DO WE THINK THERE IS A DECLINE IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING DUE TO COVID-19?
Lighthouse for Life CEO, Jen Thompson recently sat down with Lexington Police Department Victim Advocate and long time friend of Lighthouse for Life, Dee Cochran and had a conversation addressing the above question. They both agree strongly human trafficking has not slowed down even due to the current pandemic. Traffickers and predators may be busier than ever due to people being bored, social distancing, distance learning for students, and remote working for adults.
In response to what we believe is a greater need than ever to exercise online safety for adults and children, Dee and Jen recorded their discussion about how to keep kids safe on line. This is a casual and practical conversation that could be considered
Despite COVID-19, Lighthouse for Life is still operational. Human Trafficking hasn’t stopped and we can’t either. Our physical offices are closed but we are working responsibly and taking necessary precautions. Our office staff is working remotely as are our caregivers. We are learning along with the rest of the world how to implement some new technology and move forward in ways that are still meaningful and relevant.
We’ve been thrilled to have the opportunity to donate some Freedom Bags to Lexington Police Department for their use in serving local vulnerable community members.
We also were able to provide 2 days’ worth of individually wrapped snacks for 100 Lexington County Public Safety Workers. These first responders as well as many others are required to still leave home and serve. They are definitely still encountering victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking. At this time we continue to seek out and engage in socially responsible ways to support, encourage, and equip those who are literally on the front lines more than ever.
As we all navigate this time of uncertainty, we have a choice to make. We can choose to be angry, frustrated, fearful. Or we can choose to remain at peace, make the best of it, be thankful, and look for tangible ways to help others. We at Lighthouse for Life want to choose the latter. If there is any way that we can help you and your loved ones, please feel free to email us or call any time.
DO WE HAVE PLANS FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE AWARENESS EVENTS AND TRAININGS?
As you can imagine, many of our awareness events and trainings for the last few weeks have been rescheduled. However, we are quite prepared to continue to actively offer our services via online tools. Example: Friday March 27th, we had a huge win! We provided a 6 hour training course for the Cherokee Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center! We had 46 attendees and it went great!
We hope to see this trend continue and awareness and prevention training continue to move forward. The need certainly hasn’t diminished. If you have an event on the calendar with us or were contemplating setting something up, please reach out to Mandy Cheatham, our Event Coordinator, to discuss the options we have available. Events@lighthouseforlife.org
HOW WILL CANCELED AWARENESS EVENTS AFFECT US FINANCIALLY?
Lighthouse for Life is currently operating on a solid financial foundation. However, if these social distancing trends persist any substantial length of time it is possible the lack of in-person events could lead to a decline in giving. We fully understand and respect businesses, churches, and individuals needs to manage finances closer than ever and do what is needed to take care of themselves well. We do not wish to place an undue burden on anyone to give. We simply ask you to carefully consider how you might continue to support us. We also are not panicking or anticipating financial hardship, but we are trying to be wise in taking steps to prevent it.
PLANS FOR FUTURE FUNDRAISERS
We have decided to postpone some of our larger fundraising events. We do plan to eventually hold some events of this nature once we see financial recovery in the community. There is one online fundraising event coming in early May that we will be participating in as scheduled called Midlands Gives. We’ve seen tremendous generosity from our supporters via this event for the past 3 years. More info will be coming from us about this event in the coming weeks. However, it is our top priority that you understand how thankful we are for support we’ve already received from the community, that we are not in need of emergency funding at this time, and that we are making any and all cuts we can to save money and steward our resources with the highest efficiency.
WHAT ARE WAYS TO HELP EVEN THOUGH USUAL VOLUNTEERING ISN’T AVAILABLE?
HOW CAN PEOPLE BEST GET IN TOUCH WITH US OR GET HELP IF THEY NEED IT?
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is still operational. If you or someone you know or observe is being trafficked please call 888-373-7888.
To get in touch with Lighthouse for Life you may still call our Office Phone Number 803-669-0110. You may also email us at Info@Lighthouseforlife.org
All our staff and volunteer leaders are still currently using their work phones and emails including our Event Coordinator, Director of Admin, and Volunteer Coordinator. You may also continue to reach out to us as usual via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or www.lighthouseforlife.org
We are so excited to announce, thank and celebrate our newest financial partner! The best part is that we’ve been journeying with Rusty Rabon and the family at Grace Chapel for two years now. They also moved forward with church wide awareness and youth worker training. They are fighting the battle in their sphere of influence as well as empowering us to continue to bring light to others across South Carolina! To learn more about them click here.
HOW CAN SOMEONE DONATE RIGHT NOW IF THEY WANT TO?
Any of our previous financial partners may well remember we have been working for several months to switch our online giving platform to KINDFUL. That transition has now taken place fully and we are no longer receiving any donations from Authorize.net or PayPal. Many of you have already taken the time to visit the webpage to set up your accounts with this new, much more user friendly software and we are greatly appreciative. If you haven’t set up your new account or would like to make a donation you may simply visit www.lighthouseforlife.org and click on the donate button OR mail a check to our mailing address:
7320 Broad River Rd. St. K #247 Irmo, SC 2906
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