4 Rescued & 4 Arrested- Operation White Crow

4 Rescued & 4 Arrested- Operation White Crow

O.U.R. successfully completed an operation in conjunction with India Rescue Mission (IRM), which resulted in 4 survivors rescued and 4 traffickers arrested.

It started at a brothel in India that was being run by 2 female traffickers. The team traveled to the brothel where they connected with one of the owners and began conversation. Shortly after, they were offered each girl for $1,000 USD for the purpose of sex. A plan was immediately put into place with law enforcement where they would intersect the traffickers while they were traveling to a hotel to deliver the girls in exchange for money.

On the way to the hotel, the car was pulled over and the 4 traffickers were immediately taken into custody while the 4 survivors were taken by social workers to the hospital for examinations. They have since been placed in a government shelter for survivors of human trafficking where they are receiving proper care.

Unfortunately, these sort of “transactions” take place every day and in almost every part of the world. We are so grateful for our partnership with India Rescue Mission and for the diligent law enforcement officers who fight this fight every day.

What can YOU Do?

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DONATE TODAY

Become an Abolitionist.

Did you know that 40% of our operation costs are covered by our recurring Abolitionist donors? For just $5/mo you can help us rescue more children.

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Ashton Kutcher tears up as he urges Senate to fight sex slavery

Ashton Kutcher tears up as he urges Senate to fight sex slavery

Ashton Kutcher gave a moving speech to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about ending sex slavery on Wednesday.

“This is about the time, when I talk about politics, that the Internet trolls tell me to stick to my day job,” the actor said. “I’d like to talk about my day job. My day job is the chairman and the co-founder of Thorn. We built software to fight human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. My other day job is that of the father of two, a 2-month old and 2-year-old.”

Kutcher, 39, shares daughter Wyatt and son Dimitri with wife Mila Kunis.

He then described joining the FBI in raids in India, Russia, Mexico and stateside in New Jersey and New York.

“I’ve seen things that no person should ever see,” he said, tearing up. “I’ve seen video content of a child that is the same age as mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia. This child was so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play.”

               Ashton Kutcher chokes up.

He continued, “I’ve been on the other end of a phone call from my team asking for my help because we had received a call from the Department of Homeland Security, telling us that a 7-year-old girl was being sexually abused and that content was being spread on the Dark Web … They’d watched her for three years and they could not find the perpetrator, [and were] asking us for help. We were the last line of defense. An actor and his foundation were the last line of defense.”

“I had to say no and it devastated me, it haunted me,” Kutcher said, choking up again. “For the next three months I had to go to sleep every night and think about that little girl that was being abused and the fact that if I built the right thing, we could have saved her. Now, if I got that phone call, the answer would be yes.”

He then recalled the story of “Amy,” a 15-year-old girl from Oakland, Calif., who was forced into trafficking within hours of meeting a man in person she’d first talked to online. “This isn’t an isolated incident. There’s not much that’s unusual about it,” Kutcher said. “The only unusual thing is that ‘Amy’ was found and returned to her family within three days using a tool we created … called Spotlight.”

Kutcher said the tool aids police in cutting investigation time by 60 percent, adding, “That’s my day job and I’m sticking to it.”

It wasn’t all heavy: Kutcher and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had a lighthearted moment after his speech. “You were better looking in the movies,” McCain said.

Kutcher, blowing McCain, 80, a kiss, replied, “My wife says that, too.

What Can YOU Do?

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Join us and Ashton Kutcher in this fight against trafficking.  SHARE this article to help spread the word that slavery still exists.

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Good News Florida: Operation Underground Railroad Rescues Children

Good News Florida: Operation Underground Railroad Rescues Children

Thank you Good News Florida and Tami Gomez for helping us shine a light on the dark world of Human Trafficking. Article below:

Human trafficking is a horrible evil present in our world today. Worse than simple trafficking, however, is child sex trafficking; a booming criminal industry that specializes in providing depraved individuals with children to satiate their perverted desires. These children are often sold multiple times per day to such individuals to be used, humiliated and abused, and passed along. These children are human beings made in the image of God, who are being treated so horribly. Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) has dedicated itself to freeing children from these appalling situations and getting them safely back to their families or to new families.

