Browsed by
Tag: Fundraiser

The Power of One

The Power of One

It is truly amazing what one person can do. Take 17-year-old Mark Tenney, a senior in high school from Irvine, California, for example. He heard Tim Ballard’s story about rescuing children from sex slavery and immediately felt impressed to help in the best way he knew how – organize a bike ride. Not just any bike ride; a 450-mile, five-day bike ride down the California Coast to benefit Operation Underground Railroad.

Ride The Railroad Participants
Ride The Railroad Participants in Irvine, California

It took over a year of planning, organizing and promoting the July 26-30, 2016 event, but he did it! Friends and family and even strangers helped out with 45 riders joining him on the excursion. In the end he raised $135,000 and donations are still coming in. In fact, if you’d like to donate you can go to yourrescue.org and find Ride the Railroad. Donations will be taken until August 30, 2016.

 

Mark Tenney raises $135,000 to help rescue children
Tim Ballard with a check from Mark Tenney for $135,000 to help rescue children

Operation Underground Railroad congratulates Mark Tenney, his family and supporters on a job well done. Children all over the world will be liberated and traffickers arrested due to their efforts. Thank you!

Operation Underground Railroad
Operation Underground Railroad
RIDE THE RAILROAD: Charity Bike Ride

RIDE THE RAILROAD: Charity Bike Ride

By Donovan Baltich

Mark never imagined himself sitting across the table from a CEO and executives of a major corporation — at least, not until after he graduated from high school.

But that’s just how far the 17-year-old from Irvine, California was willing to go to raise money and awareness for Operation Underground Railroad’s mission. Mark Tenney’s campaign, “Ride the Railroad,” has been in development for a year and will kick off this July. With a goal of raising $250,000, it is well on its way with $96,000 pledged thus far.

Mark and his brother met O.U.R. founder Tim Ballard when he came to the Tenney’s house for dinner and to share O.U.R.’s mission. “My brother and I were just so impressed — what a self-less job, rescuing kids. We wanted to help out by telling all our friends about it,” Mark said. “We always thought about how we could raise money for this organization, but I’m not in a position to donate a large sum of money myself.”

The Tenneys are a family of cyclists — and living in Irvine, they know many other cyclists. Mark came up with the idea to have a 450-mile bicycle race down the coast of California, from Santa Cruz to Laguna, during the week of July 26–30.

But individual contributions wouldn’t be enough to reach a quarter-of-a-million in funds for rescuing kids, so Mark reached out to corporations for sponsorships.

“The first time I met with a potential corporate sponsor, it was with Golden State Foods, and I was really intimidated sitting across from the CEO and other executives, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you become,” he said.

“Ride the Railroad” won’t start for another two months, hopefully allowing the campaign to pick up its final contributions to reach its goal, which would fund five separate missions at $50,000 a piece.

“It will all be worth it — all the hard work and time we’ve done — is all worth it, and I’m excited to see it happen,” Mark said.

Mark’s mother, Elizabeth Tenney, estimates her family has put in more than 1,000 hours preparing for the “Ride the Railroad” campaign, and Mark alone, five–ten hours a week. O.U.R.’s mission has affected every member of the Tenney family. “The people involved in O.U.R. are so special. They’re not just good people; they’re exceptionally good people,” Elizabeth said.

Anyone can make a difference; Mark is proof of that. You can follow his lead by starting your own campaign or supporting someone else’s. Since September 2014, 92 abolitionists have created campaigns, and they’ve raised $299,020.73 through YourRescue.org.

Raising money for Operation Underground Railroad has never been easier with the launch of YourRescue.org site. On the page, you can start your own campaign or browse dozens of others to get involved in.

The possibilities for your own campaign are endless: from dance parties at Cal State Fullerton to collecting donations at your band’s shows. One community in Bountiful, Utah hosted a silent auction, a race and an event night with Tim Ballard, raising more than $100,000.

HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN YOURrescue CAMPAIGN

Whether big or small, follow these eight tips to create an impactful YOURrescue Campaign.

