IDENTITY… There are different words that probably come to mind when you think of your identity. Some of you might think of your roles in life, your strengths, or the challenges you have faced. What if in the midst of your greatest challenges someone started to speak truth to who you are?
Traffickers lie to their victims about their identity, so it is important to us to tell survivors the truth about their worth. At aftercare homes and services all over the world, survivors hear the truth as to who they really are… Overcomer. Light. Beauty. Wisdom. Strength. Leader. Priceless.
Hero Bands does this for survivors we meet all over the world with words of encouragement, truth, and hope on the band. Hero Bands customers have the opportunity to donate a band to survivors of trafficking. The Hero Bands have inspirational words on them as well as the initials of the person who donated the bands. We give the survivors the bands and tell them that there is someone out there that loves them and cares for them. This has a great impact on them as they realize who they are and that there are others standing with them side-by-side.
Last October, some of our Aftercare volunteers had the amazing opportunity to meet a survivor named Annabelle at one of the amazing aftercare homes that O.U.R. supports. They told Annabelle of the love they had for her and gave her a hope bracelet explaining where it came from. Usually, O.U.R. gives one bracelet to each survivor but as we continued to visit she asked for another. The O.U.R. volunteers felt inspired that they should give her another one. Annabelle said she felt love each time she looked at the bracelets.
After a few months, Annabelle left the Aftercare home for a while. Our Aftercare volunteers were worried about her as we knew that she wasn’t in a great place but she had turned 18 and she had the choice to leave. All we could do was pray.
A Safe Return
When our volunteers returned to the Aftercare home, they were overjoyed to find that Annabelle had returned so that she could get help with her painful recovery. After hugs and tears she explained that even though she had left, she never took off her hope bracelets. She continued to remember that someone out their loved her enough to send a bracelet to help her in her darkest hours.
Annabelle is now back on the path of healing. She has returned to the aftercare center and she is receiving training and help to change her life trajectory. She returned in part because of someone who cared and donated a bracelet.
Please don’t forget the impact you have on others. We appreciate all that our volunteers do to help O.U.R. so that these survivors can receive the support they need to overcome their past and achieve their wonderful potential.
O.U.R. Aftercare Director
What can YOU Do?
Do you know that there are many common misconceptions that people have about sex trafficking? Learn about the myths and realities here.
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