OUR, based out of California, is a non-profit organization that rescues victims of exploitation and human trafficking around the world. According to Osborne they have operated in fifteen countries worldwide including Colombia, Haiti, India, Thailand and others. While their focus is on children, OUR saves people of all ages. Over the course of three years, they have rescued about 600 individuals from some of the darkest possible situations.

OUR works in various ways to bring sex traffickers to justice and free their prey. They always work with local authorities to capture and bring offenders to justice. Matt Osborne, senior vice president for Rescue and Rehabilitation, said that OUR serves as a “force multiplier” as they help fill financial, training, technology and personnel gaps in the countries in which they operate. In some cases, that means helping train officials to be able to handle trafficking situations more effectively for themselves.

Rescue

In other cases, OUR brings in their own personnel to handle a situation. Their fully trained operatives, called the Jump Team, will pose as American child sex tourists to be able to capture the criminals who exploit children. Once money changes hands, local authorities come in SWAT-style, arrest the perpetrators and take them to be tried in a court of law. Due to the dangerous nature of these operations, many Jump Team members will pray before, during and after operations for safety and a successful mission.

When asked if his job is hard and if all the danger is worthwhile, Osborne responded, “It is difficult to have to play the role of the American child sex tourist and have the girls look at you as if you were really a disgusting predator who was going to do wicked things to them.  However, it is all worth it in the end when you have the chance to help pull someone out of the hell in which they are being forced to live.”

Rehabilitation

Once children have been pulled out of this torturous life they were forced to lead, they are rehabilitated with their families or with new families who will take them in and care for them. This is where Jessica Mass, director of Aftercare, comes in. Mass stressed the fact that they vet homes thoroughly before placing a child in one and, once placed, stay connected and help provide therapy, vocational training, funds for college and help meet other needs. Mass said, “We believe in helping restore lives and empowering voices of our little ones to a life of freedom, full of love and vision for their future.”

Working in this field exposes one to some of the greatest evils that happen on planet earth and can bring doubts and pain to rescuers and caregivers. But, according to Mass, it’s all worth it in the end: “I see the journey of healing and lives restored to the purpose God has for them. There is always hope! I believe there’s hope for everyone through the power of the gospel.” She firmly believes that, despite the evils plaguing the world, God has placed OUR in it to make a difference and to help rescue and restore his children.

OUR makes it easy to make a difference in the world. Becoming an Abolitionist is the easiest way for anyone to get involved. By donating at least $5 per month, you can become an Abolitionist and know that your money is going towards freeing children from this sickening exploitation physically and giving them the opportunity to become free spiritually. You can also sign up for updates from OUR to be informed about when they have made a rescue and to better know how to pray for them. OUR will assist anyone who is interested in doing awareness campaigns for human trafficking. Companies can sponsor vocational training programs through OUR, as well. If you purchase anything from their website, www.ourrescue.com, one hundred percent of the proceeds will go right back to furthering their efforts to rescue children. For those unsure of how to help, visit their website, get informed and “spend time asking God what you can do to protect and love His children,” said Mass.

A native-born Miamian, Tami Gomez is a freelance writer for the Good News while she and her husband attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina. They hope to become missionaries to the Far East.

Operation Underground Railroad Rescues Children

What YOU Can Do?

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Inspired by this article?  SHARE it with your friends and family to help spread the word

Want to become an Abolitionist? Sign up here.

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A Thank You from O.U.R. Aftercare

A Thank You from O.U.R. Aftercare

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Loving is easier than it seems. With a little bit of intentionality and partnership YOU can impact the lives of others!

If I were to ask you, “Can you tell me about a memory you have where you felt so much love from another person? Now, can you tell me about a time when you gave love to another?” As we give and receive love we are all encouraged!

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O.U.R. is so grateful for the many volunteers that came out in the middle of a snowstorm for our volunteer event in January to prepare gifts for some of the beautiful survivors here in Salt Lake City! There are many other things that you can do on a snowy Saturday.

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Thanks to doTERRA, many different churches and the nearly 300 incredible volunteers, we were able to hand out 93 bags of hope, blankets and Valentine’s Day cards this past weekend to the incredible women in our own city that have been through so much. Many of the women came up to us with tears in their eyes said, “This has truly been a magical night. Thank you for making us feel valuable and beautiful!” We encourage you today to speak love to your family, a window, a orphan, or a stranger.