1. Make the first donation. Listen: you can get the momentum going before you’ve even written your first fund request. Donate to the cause you believe in to get the ball rolling.

2. Send out emails. Your friends are dying to get something more meaningful in their inbox. They are good people who are happy to help. Send out personalized emails to the people you know before reaching out to the people you don’t. Just take two paragraphs to explain your cause, your goals and how they can donate to your campaign. Link to O.U.R. pages and stories that moved you. Don’t be afraid to follow up, and make sure to say thank you for every donation.

3. Announce your campaign via social media. We love social media! Let everyone on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram know what you’re doing and how they can help. Here are 140 characters to help you get started: Children all over the world are ensnared in the horrors of human trafficking. We can change that. Join my campaign: (link to your campaign here.)

4. Reach out to your inner circle. Call, email and send notes to your mom, dad, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and that kindergarten teacher you’ve kept in touch with for three decades. They are interested in your cause and will want to help you make a difference.

5. Utilize grassroots marketing. Call your local newspaper, local news station and local radio shows. Ask them how you can work together to raise awareness.

6. Do giveaways. Approach local businesses to see if they will donate to your campaign.

For example, do you know someone who makes the most amazing holiday wreaths? Ask them to give one wreath to every person who donates more than $50. Your giveaways will publicize the products of the participating business while also giving incentives for more donations.

7 Have fun. Your campaign can be a blast! Hold fundraising events that you’d want to be a part of even if you weren’t involved in planning them; get your friends involved, hold bake sales, or sell vintage clothing in pop-up shops. Use this as an opportunity to get creative while making a difference.

8 Remember, no matter how much you raise – from $5 to $50,000 – you are using your time to help children. We are grateful and they are grateful and you’ve made a meaningful difference.

Ironman to the Rescue

Ironman to the Rescue

 

By Caleb Larkin

Ex-Navy SEAL Dutch Turley dedicates all his mental and physical energy to rescuing children from harrowing sex trafficker imprisonment. From rescue missions in Asia, sting operations in South America, to protection against child pornography in the U.S., everything he does, he does for the children. His determination to raise awareness to this cause led him to a unique and physically grueling ambition: a 140-mile Ironman race.

An Ironman consists of a 2.4-mile swim to start, then a 112-mile bike ride, and finally running a full 26.2 marathon finish. Turley is the director of rescue operations with Operation Underground Railroad. He hopes to raise $1,000 per mile for O.U.R.’s mission. “We’ve already got sponsors who’ve pledged to donate $1,000 for some of the miles along the way,” Turley said. “We hope to meet our goal to raise $140,000 to go towards the O.U.R.’s operations.” Supporters can visit YourRescue.org for more information on how to help Ironman.

Turley’s purpose in participating in the Ironman race is to help people see they can be an influence for change. “I want to tell people in the world that no matter how busy you are, you can always find time to get involved in a good cause,” he said.

PRO ECO is a race team dedicated to inspiring others through example. When its president, Scott Belnap, approached Turley about a way to raise money by participating in an Ironman race, he jumped at the opportunity. “If you really want to raise money for O.U.R. you could run an Ironman,” Belnap told Turley. “Dutch (Turley) just looked up and said, ‘I’m in.’”

“People who run an Ironman are passionate people,” Turley said. He feels promoting O.U.R.’s mission at an Ironman event will be very effective, as it appeals to committed people. “We hope to get people to be really aware of the issue,” he said.

Turley plans to participate in the Arizona Ironman race on November 20th, 2016 with the PRO ECO race team. PRO ECO started in 2012 as a “bunch of athletes with the same core values,” Belnap explained. “Other racers spend a lot of time away from families; we wanted to make our families a part of our team. So we are using this platform to do good.”

Belnap believes PRO ECO has a purpose that mirrors O.U.R.’s message: to reach out and become more than just yourself. He feels his team, like most Ironman competitors, are very driven people, and can therefore effectively get involved and promote awareness for O.U.R. “This was just a little race team we started because our kids thought it would be cool,” Belnap said. “Now with our connection to O.U.R. it has changed my life.”

