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Category: Supporters

Stories about people who support O.U.R. in many different ways.

For Every Swimming Pool Built, California Pools Donates to O.U.R.

For Every Swimming Pool Built, California Pools Donates to O.U.R.

California Pools is a family-owned company that has been building custom pools for over 60 years for homes all over the United States. The company has been innovation-oriented from the beginning. California Pools was started by Wayne Steimle in 1952 as a backyard project – it was so successful, he had his whole neighborhood wanting to hire him to build them a backyard pool! To date, they have built over 70,000 pools and are nationally recognized as a leader in the industry.

When California Pools heard about the issue of child exploitation in the U.S. and around the world, they wanted to get involved in the fight against it. Their story can inspire many:

“We are very family oriented and when we found out we could help children, we jumped at the chance.  Our efforts to help are on a local and corporate level by donating per swimming pool built. At both of our annual manager’s meetings we talk about our current efforts with O.U.R and how else we can help. With the success of our TV show, Pool Kings on DIY Network, we have been building a record level of pools and that in turn has increased our level of donating towards O.U.R.”

Pool Kings is a reality show that shows viewers the process of building a backyard “sanctuary” from beginning to end. This show has dramatically increased business for California Pools. The generous donations from each pool are used to help in rescuing and rehabilitating children that have been exploited all over the world. We are grateful for California Pools’ contribution, and we invite other businesses to follow in their footsteps in the fight against child trafficking.


What can YOU Do?

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There are many creative ways that you can fight trafficking. A group named S.O.A.P. packed bags of soap with the human trafficking hotline number on each bar of soap to deliver to local motels in Washington D.C. Their efforts ended up saving a girl from trafficking. Learn more about this story here.

Join the fight. SHARE this article.

How the Brian Head Fire in Utah Inspired Awards at a 5k Race

How the Brian Head Fire in Utah Inspired Awards at a 5k Race

Last week, volunteer Bret Howser carried out a 5k and 1 mile walk in O.U.R.’s name in Brian Head, Utah. Howser and his wife have supported O.U.R. for a long time and we are grateful for their efforts in putting on this race. Not only did they organize the race, but they hand made the medals for the winners. Brian Head endured one of the largest fires of the year in the U.S. earlier this summer, so Howser made a great tribute to the city by using the wood from a scorched Aspen tree to make the medals.

Howser cut one of the scorched trees from the fire into disks and put the O.U.R. logo on it in gold, silver and bronze, and lacquered it for the winners of the race.

Howser shared his experience with us:

“Before presenting the medals I talked about when I was standing in Brian Head earlier this summer watching the wildfire come racing toward our town. As the fire crested the ridge on the Northeast border of town, I experienced a feeling of severe helplessness. I thought for sure our town was gone. Then all of a sudden, this enormous plane came out of nowhere over the ridge and doused a large area with flame retardant, and all at once hope was restored. In the fight against human trafficking it’s hard not to feel helpless, whether you’re a victim or somebody trying to fight it. The problem can seem like a giant wildfire that’s impossible to fight. But OUR is like that giant plane coming over the ridge giving us hope.

The medals were made from scorched Aspen that I pulled from the burn area. When you look at the thousands of burned acres, there are pockets of green that are mostly made of Aspen that survived the fire. Aspen has a high water content that makes it particularly resilient to fire, and a strong interconnected root system that helps it to be among the first foliage to recover. It’s symbolic of the resilience of both those who are fighting to free slaves as well as the victims of trafficking, to whom we say ‘Hang in there! We know you’re there, we love you, and we’re coming to get you.'”

O.U.R.’s VP of Finance, Tevya Ware at the race

Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who dedicate so much time to spreading O.U.R.’s cause. We are grateful for stories like this that help us see the hope in difficult situations!


What can YOU Do?

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We love seeing the ways that volunteers and supporters use their talents to support O.U.R.

Check out how someone branded their own surfboard featuring O.U.R. here.