You have the gift of change in this world!

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Love Always!

Jessica Mass
O.U.R. Aftercare

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OUR Letters of Love

OUR Letters of Love

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February is full of spreading love, and we have a special opportunity for you this month to help our survivors feel loved in a personal way, with your own words! O.U.R. Aftercare will be collecting cards this month to have on hand for future visits at our partnering facilities. Think of how special each child will feel when they open the card that you sent!

STEP 1: WRITE THE LOVE

Everybody loves getting something in the mail, whether it is a homemade or a simple card showing someone was thinking about you. Get your family together for a craft night, or stop by the dollar store and buy a handful of cards to write in.

Here are some examples:
you are lovedSome phrases: “You are Loved” “Have a Great Day!” “You are Beautiful”

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paper hearts

An envelope filled with positive phrases written on each heart

Please, do not include your full name, address, or any other personal information on the card. Do not call attention to their traumatic experience, but keep it sweet and positive. This is not an invitation to become pen pals, thank you!

STEP 2: POST THE LOVE

Take a photo of yourself with your card (or just your card) and post it to social media using #OURLettersofLove.

We will re-post our favorites!

STEP 3: SEND THE LOVE

Email us a scanned image of your card to info@ourrescue.org  or mail them to 138 E. 12300 S. Suite C-149 Draper, UT 84020

We thank you for taking part in #OURLettersofLove – we cannot do this alone!

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Tony Robbins: When a Dream Bucket List Leads to Change

Tony Robbins: When a Dream Bucket List Leads to Change

We are so incredibly grateful for Tony Robbins, his outstanding team and his generous supporters. They have been able to help us save dozens of children from slavery so far.

Watch the video below to find out how Tony came to find out about Operation Underground Railroad & you will be amazed what happens next.

The next time you think, “I’m just 1 person, I can’t possibly make a difference.” Think again!

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Operation Underground Railroad Wins Humanitarian Award

Operation Underground Railroad Wins Humanitarian Award

9th Annual Mobile Excellence Award Winners Announced

Innovators in Mobile Entertainment and Technology Recognized at VIP Events in Hollywood

January 27, 2016, Los Angeles, CA—The Mobile Excellence Awards (MEAs), now in its 9th year, honored the 2016 Best of Mobile winners at two exclusive events attended by leaders representing the entire mobile ecosystem: entertainment, technology, media, and marketing.

Industry luminaries and global media outlets gathered at Soho House–the luxurious private club in West Hollywood–to celebrate achievements by companies and individual executives who have furthered the mobile industry and impacted how the world engages with mobile devices. Winners and key influencers were also treated to a networking breakfast the following morning at Cecconi’s, renowned for its chic environment and power player meetings. 

Known as ‘The Oscars of Mobile’, the MEAs has seen even more dramatic growth in the industry this year, particularly in video. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of innovation and creativity we saw in this year’s entries,” noted Sarah Miller, CEO of Axis PR & Entertainment, who is Executive Producer of the event. “As we enter our 10th year, it’s clear that the determination and sheer brilliance in the leadership of these companies are transforming the world we live in. It’s a fantastic time to be in mobile.”

Awards are greatly coveted, with winners drawn from a high caliber submissions pool from studios, brands, content providers, start-ups, products, carriers, and more. Categories address a range of mobile lifestyle experiences, including everything from video, music, games, social engagement, philanthropy, information, and wellness to shopping. The organization takes pride in recognizing both rising stars and established leaders at the top of their game.  

“We’re very excited that the Mobile Excellence Awards is heading into its 10th year with new partners, sponsors, innovators and leaders who have been instrumental in shaping the future of mobile,” said Miller. “We know that it’s the people who make this the special gala that it is, and appreciate the support from the community and event staff. It’s gratifying that we all share the same commitment to this dynamic industry because we believe in the positive impact mobile has had on our daily lives.”

The 9th Annual Mobile Excellence Awards are produced by Axis PR & Entertainment and sponsored in part by globally recognized companies such as Intel, El Rey Network, AstologyZone,  ITV Alliance and others. More information can also be found at   www.mobilexawards.com.