After attending BYU Hawaii on a water polo scholarship, Turley enlisted in the Navy and became a SEAL in 2007. He underwent straining physical and mental training during his time as a Navy SEAL. Belnap agrees that Turley adds a “mental toughness” to the team. “When he joined I was like, yes! This is the kind of Navy SEAL we want,” Belnap said. Yet, despite Turley’s background, he feels to accurately prepare for an Ironman still requires at least a year of training. “You’re biking a lot, swimming a lot, and running a lot, but even more than that is the nutrition,” he said.

He feels training for an Ironman compares to his rescue mission trainings with O.U.R. in one specific way: mental preparation. “You go back to any type of training and those who make it through are the ones who have a deep motivation for what they’re doing,” he said. He is committed to train both mentally and physically to prepare for the race in November. As part of his preparation for the full Ironman in the fall, Turley is participating in the Oceanside half Ironman this month.

Turley has worked full-time with O.U.R. since July 2014. He explains the organization’s goal is a “very tangible thing,” which is why he got involved in the first place. O.U.R.’s founder Tim Ballard reached out to Turley when organizing his rescue team. “Tim wanted a team that could take action, that was trained to rescue and extract kids,” Turley said. “That’s what sparked my interest, because of the people we were bringing on, I knew it was going to be successful.”

Anyone can go donate to help O.U.R. in the fight against child slavery or help Turley reach his goal to raise $1,000 per mile by going to yourrescue.org. Follow the movement on social media using #ourironman.

 

 

 

 

Changing The World

Changing The World

 

A Night At “The Abolitionists” Film

The lights came back on and the audience just sat there, amazed, following a special screening of the movie The Abolitionists (PG-13). They clapped, they cried, and they were inspired to do something.

The feature length film follows Operation Underground Railroad’s jump team around the world as they plan and execute rescue missions of children enslaved in sex trafficking all around the world. It shows the joys of rescue as well as the struggles of working with evil. And it’s coming to movie theaters across the country May 16 th for one special night.

Audience member Stephanie Davis said, “It was very powerful, very well done. This is a dark subject and this is a great way to reach people and educate them. I want to do something.”

Danielle Swopes said, “I cried the whole time. The part where she sold the two kids – it just seems so remote. It’s heartbreaking. It totally kills your faith in humanity. But it was restored by what O.U.R. is doing.”

Andrew McCovins said, “I thought the film was awesome – very realistic. I like three different plots and I love the cause anyway. I just made a donation.”

This private screening was put together by a man who works in real estate investment funds by day, but is an O.U.R. jump team member by night. He invited his business associates, clients and friends to the screening. “In this theater there are 500 people with a net worth of ten billion dollars,” he said. His aim was to raise money to help rescue children from sex trafficking immediately following the showing of the film.

As the movie ended, “Paul” got up and started telling the audience what it’s been like working with O.U.R. and helping to rescue the children. As he spoke a slide was projected onto the screen with a number to text to donate, and the money started trickling in; small amounts at first and then it began to take off.

Paul finished speaking and O.U.R.’s Founder and CEO Tim Ballard took the spotlight and told everyone how Paul has helped O.U.R. as well as the children.

Next up was Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. He spoke about his experience on Operation Triple Take and alerting the audience to the fact that sex trafficking is one of the greatest issues of our time with 20 to 40 million men, women, and children trapped in slavery today.

Paul came back to the stage to announce the total amount that had just been raised. Everyone clapped but it was way short of Paul’s goal. Pledge cards were passed out and a special auction was held for a limited number of private dinners with Tim Ballard and Sean Reyes.

Now the donation total continued to climb, but some people were starting to leave. Unfazed, Paul continued to tell how O.U.R. had changed his life and how pornography and sex trafficking are the plague of this generation. The more he talked, the more the money came pouring in.

AUDIENCE

The evening ended with a final plea from Paul to help rescue these enslaved children and he wasn’t disappointed. Audience members opened their hearts and their wallets and helped Paul meet his goal. And the best part is that the essential oils company doTERRA is matching whatever Paul was able to raise this night. A true gift that O.U.R. is extremely grateful for.