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Push-Up Contest in Kentucky to Raise $100,000 to End Child Trafficking

Push-Up Contest in Kentucky to Raise $100,000 to End Child Trafficking

By Kristen Seidl | July 31, 2017 | lifeleadership.com

Operation Underground Railroad Life on Life Push-Up Contest Details

The Life on Life Initiative has developed into a worldwide mission to help people from all walks of life gain functional freedom in society. In fact, the Pennsylvania Project was one of Life’s first and largest charitable projects in the history of the company. In just a handful of months, Life Members from around the globe banded together and raised over $100,000 to help a deserving family in need. We are so proud and thankful to everyone who was involved in that operation! It’s been just over a year since the culmination of that project took place and we are gearing up yet again for another huge charitable undertaking.

The inspiration and success from the PA Project captivated so many of our hearts that we decided to devise another plan to raise money for a cause with an even greater urgency, human trafficking. All Grace Outreach spokesman, Chris Swanson, along with Life on Life has teamed up with Tim Ballard and Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) to raise $100,000 to help put an end to child sex trafficking.

 

To read the full article with details on the push-up contest on October 14th in Louisville, Kentucky, click here.


What can YOU Do?

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DONATE TODAY

There are many ways to use your talents to spread awareness about human trafficking. One group in Virginia decided to pack bars of soap with the human trafficking hotline number and deliver them to hotels in the D.C. area. To read more about this story, click here.

SHARE this article to spread the word.


 

Rescue & Restoration – How a Surfboard Inspired a Man to Support the Cause

Rescue & Restoration – How a Surfboard Inspired a Man to Support the Cause

“O.U.R. does not just rescue, they restore. That is what makes this organization so special.”

“When I first saw this surfboard last year, it was discarded in the corner of a little surf shop in Jacksonville, Florida. It was scarred, dented, cracked, nicked, broken, and covered in surf wax, sand, and dust. But when I laid my eyes on it I did not see those things. I saw the beauty of what it once was and the hope of what it could become again.

When I began the process of restoring this board, I sat down and began planning out the steps of what it would take. I thought about completely re-doing it to make it brand new again- but then it hit me. The children rescued by O.U.R. have suffered through and overcome an incredibly traumatic experience and their scars will never completely disappear. But like all of our scars, they do not have to define us. This board’s scars tell its story, but they do not define it.

So as I broke out the tools and began the restoration process I kept that in mind.  As I ran the sand paper over the dents, cracks, and nicks in an attempt to smooth them out I saw the beauty being restored while also not forgetting that the scars were still there. And then something amazing happened. Over a 92-day period, the board transformed and became more beautiful than it had ever been, but not because it was renewed. The beauty came from its character. The sanded down fiberglass blended with the scars the board had suffered in the past and created something unique and unlike any board I had ever seen.  It’s color was more rich and the scars reflected the light in a way no other board could.  Just like the rescued children of O.U.R., the board’s past did not define it… it simply laid the foundation for a beautiful future.

Eventually this foundation gave way to new found beauty. The free hand art at the top of the board shows a sun shedding light on the process of restoration, and using that light to help liberate the child along the modern-day Underground Railroad. The middle of the board is dedicated to the Coordinated Rescue efforts that have liberated so many innocent lives from the captivity of human trafficking. Each of the successful operations carried out from 2013 to 2017 are on the board along with their locations, how many victims were rescued, and how many perpetrators were arrested. Under the O.U.R. logo is the O.U.R. Promise, the Recovery Planning logo, and the Changing the Mindset logo.

All of the art on the board was done free hand with fine tip sharpies and it was well worth the time, patience, and effort. All the funds raised in this auction will go 100% to Operation Underground Railroad.

 

Thank you to all those who donate. The O.U.R. surfboard will go to the person or group who donates the highest amount of money. So feel free to gather donations from your friends, church, business, school, athletic teams, and community and submit them as one donation. If there is a tie for the largest amount I will put the names of those who have tied in a hat and do a live lottery drawing!

