By Karen McBride
One More Child is helping victims of human trafficking begin a new life. The non-profit’s anti-trafficking program utilizes a dynamic, trauma-informed approach to meet the immediate and long-term needs of sex trafficked children and teens. In addition to its care for victims, One More Child is also working to prevent more innocent children from becoming victims. In January 2019, the organization partnered with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and First Lady Patricia Marroquin de Morales to host an anti-trafficking conference, providing education and training to government and community leaders on ways to combat child sex trafficking. Locally, One More Child Anti-Trafficking hosts monthly training and service events to educate the community about the needs of sex trafficking victims. Additionally, here are some important tips for protecting vulnerable youth and preventing abuse:
• Talk to your child about safety, (i.e. never walking alone, talking to strangers, or going up to cars when called over to help someone look for their dog).
• Know your child’s friends and their families, especially if your child is going to their home.
• Check your child’s social media accounts regularly and set their personal settings to private. Remind them to not accept friend requests from strangers. Predators may create a fake identity posing as a child.
We can also help our community by being alert to signs of abuse. If a child:
• Is avoiding eye contact
• Has no personal belongings
• Is unaware of their location or surroundings
• Is fearful of law enforcement
These can all be indications of abuse. What do you do when you suspect abuse? Report it to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888-373-7888 or text HELP to 233733 (24 hours a day/7 days a week).
In addition to its services for sex trafficking victims, One More Child also serves:
• Hungry children
• Foster children
• Single Moms
• And struggling families
• Locally and globally
To further its mission to fight child hunger, One More Child will host its Celebration Ball with a goal to provide one million meals to children and families in need. The event will take place on Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 6 – 9pm at The Trinkle Center, Hillsborough Community College, 1206 N. Park Road, Plant City, FL 33563.
For more information about One More Child, its various programs and ways to get involved or donate, go to OneMoreChild.org