Now Operation Underground Railroad is asking you to step up to the plate. If you are able to host a movie theater on May 16th and fill it with associates, clients, and friends, O.U.R. would love to show you how to do it. Just contact us at jend@ourrescue.org. Following the screening there will be a special Q & A with O.U.R.’s Founder and CEO Tim Ballard shown in the theaters.

O.U.R. knows not everyone has the fundraising abilities of a “Paul,” but large companies and corporations can sponsor a theater and fill it with their corporate family and friends. Theater sponsorships range from $2000-$5000, depending on the seating capacity of the theater.

“There are a total of 600 theaters currently available to O.U.R. by AMA, Cinemark, and Regal,” said Marketing Director Hugh Vail. “Now it’s our responsibility to fill them.”

If you are more of a movie “attendee” rather that a movie “sponsor” you can help by telling your friends and family about the movie and attending the screening at a movie theater near you on May 16th. Ticket information is available by clicking here, and a percentage of all movie sales will go to help rescue children from slavery.

Some people have expressed concern about the content of the movie. “They don’t know if they’re going to see pornography. They don’t know if they’re going to hear swearing, but once they view it they say, ‘It was very well done,’ and become abolitionists and want to do something,” said Vail. The PG-13 rating is related to the subject matter. There is no pornography or swearing.

The Abolitionists’ Executive Producer Jerry Molen, who co-produced Schindler’s List and Jurassic Park, among many other award winning films, wanted to make sure this movie would be uplifting and inspiring. Now in his 70s, he calls it his “Swan Song,” and hopes it will leave a lasting impression on all who see it.

The main goal of the film is to in bring awareness to this modern-day plague and inspire people to do something about it. “The big thing about this movie is that it’s a catalyst for a movement,” said Vail. “It has the ability to change the world.”

Written by: Cheryl L. Karr

Links:

The Abolitionists Movie Trailer

How to Sponsor a Movie Theater: email Jend@ourrescue.org                                                 

Buy Tickets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning Life’s Lessons Reap Rewards for Operation Underground Railroad

Learning Life’s Lessons Reap Rewards for Operation Underground Railroad

The world is our biggest classroom and if you’re lucky enough to have a college professor who understands that, the lessons you learn will last a lifetime. Such is the case in Professor Ryan Gottfredson’s management classes at California State University – Fullerton.

“After my Fall 2014 semester, I was looking for a group project for my students that was more meaningful than the typical business case analysis. So I had the idea of having my students support a non-profit organization,” says Gottfredson.

In an effort to get his students to learn and practice management and leadership principles covered in his classes, Gottfredson tasked his student groups with developing and carrying out at least one event to raise money and awareness for Operation Underground Railroad. Gottfredson has now used these projects for two semesters across four Junior and Senior level class sections. Of his students’ experiences, he notes, “I believe that these group projects have been incredibly rewarding for all involved. I have received numerous comments from students stating that this was the best group project that they had ever worked on.”

The project took an entire year and involved three of his classes. There was MGMT 340 Organization Behavior, MGMT 442 Managerial Leadership, and then MGMT 443 Team Leadership Skills. “All of these groups were tasked with developing and carrying out at least one event to raise money and awareness for O.U.R.,” noted Gottfredson. “I believe it was an incredibly rewarding semester all around. I got numerous comments that this was the best group project that they had ever worked on.”

The students went to work enthusiastically knowing that their efforts were not only a class assignment but would truly help children all over the world. They organized Yard Sales and Donut Sales, Bowling Night and Poker Night, a CrossFit Competition and Soccer Tournament, just to name a few, in order to bring awareness to child sex trafficking and to help O.U.R. rescue children from traffickers. A noble goal in any classroom.

Today, it is estimated that there are over two million children being used as sex slaves. Some are kidnapped, some are trafficked by a family member, and some are just trying to survive. Operation Underground Railroad is trying to find them and rescue them from the clutches of the traffickers who use them. We also help them recover from the ordeal they have been through and start a new life, as well as have the traffickers arrested.