My prayers are always and constantly with the victims of human trafficking and those who are working tirelessly to rescue them from their captivity. God bless you all.”

-Ryan Patterson, O.U.R. Supporter

To participate in this fundraising campaign, click here

 


What can YOU Do?

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DONATE TODAY

It means the world to us when you use your talents to support the cause.

Yourrescue.org is our platform especially designed for you to campaign your own fundraisers.

Create your own today by clicking here!

O.U.R. PART OF SPECIAL TRAINING IN THAILAND

O.U.R. PART OF SPECIAL TRAINING IN THAILAND

 O.U.R. Thailand Country Coordinator, Jib, attended a two-day Pattaya police network training on law and process for victims of child abuse. The training was held at Pattaya City Hall on the 3rd-4th of April.  

 

 

 

Mr. Sarot Nakbet is an honorable instructor from a prosecution team under Princess Bajrakitiyabha. He was invited by the Social Development Office of Pattaya City Municipality to lead his team for this training called, “Stop Violent Acts to Children in The Family.” This will aide Pattaya area workers in the child protection network combined with government offices, NGO, volunteers from communities, Tourism Police Volunteers, and ACT Pattaya (TICAC police).

 

Pictured left to right: Jib, an O.U.R. employee, Khun Amm from Upstream Family and Community Learning Center-Chiangmai, Khun Sudjai from Haven Children’s Home Family-Pattaya, and Khun Arunratsami, a social worker from the Social Development Office of Pattaya City Municipality.

 

 

Jib had the opportunity to meet Sister Piyachat from A Fountain of Life Foundation of the Catholic Church who presented issues on child cases in Pattaya city, asking for TICAC investigation and cooperation. She expressed her appreciation and hopes for continued partnership in the future to save the children.

 

5 WAYS YOU CAN HELP END HUMAN TRAFFICKING

5 WAYS YOU CAN HELP END HUMAN TRAFFICKING

1. Be Aware

Know the signs. Trafficking happens in more places than you may think.

What is Child Sex Trafficking?

One of the most common forms of sexual exploitation is the “recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person [child] for the purposes of a commercial sex act.” –Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000.

How does a child become a victim?

Traffickers pull vulnerable children in by physically and/or psychologically abusing or manipulating them. Oftentimes, they will trick minors into believing that they will care for their needs, whether they be physical or emotional. This tricks children into giving their loyalty even when suffering abuse.

Who are the pimps?

Sex traffickers take the form of anyone. This includes family, friends, significant others- anyone who is making a profit from the sexual exploitation of the child.

2. Protect Your Children

Communicate, set rules, and create a safe space of trust where they can feel heard.

These days it seems almost impossible to keep track of how technology is evolving. Unfortunately, the internet is a huge tool used in human trafficking, where identities are masked and the vulnerable are preyed upon.

Here are some great guidelines from NetSmartz to get you started on protecting your children:

Talk to your children about being cautious with strangers. Here are other signs to watch for when there is face to face interaction:

Recruitment-

  1. Older adult showing interest in child, asking questions about their life, family, hopes, dreams
  2. Excessive flattery
  3. Buying gifts
  4. Romantic interest, often by someone older

Grooming-

  1. Isolation from friends and family
  2. Controlling activities, behaviors, dress and time
  3. Encouraging sexual activities like modeling, stripping, and pornography
  4. Drug and alcohol use

Seasoning-

  1. Physical abuse
  2. Sexual abuse
  3. Emotional and verbal abuse
  4. Forced sexual education
  5. Confinement
  6. Re-naming or re-programming
  7. Removal from familiarity
  8. Creating dependencies
  9. Branding (tattoos)

3. Spread the Word

Awareness can save a life, at home or abroad.

Talk to your friends and family members. Follow and share O.U.R.’s posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@ourrescue). The first Abolitionist movement worked from the ground up. When we make noise and shine the light, change happens and lives are saved.

4. Join the Fight

Create a fundraiser online or in your community.

