Each year between 14,000 and 18,000 people are trafficked into the United States, but shelter and aftercare for rescued victims is woefully lacking in most states. Many have few or no shelters for trafficking victims and no effective plans in place to help victims gain the personal and professional skills they need to re-enter American society. Together with Pepsi Refresh, iSanctuary of Orange County California is planning to change that in their state, and they need your votes to do it. If a state doesn't have proper after care for survivors, most of whom are women and children, survivors are at risk to be trafficked again, fall through the cracks, and even lose their lives. To combat this issue in Orange County, a major hub of human trafficking in California, iSanctuary trains and employs survivors of human trafficking. They provide English classes when necessary, basic computer skills, life skills, mentoring, monthly community building, internships, and on-the-job-training through employment opportunities at iSanctuary. Opportunities include management, reception, inventory control, shipping and handling, and sales for iSanctuary's social enterprise program in India, established three years ago. In that program, rescued trafficking victims in India earn 100% above fair trade wage for the beautiful jewelry and other goods they create, which iSanctuary then sells for them.
Currently iSanctuary, also a member of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force Coalition, is working with only four local trafficking survivors. They have room for many, many more but not the funding to support them. That's where you and Pepsi Refresh come in.
Each month, Pepsi Refresh is giving away over $1 million to people, businesses, and non-profits who are making a positive impact on the world. Through the month of December, iSancturay in the running for the largest portion of the give-away, a $250,000 grant, money that would go directly to survivors' salaries and further development of the OC program. iSanctuary volunteers are asking for votes at community meetings, youth groups, churches, school meetings, and so on. There's also a Facebook campaign at their Pepsi Refresh event page and their Facebook page, where over 1,000 people are involved. They're even running an iPad giveaway for anyone who signs up for daily voting reminders. You can enter by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: Daily Voting Reminder and your name and address in the message. If iSanctuary wins the Pepsi Refresh giveaway, four folks who helped them will win an iPad.
iSanctuary is currently one of the top 20 contenders, but they need your help to get to number one. Everyone is allowed three votes each day, one each via text, Facebook, and the Pepsi Refresh website. Your votes can help create a sustainable, efficient model for trafficking survivor rehabilitation in Orange County which could provide a model to the rest of California and possibly even the nation. But it starts with a few seconds of your time .
Here’s how you can vote:
- TEXT MESSAGE: text 104818 to 73774
- Pepsi Refresh: vote here
- Facebook: vote here (click "allow" application)