On January 27, 2021, I attended a presentation by Greenlight Operation at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College. This presentation was in recognition of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and was sponsored by Student Involvement at HACC. What caught my eye and prompted my attendance was this statement: did you know that Pennsylvania ranks ninth in the country for most human trafficking cases reported?
The focus of the session was to offer participants the opportunity to learn state and national statistics about human trafficking, how one can help advocate for victims, how to detect warning signs of human trafficking and exploitation, and tools that provide help to victims. Greenlight Operation, a non-profit organization located in Cumberland County, Pa., strives to prevent sexual exploitation and human trafficking through education and awareness—and this session did that and more.
The awareness session prompted me to take a peek at their website first, explore more facts about the issue of human trafficking, and ultimately led to my decision to become a volunteer. Here are some of my reasons why I chose to volunteer:
- Greenlight Operation was launched in 2018 and has a clear mission: fighting to free the enslaved, together. Mission statements provide direction to an organization, and this statement is powerful and compelled me to be a part of this call to action.
- Prevention. Collaboration. Restoration. This is the focus for 2021. Not only does Greenlight Operation have a mission, they outline a clear path to work in that direction.
- When I was asked to fill out an application to volunteer, I was impressed by the questions asking me to consider my why for deciding to direct my personal efforts to this specific organization. This included: “What motivates you to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation?” “Please describe your skill sets and any professional trainings you have received that are relevant to serving on one of Greenlight Operation’s teams.” Thinking about my personal answers to these prompts allowed me to pause a moment and reflect on what was driving me to pursue this volunteer option.
Do any of these reasons resonate with you? This may be your call to action! Please consider what you can offer to the cause of stopping human trafficking.