Are you an entrepreneur or artist? Do you enjoy participating in your community? Get your friends and family together for a 5k run/walk, a benefit dinner, or concert in your community. You can even raise money online without leaving the comfort of your home. There are endless ways to contribute, big or small! Check out YourRescue.org  to start your fundraising campaign.

5. Become An Abolitionist

Just $5 a month can help fund our next rescue operation.

The first abolitionist leaders, like Harriet Tubman, used whatever resources they had to shed light on injustice and save the innocent. Will you do your part to shine your light and support the cause?

40% of our operational costs come from our “Abolitionists”, or monthly donors. Click here to donate. 

 

 

HELP O.U.R. AT THE RAGNAR WASATCH BACK

HELP O.U.R. AT THE RAGNAR WASATCH BACK

We are excited to announce that the “long distance, team, overnight running relay” RAGNAR will be helping O.U.R. spread awareness at the Wasatch Back Road Relay, happening June 2-3, 2017. The course will run along the beautiful trails of the Wasatch Mountains from Logan to Midway, Utah.

Here are two great ways you can be part of the action this year.

VOLUNTEER AT THE O.U.R. EXCHANGE POINT

Even if you won’t be running the Wasatch Back, you can still be part of the energy!  Ragnar is inviting volunteers to help run “Exchange 12” with O.U.R., located at Snowbasin Lodge, 3925 Snow Basin Road, Huntsville, UT 84317.

You’ll catch all of the action as you cheer on teams, take photos at our social media booth, and spread awareness about Operation Underground Railroad to participants and other spectators.

Please email jani@ourrescue.org to select your 4-7 hour shift. Hurry, slots will fill quickly!

YOUR RAGNAR WASATCH BACK TEAM CAN REPRESENT O.U.R.!

Already planning on running the Ragnar Wasatch Back? You can help us spread the word before the big event as well as along the course by creating a fundraising campaign at YourRescue.org, and of course, wearing O.U.R. swag with pride!

Go to yourrescue.org and click “Start a New Campaign” and after creating your account, select the “Ragnar” Category. Your campaign title should say something about Ragnar Wasatch, and can include your team name if you’d like.

NOTE: To register your team to run the Wasatch Back, you must register through Ragnar’s site here.

Registering on yourrescue.org is for fundraising purposes only.

FOR $6 PER RUNNER, YOUR TEAM WILL RECEIVE AN O.U.R. VAN KIT

– 1 “O.U.R.” LARGE CAR CLING FOR YOUR BACK WINDOW

         – 1 T SHIRT, WRISTBAND, AND SMALL “O.U.R.” BUMPER STICKER FOR EACH TEAM MEMBER

We’ll see you there!

(images from runragnar.com)


What can YOU Do?

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DONATE TODAY

Need some O.U.R. gear to spread the word? Buy a shirt at our online store here.

Tell your friends about this great way to grow awareness.  SHARE this article.

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

Netpure: Keeping The Internet Safe One Family At A time

Netpure: Keeping The Internet Safe One Family At A time

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.

Netpure-Router
Netpure-Router

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.

You can read more about Netpure in this review from Gadgeflow: http://thegadgetflow.com/portfolio/netpure-child-safe-internet/

You can also visit their website” http://netpure.com to learn more about how Netpure works.

O.U.R. is truly grateful for every donation. Seeing companies such as Netpure help families as well as rescue children, makes the world a better place for all of us.

Netpure Facebook page

Tony Robbins Teams Up With O.U.R. To Fight The Good Fight

Tony Robbins Teams Up With O.U.R. To Fight The Good Fight

Operation Underground Railroad is extremely grateful to Tony Robbins and his foundation, as well as all those who are supporting the cause to rescue those enslaved by human trafficking.

From Tony Robbins’ Facebook Page:

tony-robbins-fb-2

To view Tony Robbins’ actual Facebook page click here and search Operation Underground Railroad. The following are live links from the Facebook page: HSN, Feeding America, Operation Underground Railroad

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!