Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 10 of Giving that Gives Back: Funding Freedom

So the initial impetus behind this series was a commitment to use Christmas and our consumer power to reduce our slavery footprint and fight the modern day human slavery and trafficking that is one of the greatest evils of our time.

End it Infographic

Surely one of the best ways we can do that is to invest in freedom itself. One of the organizations I have supported in their efforts to free slaves is The Exodus Road . I love what they do for a number of reasons.
  1. They are forming a a coalition of existing organizations to maximize the opportunities to free slaves and influence local police and power systems. At the root of the evil of slavery are its perpetrators. Getting to them and making their crimes dangerous and unprofitable is the fastest way to drive them out of the "industry". That takes collaborative efforts across the board. That is the philosophy The Exodus Road has espoused and their success is proof that it works.
  2. They are a tireless voice for not only raising awareness but empowering advocacy among normal folks like us who want to do something. There are always opportunities to engage with what they are doing from where you are and they value that engagement. Their relationship with their supporters is unique and refreshing. 
  3. They are transparent and honest about statistics, the logistics of their work, exactly what they can and cannot do for victims, and how very, very hard and brutal this work is. We need that kind of honesty if we are going to take a broader group of people from advocacy to action.
  4. They maintain a near continuous presence on the ground. One part of the investigative coalition is their own team. In addition, you can follow founder Matt Parker on many of his trips to the field, hear from supporters they have taken with them on missions, follow raids in real time. You know that they know what the investigators they work with are doing. Because they are there with them often enough to know. If an organization seeks to empower a certain group of people, they need to know their work inside and out, listen to their struggles, hear their needs, and encourage them personally. This is something unique to The Exodus Road.
So what you can do RIGHT NOW to fund freedom as part of your living Christmas? There are a few things.

  1. The Exodus Road is trying to fund a new camera for one of its investigative teams on Pure Charity right now. Can you help them reach their goal and fully fund that equipment? This is the state of the art answer that allows their investigators to gather the evidence they need to free slaves and persecute the criminals who buy and sell them.
  2. Buy the book that tells their story. Laura Parker's writing is honest and inspiring at the same time. I learned about The Exodus Road following her blog. This is a read that will show you the realities of modern day slavery as well as inspire you as to how we can actively engage in the fight to end this evil.
  3. Become part of a Search and Rescue team. It takes about $35 to fund one night of an investigator's work. By joining a team, you commit to monthly support that allows the team of your choice to send one of their investigators to work. You can read through the page and choose a team to support. There are two teams working in Asia, one in India and one newly formed team in States. 
  4. Can't give at this time but love what they are doing? Why not write a note of encouragement to one of their investigators? This post contains a sample of a letter I wrote last Christmas. You can post the note in the comments or e-mail it to me and I will send it along to The Exodus Road staff. Also, you write them a message on Facebook and help share their work with your friends. 
  5. Alex quote 2
All post in the series linked here.

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