For the past few years there’s been a big push to do everything locally. We’re all encouraged to buy from local retailers and eat food from local farms, and especially to support local causes and non-profit organizations. Many non-profit organizations tout on their websites and in their literature that all money raised will stay right here at home and help our neighbors. I understand the value in doing so many things locally, but I get caught up on the donation part. I know I’m supposed to help my neighbors like everyone keeps telling me to do, but who are my neighbors?
When I read on the internet about girls in southeast Asia getting abused in brothels and learn of their needs, do they become my neighbors? When I read in a magazine about women in eastern Europe getting trafficked to the West and ways we can all help prevent this, do those women become my neighbors? When I watch a cable program about women and children recovering from sex trafficking, do they become my neighbors?
I think the answer is yes, they are my neighbors. I know that they’re struggling and I know they need help, so they’re my neighbors and it’s become my responsibility and privilege to help them. We’ll never live next door to one another or probably even live in the same country, but location doesn’t matter so much when people are hurting.
So that’s why I’ve been raising money for Love146 over the past month. They help girls recover in their Round Home in the Philippines, work to prevent little boys and girls from being trafficked in southeast Asia, and raise awareness about the dangers of sex trafficking in eastern Europe and the U.S. I know about the plight of all the people they’re working to help so all those people are my neighbors, and I’m going to do the little bit I can to help.
You can also help support our faraway neighbors by donating to my Tread on Trafficking campaign here.