Across the two semesters, Gottfredson’s students have raised over $23,000 along with over $2000 in donated supplies and materials. [They] feel as if they saved four children through their efforts, which they are thrilled about,” says Gottfredson. “In all, it was a wonderful experience. I had many students tell me that these projects were life-changing for them, that they have never had the opportunity to do something so meaningful in college, and that they want to continue supporting O.U.R. and spread awareness of Operation Underground Railroad.”

We can support that type of thinking whole-heartedly! If you would like to join the cause please visit our web site at www.ourrescue.org.

Written by: Cheryl L. Karr

Looking Within Operation Underground Railroad

Looking Within Operation Underground Railroad

Looking Within O.U.R

In the two short years that Operation Underground Railroad has been operating, hundreds of victims of sex trafficking have been rescued all around the world and O.U.R. is growing faster than even its Founder and CEO, Tim Ballard anticipated.

That can be a challenge, but one that O.U.R. welcomes. With growth, more victims of sex trafficking are being rescued from the dark hole they find themselves in and are being helped to start a new life. Perpetrators are being taken off the streets resulting in a residual effect that is difficult to measure. Relationships with governments and NGOs are being established, building bridges and expanding influence and effectiveness worldwide. New tools are being developed to dig deeper and train others to help in the cause. And O.U.R. has invited hundreds of volunteers to join in the process. In other words, O.U.R. is moving mountains.

Rescuing Victims of Sex Trafficking

Operation Underground Railroad’s first and main objective is to rescue children who are enslaved by sex traffickers and to heal them. It is estimated that there are at least two million children worldwide in this situation. They are not only in third world countries, although O.U.R. has focused much of its work in these areas.

The United States, as well as other developed countries, also shares much of this shame; and this year O.U.R. anticipates rescuing more victims in the U.S. than anywhere else. “I predict that in 2016 we will see more arrests inside the United States than outside the United States,” says Ballard. “Not that our numbers outside the United States will decrease. They won’t. But, we’re going to have more arrests this year, I think in 2016 in the United States than outside and it’s because of the work we’ve been able to do in 2015.”

Operation Underground Railroad’s first rescue occurred December 2013 in Haiti. Listed as one of the poorest countries in the world, O.U.R. discovered an illegal orphanage selling children for between US$5,000-$15,000 and rescued 28 children which are now safe in a legal orphanage. Additional rescues have occurred in Colombia, Mexico, Peru, The Dominican Republic, Thailand, India, Nicaragua, Uganda, and the United States.

“In our first year we were mostly invited by foreign governments who knew they needed help immediately,” says Ballard. But that is beginning to change as local U.S. governments see what O.U.R. is accomplishing. “In the U.S. we have more experienced law enforcement agencies and so they’re less likely to look for help on the outside, until they saw what we were doing overseas,” noted Ballard. “Not all of them, but many of them came to us and said, ‘You know, we’re not even doing that here,’ and that was so great to hear because I knew that, but I knew in my first year I was going to have a hard time because it’s not a partnership, that law enforcement, especially in the United States, are used to doing, this private/public partnership.”

However, helping victims out of their situation is only part of the job. We don’t considered victims truly rescued until they have been healed and O.U.R. has made huge strides in working with organizations that help these victims return to their families or learn a skill so that they can find employment.

How Many Victims has O.U.R. Rescued?

How many have been rescued? This is a question we hear a lot at O.U.R. but the answer is actually more complicated than it appears. Ballard explains, “This is a debate we have with Jerry (Gowen), our COO, about naming the number, the exact number of kids we’ve pulled out and I don’t like doing it because it’s not accurate. For example, we’ve rescued girls who have later become informants for the police who then go out and rescue 20 more. We might not have been there but that was the result.”

Additional examples include joint rescues with government officials that create a media buzz. “After the four operations we did in Colombia we found that when we went back into those cities and tried to look for it again it had shut down completely. No one would even talk about selling kids. And they’d reference all the media about the rescues we had done and of course, they didn’t know who they were talking to. We were the ones who had created that media storm. So there’s the deterrent effect,” says Ballard. “There are kids who aren’t being trafficked right now, who never knew they might have been or who are going to be, because of the deterrent effect.”

