Ariel is the one to thank for all of our graphic design. She maintains our website, designs the Trek T-shirts, tweaks our signage, and does a million other behind the scenes tasks. She has also been with the organization for over 6 years, the majority of that time volunteering her time and services. She is a vital part of the team. We asked her, like the others, why she cares about ending human trafficking.
I care because I came to realize that these were real people and real lives. I have been a volunteer for Love True since the pre-official-nonprofit days. Back when Love True consisted of a few friends getting together for coffee to talk about our vision for a slavery-free world. My perspective on trafficking was very much of the grand scheme. I knew the statistics; I spoke of them freely. I knew dozens or survivor stories. Even so, it was not yet a personal issue. It was something I could put in the corner until our next staff meeting.
As we grew, sat in trainings, met survivors, this social justice movement inched its way closer and closer to my heart. Suddenly, it was close enough to make me uncomfortable–and enough so, to make me move.
A shift happened in my heart. We were at a conference in Washington DC talking with a survivor, hearing all the amazing things she had been doing in the anti-trafficking world. Our conversation ended and we parted ways. Later that day in another session, I noticed her from across the room. I could see in her face that she was being triggered by the content in the current session. I remember it distinctly, how real this woman’s life was. It was not an anonymous survivor story or a childhood memory. This was not just a sad season of her life that she could put on a shelf Monday–Friday and pull off the shelf to draw the emotion out of her listening audience. This was real to her, and it became real to me.
We often keep things that make us uncomfortable at arm’s length. We volunteer an hour or two of our time. We cut a painless check towards a nice cause, or ‘like’ a post on Facebook and keep scrolling. But what would it look like to stare into the eyes of what is making us uncomfortable? What would happen if we allowed ourselves the discomfort of looking at the wounds of the people around us? The real people, the real families, the real life of someone who's been a victim of sex trafficking. We would be moved forever, as I was.
Ariel has spent hundreds of hours, most of which were unpaid, to help end human trafficking. She offers up her talents and skills to the cause. She doesn’t participate in survivor care, or train kids in schools, but her work is still needed. Ariel demonstrates that everyone can contribute something to the cause. And the cause needs more people like Ariel, those who are willing to give of their time and talents. If you would like to volunteer your time or give of your talents please email Jenelle, firstname.lastname@example.org.