The Franklin volunteer group met shortly after the raids on two massage parlors in Franklin resulting in the rescue of 5 trafficked victims.) This prompted a discussion on how volunteers in the community can serve as eyes and ears to aid local law enforcement in their work of rescuing victims of human trafficking. Everyone left with the recent blog post on the topic by ESTN’s Karen Karpinski to read . Marge Middleton gave a legislative update bringing attention to the 14 pending bills addressing human trafficking before the Tennessee legislature this year as well as several bills introduced in the US Congress.
Murfreesboro volunteers were pleased to have one of ESTN’s new Survivor Service Coordinators, Yvette White, join the meeting last month. Yvette gave survivor updates and shared her experiences as new staff. The group started planning their summer yard sale fundraiser, MTSU outreach programs, and their project for Easter baskets for survivors. Dana met Yvette later in the month to drop off these wonderful baskets that the ESTN staff has been giving out to all the survivors.
The Brentwood volunteer group had 10 in attendance this past month with two “newbies”. Together the group used the ESTN mission statement to focus on ideas and goals for both the short-term and long-term. Some of the ideas included sponsoring survivor birthdays, volunteering at the Hannah Project, hosting quarterly community awareness events, and learning more about legislation, law enforcement, and educating the community. Jamie Corwin discussed helping survivors build job interview skills and resumes, Tracy McCarthy offered her services (and truck) to help survivors with future moves, and Sandra Mohr will be helping with ESTN social media networking.
Mt. Juliet volunteers went off the reservation this month to attend Rachel Lloyd’s (author of the book Girls Like Us) speaking engagement at Vanderbilt University. Four volunteers met up for the event and saw a few more ESTN volunteers as well. Group leader, Sabrina Jewell, said the presentation was very good and stressed the importance of investing in our youth – particularly those no one cares about and/or are at risk.
Spring Hill group team met this past month and worked on plans for future film screening events, city festivals, and a women’s conference in Columbia this past month. They also had a great discussion about Williamson County’s wake-up call following the Franklin massage parlor busts and the Franklin PD Chief’s proactive response to human trafficking in her city. This in turn led to broader conversation about the sexualization of our culture and its attitudes/misconceptions about the sex trade. The group’s high schooler, Maggie, gave insight about those attitudes among her peers and how she responds to them. The group sees this all now as an opportune time to inform friends and neighbors about the reality of modern slavery and how they can recognize and respond to it. The group will be screening the No Girl’s Dream documentary Tuesday, April 7th at 5:30pm at the Spring Hill Public Library. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and RSVP.