An additional deterrent includes the number of law enforcement personnel that have been trained by O.U.R. to replicate what O.U.R. has shown them.

So, what’s the answer in cold hard numbers? “I will tell you there are 404 victims that we’ve actually seen and been able to put in a safe place. But that is not representative of what we’ve done,” says Ballard.

How Many Sex Traffickers have been Arrested?

How many have been arrested? That’s the number that’s most important according to Ballard. “One number I would focus on are the people we put in jail,” says Ballard. “Because one person, one trafficker, one pedophile in jail, how many kids does that save over a lifetime? Dozens likely. These guys will abuse children by the dozens and so the fact that he’s behind bars, so again, how many kids will not be abused or will not be trafficked and they never knew they were going to be. That’s our goal. That’s our number. Who knows what it is, but it’s enormous.”

To date the arrest number stands at 122, but continues to grow with each rescue and follow-up. Jail sentences vary depending on the country but most are put away for between 7-25 years.

O.U.R.’s Partnerships

Operation Underground Railroad has made huge advances in developing partnerships with local and foreign governments as well as NGOs (Non-Government Organizations). These groups have been invaluable in helping to rescue and rehabilitate victims of sex trafficking, as well as making sure the perpetrators are prosecuted and punished. American Ambassadors in various countries have helped to coordinate unity with law enforcement, while the United Nations has provided a platform to bring awareness to the issue.

We’ve also partnered with recovery groups that help these victims get back on their feet. We have social workers that help them deal with the trauma they’ve been through and talented teachers who teach them employable skills so that they can support themselves.

O.U.R.’s Technology

Operation Underground Railroad is continually developing technology that will help law enforcement identify and locate the bad guys. “The Director of our cyber division is doing amazing things,” acknowledged Ballard. “Unfortunately, we can’t talk about all these things, but I’ve always said, that is our future. The future of O.U.R. is in these digital tools that we’re developing and distributing to law enforcement to allow them to find pedophiles who are traveling, find pedophiles who are visiting to places where there are children. Tools that will just be absolutely invaluable to law enforcement around the world and the United States to root out the most evil amongst us that hurt our children. So, that progress has been a huge highlight for us in 2015. The problem is it’s so sensitive that we’ll never be able to get into the details of it.”

O.U.R’s Volunteers

Perhaps the biggest contribution to helping find these precious children and victims of sex trafficking is the volunteers who have come to O.U.R. from all walks of life. It is truly inspiring to see the dedication and commitment they have. They organize 5K runs, donate their cars, hold fundraisers, garage sales, become abolitionists, etc. to help the cause; and because O.U.R. is one hundred percent supported by donations, they are an integral part of everything we do. And we couldn’t do it without them.

2016 and Beyond

Two years ago Operation Underground Railroad started with one man who believed he could make a difference. He saw the evil in this world and tries every day to eradicate it. To date over 404 victims of sex slavery have been rescued and at least 122 perpetrators arrested because he had the courage to stand up and fight.

O.U.R.’s future is bright. We are well positioned to grow not only in the number of rescues and arrests, but in helping others to join the fight with training, technology, fundraising, legislation, and preventative and aftercare for victims. We are making a difference and we invite you to join us. Visit our web site at ourrescue.org on ways you can help. 2016 is going to be a great year!

Written by: Cheryl L. Karr

 

 

 

Dentist Organizes 5K for O.U.R.

Dentist Organizes 5K for O.U.R.

BURKE, VA–(Marketwired – October 31, 2015) – A Burke dental office joined other local companies this month to co-sponsor a 5K run to benefit a program that rescues children from human trafficking.

The run was held Oct. 17 to benefit Operation Underground Railroad, a nonprofit that works to remove children from human trafficking. Dr. Erik Fox, a dentist at Fox Family Dentistry, has provided free dental work for many human trafficking victims in the past.

