If you are one of Love True's valuable volunteers you may know our next writer. Jenelle is our new Volunteer Coordinator. She volunteers her time to make sure all our dedicated volunteers are organized and know what they’re doing. She handles incoming volunteers as well. Jenelle is a huge help to Love True through managing our amazing volunteer team. We asked her why she cared about the cause and this is what she said.
Imagine your 13-year-old self. If you were anything like me or many American teenagers, it was probably not your prime. Between boys/girls, gossip and going through that awkward appearance phase, adolescence is a time which can greatly impact our self-esteem; I know mine was, 13-year-old Jenelle just wanted to be liked by everyone, she wanted to be “cool.” In retrospect, I see how that led to a lot of hurts, not just in me but likely in others.
Now imagine this same 13-year-old girl, with a million insecurities, starts talking in chat rooms which leads to personal messaging with some likely older males who call her names like “beautiful,” “baby,” and talk about how they love her and would take such good care of her. This was me and one of my close friends, during adolescence. Looking back, I ask myself, “what the heck were we thinking?!” Thankfully my parents quickly stepped in and put an end to it, and I quickly learned better. But sometimes I wonder, knowing what I know now, what would have happened if no one stepped in?
If no one stopped me, I might have decided to meet with him in person, and then what? Would I have started dating him? He could have promised me amazing things, and one day I might have run off with him and potentially become trafficked by him.
While this might sound extreme to some, this is not far from the reality of what happens today. Young girls and boys go missing for this very reason; because traffickers know who to prey on. They find the vulnerable and they play into their vulnerabilities. And day after day, young children go missing. Sadly, it is not very often that they are found. You might ask why wouldn’t they just run away? Why wouldn’t they realize the situation and find help? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
And that’s why I am volunteering with Love True, why I am raising my voice because I care because this is personal. I care about these humans who are just like me, I am passionate about their freedom. Not only do I care because it could have been me, but because my heart knows that God cares. Humans were not created for objectification; we are not slaves. We were created to be loved and to love.
If Jenelle’s words stirred something in you. If you care and would like to get more involved in the cause through volunteering at Love True, Jenelle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.