21, watch for a very special event we’re planning called “Free at Last”! We’ll post more about this on our social media channels.

Week 4 (January 22-31): Unite in the Fight – Volunteer Week!

This week is about YOU! To help during this week, find ways in YOUR community you can volunteer! Visit our website and sign up to become volunteer and watch the O.U.R. social media channels to find new ways to help. We encourage you to create Facebook Events if you can, and share pictures from your events on social media using the hashtag #EndHumanTrafficking.

As always, we can’t bring awareness to this cause without YOUR help! The month of January is about YOU, and there was never a better time for you to help us, our partners, and others around the world eradicate slavery. These are all our suggestions. Come up with your own ways and share them on social media with the #EndHumanTrafficking hashtag and then follow along and participate with us in the conversation as we all work together in this cause!

To download the calendar (we recommend posting this on your fridge or elsewhere so you don’t forget!), CLICK HERE

To download the “I’m an Abolitionist Because” poster, CLICK HERE

Operation Friend Finder- Malaysia

Operation Friend Finder- Malaysia

Last week, Operation Underground Railroad conducted its first sucessful rescue in Malaysia. Through collaborated efforts with Protect and Save the Children, the Royal Thai Police and Operation Underground Railroad, a 16-year-old Thai girl held in a Malaysian detention center is now reunited with her family in northern Thailand.

This young survivor was tricked into finding work in Malaysia where she ended up being forced to work in a brothel. The brothel was raided and she was then put into a detention center where she was subjected to harsh living conditions affecting her health. With committed determination we were able to arrange for the release of the girl just a few days ago. O.U.R.’s Thailand Coordinator and acting social worker flew to Malaysia to personally escort the girl to her family in Thailand where she will be provided aftercare services.

The healing process begins now. Though it may just be 1 victim, this girl’s life has been changed forever by the hard work of the men and women at O.U.R. and the various partners involved. We are so incredibly grateful she is reunited with her family- just in time for the Holiday season. #OperationFriendFinder

Operation Homeschooled- 10 Arrested in Mesa, Arizona

Operation Homeschooled- 10 Arrested in Mesa, Arizona

Child Prostitution Arrests

Mesa Police Department
Media Relations Office
For Release: December 12, 2016

Mesa Police Detectives completed another operation targeting sexual predators trying to engage in sex acts with underage juveniles. Operation Home Schooled utilized undercover detectives posing as 13 and 14-year-old juveniles, and traffickers, chatting on commonly used internet sites where suspects seek out illegal sex acts. The suspects solicited and/or brokered deals for various sex acts with the minor and were arrested when they responded to the location where they were supposed to meet the minor for sex.

Each year the Mesa Police Department conducts operations of this type in a continuous effort to remove these predators from our community. Suspects willing to solicit sex acts with children are some of the most dangerous criminals in our society. The suspects in the latest operation ranged in age from 66 to 23 years old.

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This operation was a collaborative effort between the Mesa Police Department and Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). We also want to recognize the Hickey Family Foundation, AZ Men, and our local business partners; Empire Southwest and the Treehouse Group, for their invaluable support of this initiative. For more information about human exploitation and trafficking, please visit http://mesaaz.gov/residents/police/departments-divisions/mesa-family-advocacycenter/heat

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How one survivor used her story to help others and how you can be a part of the movement

How one survivor used her story to help others and how you can be a part of the movement

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.”

ell-and-tim

Board of Governors: Alberto Puertas

Board of Governors: Alberto Puertas

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.

Read More Read More

O.U.R. PARTNERS WITH AGAPE INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS TO SAVE CHILDREN FROM TRAFFICKING IN CAMBODIA

O.U.R. PARTNERS WITH AGAPE INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS TO SAVE CHILDREN FROM TRAFFICKING IN CAMBODIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NOV 21, 2016 

* * MEDIA ADVISORY * *
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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

About Operation Underground Railroad: O.U.R is a non-profit organization that rescues children from slavery. O.U.R rescue teams are comprised of highly skilled ex-Navy SEALs, Special Forces, CIA and other operatives. O.U.R’s work has gained international media coverage  on CBS Evening NewsFox News Sunday, and The Blaze among others. 

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For more information or to schedule an interview with Tim Ballard, please contact Brielle at brielle@javelindc.com or 201-693-5378.

Kintsugi: From a Broken Past to a Bright Future

Kintsugi: From a Broken Past to a Bright Future

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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.

CLICK HERE to watch The Kintsugi metaphor video

Dr. Jorge Luis Romero joins the Board of Governors

Dr. Jorge Luis Romero joins the Board of Governors

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. 

Follow Dr. Romero on Facebook HERE

Watch a Facebook Live video of Jorge, Alberto and Tim HERE

Operation Aftercare

Operation Aftercare

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!

#CollaborationLove

doTERRA Offers Hope To Survivors of Sex Trafficking

doTERRA Offers Hope To Survivors of Sex Trafficking

By Caleb Larkin –

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.

hope-oil

 

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.”

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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.

girls-day

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.”