Dr. Fox and his wife, Nichole, co-sponsored the event with Kilma Orthodontics and Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery, along with several other local businesses and community members.

“This is a great event to bring awareness and support to such an important issue,” Dr. Fox said. “It is a good charity to support and a good opportunity to bring the community together.”

Operation Underground Railroad works with government agencies to identify and then rescue children who are victims of human trafficking. The foundation raises money for rescue missions and rehabilitation.

There are between 600,000 and 800,000 people across the globe who are sold into forced labor or sex trades every year. Of that number, an estimated 50 percent are children, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report. Operation Underground Railroad estimates that one rescue campaign costs about $50,000, but notes that just one operation can rescue between one and 50 children.

“Just one operation can literally save dozens of children from the grips of criminals and human traffickers,” Dr. Erik Fox said. “It’s important for my family and our practice to support these issues because we can save children and give them a better life.”

Fox Family Dentistry is a father-and-son dental practice that operates in a 1,500-square-foot facility with six operatories. The practice is operated by Dr. Lawrence Fox and his son, Dr. Erik Fox. The office serves patients of all ages and is a leading provider in cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry, such as crowns, fillings, veneers and implant restorations.

Dr. Lawrence Fox grew up in Granada Hills, Calif., and is a graduate of Granada Hills High School. He earned his undergraduate degree in zoology from Brigham Young University and then went on to earn his dental degree from Georgetown University School of Dentistry. Following dental school, Dr. Lawrence Fox spent three years as a Marine Corps officer and four years as a Navy dental officer.

Dr. Lawrence Fox holds memberships with the American Dental Association, Northern Virginia Dental Society, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Virginia Dental Association, District of Columbia Dental Society, Northern Virginia Implant Study Club, Seattle Study Club, World Clinical Laser Institute and the Academy of Laser Dentistry.

Drs. Fox are very active in the community, particularly with local sports, school and church functions.

 

Giving Tuesday is for Giving Freedom

Giving Tuesday is for Giving Freedom

Join the Thunderclap for Operation Underground Railroad December 1st –

But you need to act NOW!

O.U.R. is participating in #GivingTuesday to raise money to end human trafficking and help in the recovery efforts of those we rescue.
  • Our goal is to raise $50,000 on December 1, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving to allow people to give their thanks for the privileges they have that many of those we rescue do not.  Here is how you can help:
  • SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA – To help you easily share and not forget to share on this day, we’ve utilized Thunderclap to get everyone sharing at the same time on #GivingTuesday. To sign up for our Thunderclap campaign and schedule your message to post at the same time as everyone else, please go to:  https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/34260-givingfreedom, and click the “login/register” link in the upper-right. Once you’ve registered and supplied your Facebook or Twitter accounts, you can schedule a post to go out automatically at the same time as everyone else. We are trying to get 500 people to do this! Throughout that day we encourage you to keep posting! We will be using the hashtags, #GivingTuesday and #GivingFreedom throughout the day if you want to post and participate in the conversation. Feel free to share and post the things we’ll share on our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+ throughout that day.
  • JOIN THE EMAIL LIST – For those on the email list, we will be sending updates leading up to the campaign to give you updates and provide resources you can use to share on #GivingTuesday. To sign up for the email list just visit  http://ourrescue.org and put your email in the box below “Send me updates about missions and ways to help.”
  • DONATE – We are trying to raise money to help children who are the victims of sex traffickers by rescuing them and helping them throughout their recovery. We plan to raise $50,000 to help them. To follow our progress please find our #GivingFreedom campaign on yourrescue.org.

Your donations help many causes related to ending Human Trafficking. Thank you.

*Thunderclap is a tool that allows many people to all post on social media at the same time. They sign up with their Facebook and Twitter accounts, and it then posts automatically for them on the date and time specified to start a wave of sharing on the day we launch the campaign. We are hoping to get 500 people to sign up for this thunderclap.

 

 

 

Tim Ballard and the World Congress of Families

Tim Ballard and the World Congress of Families

People came to Utah from over 50 countries not only to celebrate the family but recognize its important role in society October 27-30, 2015. It was the first time in its 20-year history that the World Congress on Families has been held in the United States and they chose Salt Lake City.