 

9th Annual Mobile Excellence Award Winners

Best Humanitarian

  Operation Underground Railroad

Industry Star

Intel

Mobile Ambassador

  Anjali Shastri

Best Branded Experience Made for Mobile

   Futurama: Game of Drones 

Best Delivery Platform for Mobile

OpenMarket

Best Entertainment Related Marketing Campaign

       Univision for La Conecta App

Best Mobile Payment/Commerce

   DailyUse Mobile Wallet 

Best Kids Content for Mobile

       Ormco Corporation: Bethany Hamilton Damon Smile Emoji Keyboard

Best Live Streaming or Video for Mobile

AWE

Best Mobile Analytics/Big Data

       Drawbridge App Traction Index

Best Mobile App/Service for Connected Daily Lifestyle

      IHG Translator App

Best Mobile Game(s)

    Futurama: for Game of Drones

Best Mobile Innovator

 Xpose, Inc.

Best Mobile Product

     Huawei for HUAWEI MateBook

Best Mobile Sports

    Augusta National Golf Club and IBM’s 2016 Masters Golf Tournament App

Best Mobile Utility /Productivity Application for on a Smartphone or Tablet

ChatWork

Best Multinational Company

Brandtone

Best Original Content for Mobile

Kings of Fi$h

Best Social Community for Mobile

 CI&T for Sprite RFRSH Na Lata

Best Technology Breakthrough

 Tangoe for Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

Best User Experience for Mobile

     SapientNitro for Minneapolis Institute of Art

About Mobile Excellence Awards

The Mobile Excellence Award organization is one of the most coveted and prestigious events in the mobile industry.  Coined as the “Oscars” of Mobile, the MEA organization recognizes and honors leaders  and innovation in mobile entertainment and technology across the globe.  The MEAs produce various high level and high profile events for visionaries and leaders by offering knowledge exchange, peer networking, market intelligence and recognition through various programs throughout the year.  In addition, MEAs’ holds the most prestigious annual awards event in the industry, honoring excellence in all segments of the mobile ecosystem. For more information, please visit www.mobileXawards.com.

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Jon Lines: The Perfect Fit

Jon Lines: The Perfect Fit

By: Lorayne Mitchell

You know that feeling that comes when your eyes catch a glimpse of that elusive puzzle piece? It is the one with the muted hues and no bright colors to place it easily among the others. As we identify it and ultimately locate its perfect spot, we feel a keen sense of not only accomplishment, but also a satisfaction that comes with completing the perfect fit!

That is exactly the feeling that the directors at O.U.R. (and specifically the founder and CEO Tim Ballard) are experiencing. In the ever-changing landscape of an expanding company, new placements are constantly needed. Let me introduce you to the “perfect fit” as the Executive Vice President of Operations – Jon Lines.

Don’t assume this is just an ordinary placement, for it is anything but that. Allow me to share with you the details of Jon’s career summary, his relationship with Tim, and his plans for the future operations of O.U.R. After graduation with honors from Arizona State University in 1992 and a degree in Justice Studies, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service sidetracked Jon from his plans to attend law school.

Major highlights from Jon’s career include:

  • 1992 – Assigned to the Phoenix, Arizona INS office, working in state and nationwide fraud investigations in the naturalization process of aliens
  • 1997 – Recruited to join the Inspector General’s office, spearheading large scale investigation that eventually led to reforming the nation’s naturalization process.
  • 2002 – Was hired for a supervisory position in Ogden, Utah
  • 2003 – Department of Homeland Security was created. This necessitated the merger of INS and US Customs. Appointed as the interim leader of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations for the state of Utah.
  • 2007 – Selected as the Assistant Special Agent in charge of the 4 HSI offices in Utah. Accepted into the Naval Post Graduates School’s Master Degree Program, where he eventually earned his degree in Homeland Security and Defense.

In 2012, an enthusiastic experienced special agent, Tim Ballard, called Jon with a plea and a strong desire to transfer to Utah and work with Jon there. Tim carried with him a special set of skills from his work with child exploitations. Jon held Tim in high regard after watching him in action. Jon remembers vividly, “Tim was a real credit to our office. He had more vision than most other agents I had previously worked with. We began to discuss new and innovative ways to deal with sex trafficking issues both domestically and internationally.”