With a theme of “The value of life in all its stages and conditions,” speakers’ topics ranged from Feminism to Cultural Issues to Pro-Life and everything in-between. The audiences, as well as the speakers were made up of a mix of Jews, Hindus, Christians and others.

Operation Underground Railroad Founder and CEO Tim Ballard shared the podium with Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, and CEO and Co-Founder of Fight the New Drug, Clay Olsen speaking on “Sexual Exploitation” and the room was filled to overflowing with many listening in overflow rooms.

Olsen told the audience that research is proving pornography is harmful but society is lagging behind. “The porn industry fuels sex trafficking,” and there are three things that teens wish their parents knew:

1. Pornography has changed and is much worse than it used to be.

2. The scientific studies of forms of pornography show it is a true addiction.

3. They wish you were part of the solution. Change the conversation.

Reyes said that pornography is the gateway to sex trafficking and estimated that there are conservatively over 40 million modern-day slaves. This number is well over the 12.5 million in slavery between the 16th -19th centuries. He also urged people to help O.U.R. telling them, “One day we can say we helped eradicate sex trafficking.”

It is evident that Tim Ballard is very passionate about rescuing these victims of sex trafficking. As a former CIA Officer and Homeland Security Agent, Ballard has seen the ugly side of sex trafficking many times. It is, in fact, what inspired him to start Operation Underground Railroad.

Ballard showed the WCF audience a video of one of O.U.R.’s rescues and told how some of these children were just ten years old. Prices for virgins were much higher that for the others. He also said everyone can help rescue these children in some way and invited everyone to “please rise up and do something,” for which he received a standing ovation.

For his own part, Ballard has put everything on the line. He left a secure job with a pension in order to start a non-profit NGO (O.U.R.) supported completely by donations, all with the support of his wife and six children. In just two years he has managed to rescue 326  victims of sex slavery and have over 100 traffickers arrested. Additional rescues and arrests have been conducted by the law enforcement partners he and his team have trained and worked with. It is a huge ripple effect. O.U.R. has grown much faster than Ballard ever anticipated due to the support of many selfless donors.

Written by: Cheryl L. Karr

Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery

Operation Underground Railroad’s mission is to rescue children from sex trafficking and help them on their road to recovery. Often, in fact, nearly always, there are adults who are rescued, along with these children, many of whom were trafficked as children and now know no other way to survive.

In Mexico, O.U.R. has partnered with an organization that is focusing on helping these women. It is called Project Nunayu and is run by the loving and generous people at El Pozo De Vida. Begun in March of 2015, Project Nunayu is a skill and employment program for women 26 years old and up who have been exploited and victimized. As you can imagine, these women lack basic employment skills and it is very difficult for them to find valuable employment, leading many to return to a life of prostitution in order to survive. El Pozo De Vida is working to prevent that.

Located in the heart of the Red Light District in Mexico City, the program invites these vulnerable women to participate in an interview for employment where they are taught how to make jewelry. This is just the beginning for Project Nunayu as well as the women it is serving. You can watch some of the rescued women tell their own stories here and see how grateful they are for this second chance at life.

https://youtu.be/DWucijRO3b8

The end goal for Project Nunayu is to be fully sustainable by selling the products through their partnership with jewelry wholesalers such as: A New Thing, Elijah Rising, El Pozo De Vida and the Kalos Collection. As for the women, they will receive employment, transferable skills, sustainable incomes, medical and psychological care as well as training on victimization prevention – a worthy goal for any organization.

O.U.R. is telling their story because we believe in them. If you would like to help them you can donate to O.U.R. and specify Project Nunayu or you can go to them directly at: Nicole Gallego, Project Coordinator, El Pozo de Vida nicole.gallego@elpozodevida.org.mx .

(Project Nunayu has asked that you NOT share this video on social media in order to protect these women who have so bravely shared their stories with you. Thank you)

Written by: Cheryl L. Karr