In 2013 Tim couldn’t shake nagging feelings that he needed to do more to save the children. Jon proved to be a patient sounding board to him. When most others told Tim he was making the wrong decision to walk away from his government job and pension, Jon was one of the few that discussed Tim’s options with him at length, and eventually encouraged him to follow his dream. While Tim was getting O.U.R. off the ground, he kept a watchful eye on Jon’s great success in the Utah offices of Homeland Security. He called Jon several months ago and asked if he would consider coming to work with him at O.U.R. Tim stated, “Bring everything you offered at the DHS office. Come and join our team at O.U.R. I’ve admired your leadership skills, vision, and above all your uncompromising investigational and operative expertise. I need you to apply your unbending expectations of accountability, credibility, and efficiency within our operations. I need your help to ensure that all incoming donations are well spent to save lives and rehabilitate the children exploited around the world.”

Jon shared with me his view on this new assignment, “Tim was a line agent when we worked together before; I was the agent in charge. Now the tables have turned. It’s not about who’s superior here. I would like to continue to build upon the absolutely incredible team that Tim has built. Tim and I respect each other, share the common mission of saving children, and the vision of what can be done with aftercare.” Jon will be on the ground and involved with the missions as much as he possibly can. He will provide leadership to the teams, facilitating their successes from an administrative perspective. Thailand has opened up as very fertile ground for future missions, and it is one of Jon’s main focuses as he begins his assignment with O.U.R.

Jon also realizes the great blessing his family has been, and will always be to him, by sustaining and supporting him with his career, his vision, and his current decision to stand with Tim and work with the team of O.U.R. His wife Kimberly has been by his side for 31 years. He has boys for bookends – Brye is his oldest son, Dutcher the youngest of the group. Daughters Micah and Haley are sandwiched in between. His children have blessed him with 5 beautiful grandchildren: sweet granddaughters Jonnie, Josie and Haddie, and grandsons Knox and Brigg.

Jon closed our interview by sharing with me one of his favorite quotes. Edmund Burke, an Anglo-Irish statesman, penned the following: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

What a perfect mantra for a man that refuses to stand by and watch children be lost, when he has the skills and expertise to make a difference. We will watch with great interest the great blessing he will be to the team of O.U.R. Is there any doubt now that Jon Lines is the PERFECT fit?

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Aftercare: The Light of One Survivor

Aftercare: The Light of One Survivor

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

She is smart, beautiful and full of light! Yes, she is a survivor and she is also thriving! When O.U.R. rescued her a little over two years ago she was not sure what she wanted to do with her future. It has been a privilege to walk alongside her and see her hopes and dreams develop. She is very excited about pursuing her education and in a couple years going on to college.

She’s also a leader at the aftercare home. Her soft but strong voice gives hope to all those around her. She speaks life into younger survivors. She believes that her voice as a teenager is powerful- and it is. Her smile is so bright. I often see joy radiating from so many survivors from around the world. One of my favorite questions to ask when I see this light is, “What brings you the most joy?” She responded with, “What brings me the most joy is seeing others happy. I love serving those around me, and I am so grateful for the life God has given me.” These are very powerful words from a teenager as she radiates the belief of hope, a bright future and loving all those around her. She told me that she loves those around her because so many people have loved her over the last two years.

I watched her graciously hand out candy and toys to all those around her. Finally after everyone else had received a gift I asked her if she had gotten anything yet. It was as if it hadn’t even crossed her mind to get something for herself. Did we still have gifts for her? Yes, absolutely. However, what she was most excited about is the different vocational training programs we are helping to provide which will have an impact on all of the children. Some of these trainings are things such as musical lessons, teaching english, and training them how to make marketable items when they transition to independent living.

Aftercare is a journey and Operation Underground Railroad is so honored to provide long-term aftercare love and support to survivors. We believe in the power of healing and the journey. We are all in this life together. May we all live this week in the same light as our beautiful survivor has modeled for us. It is anti-human trafficking awareness month. Survivors, we stand with you, we believe in you, you are the light of one.

Sincerely,

Jessica Mass
O.U.R. Aftercare Director

 

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